Villafáfila was already inhabited by Neolithic peoples, as some isolated pottery remains found in La Pinilla and in the surroundings of La Fuente de San Pedro date from this period. Since then, the presence of populations has been maintained on these lands, which have left traces of their existence in numerous places in the municipal area and in those of neighboring towns. In the Chalcolithic period or Copper Age (2300 BC) the first important settlements are known (in El Fonsario, El Torrejón, Pozo de Moiro,...) in which abundant materials such as axes, knives and arrowheads made of stone, remains of adobes and pottery called precampaniform, as well as bones of domestic and wild animals. Less abundant are the remains of the bell-shaped culture,
arrows Precampaniform ceramics

At the beginning of the Bronze Age, about 1800 years before C., on all the banks of the Lagunas de Villafáfila and the streams that connect them, as well as in Otero de Sariegos, people settled who dedicated themselves to the extraction of salt from the waters of the same and of wells that they made for that purpose, manufacturing small salt loaves that they dedicated to long-distance trade and exchange. This activity allowed those who controlled it to accumulate certain wealth and establish themselves as the ruling classes of their communities. These people are known for the excavations carried out in the 1990s at the Santioste or Los Pinos de Otero site, where the remains of a salt factory and the burial of a young woman with her trousseau appeared. Between 1300 and 800 a. of C

Salt from the Salinas ceramics

The Iron Age is represented in numerous sites such as El Teso de Santa Catalina, El Cementerio Nuevo, or the site of the old church of San Martín. In pre-Roman times these lands were inhabited by the Vacceos, of Celtic origin and agricultural regime, the population was concentrated in settlements such as Fuente Salinas, in Revellinos, with a certain importance that reached until Romanization.

The Roman conquest was detained for a long time in the Esla, until the time of Emperor Augustus, and has left abundant Roman remains in numerous places that correspond to towns such as the Fuente de San Pedro, Valorio or El Pocico de la Vega, or to settlements less important as La Carrerina-El Escambrón, Raya de Villaveza or La Cantera. Among the preserved vestiges we find a bridge of Villarigo that the Roman road that crossed Villafáfila passed through: Pallantia, Intercatia, Villafáfila, Ocelun Durri, a fountain called San Pedro (because it is in the area of ​​the old village of San Pedro El Yermo ), remains of mosaics from the same area formed by marble and terracotta tesserae of different colors that make up geometric drawings based on circles, squares, semicircles, curved triangles, etc., they were part of the pavement of a late Roman "Villa" or country house of a rich agrarian owner and surely date from the 4th-5th centuries AD. C., a bronze reins with the figure of a horse that, in addition to being an adornment, served to hold suspension straps, coins, ceramics and glass.

Fountain of Saint Peter

Fountain of Saint Peter

Villarigo Bridge, over the Roman road

Roman bridge

Roman roads Province of Zamora


The arrival of Germanic contingents from the 5th century caused changes in the political structure and property of Hispano-Roman society. According to Menéndez Pidal, in the distribution of land between the Hispano-Romans and the Goths, which took place during the reign of Alaric II in the last years of the 5th century, the town would have corresponded to a Favila, of Germanic origin. On the other hand, Justino Rodríguez places said origin much later, during the 10th century. According to this author, it is possible that the towns of Villafáfila and Laguna de Fáfila owe their repopulation or origin to Fafilani, husband of Doña Palla, or to a son of both of the same name as father. This family belonged to the Beni Godesteiz, colonizers of numerous regions of the kingdom of León.

Visigothic period TESORILLO DE VILLAFÁFILA Appeared around 1921, by chance, this important archaeological complex is formed by three crosses of gold sheets, (two of them with their corresponding suspension chains), a bronze container, a stem of the same metal and an indeterminate fragment, perhaps part of a bell. This finding constitutes one of the most outstanding sets of Visigoth goldsmithing in the Iberian Peninsula (S. VII - VII AD).


Crosses of the Tesorillo de Villafáfila.

The period of Arab domination was perhaps very brief, although for a long time this area remained a no man's land, suffering frequent incursions from both the Christian and Muslim sides.

7th century D. Alfonso III repopulates Villafáfila.

10th century In  the first half of the century abundant  pauses are documented , belonging to numerous owners, which  implies  an early  and intensive exploitation of the salt mines by the inhabitants of the region,  who could have remained in  it  since ancient times, since the techniques of salt extraction are often passed down generationally.       

917 The first written document mentioning the existence of the Lamprea salt flats , a toponym by which , as has been said, the region surrounding the Villafáfila lagoons is known: “et… V in Lampreana ” ( Yáñez 1972 , doc3).                         

930 and 937 sale of “pausatas” monastery of Sahagún takes place, others. They are all found “in Lamprea in locum quem dicunt Lacuna Moire” (in Lampreana in the place they say Laguna Maior). In total, the Sahagún Monastery, a true economic power in the area, had acquired 17 and a half “pausatas” from 10 different owners, to which another 12 donated by King D. Ramiro II of León had to be added.

936 Villafáfila is cited for the first time, near Salina Grande, documented in “ Er ego alarico et exor mea Fradegundia vendo vobis IIª Pautas in Lamprea cun suid puteis et sous eiratos cun suos servicios: Iª paustata ad Lacuna Moire ad terminum de Abiza et Pinniolo et de Villa Fáfila the term of Atanarico” (and I Alarico and his wife Fradugundia sell to you II saltworks in Lamprea, with its wells and its beds, with its boundaries: Iª saltworks at Laguna Mayor, at the terminus of Abiza and Piniolo and Villa Fáfila and the term of Atanarico” (AHN, Becerro de Sahagún, fols. 45v-46r. José María MÍNGUEZ FERNÁNDEZ: DIPLOMATIC COLLECTION..., doc. 36.). The Laguna Mayor refers to the Salina Grande current.

The history of Villafáfila has always been linked to its lagoons, the Romans called salt the <<favilla salis>>, the finest salt, it was one of the most important inland salt-producing salt mines. The first benefits of salt were small freeholders who extracted, marketed and used it, according to their needs. Next are the great monasteries of the area: Sahagún, Eslonza, San Martín de Castañeda, Vega, Gradefes, Sobrado and the bishoprics of León and Astorga, etc. those who become owners of the Villafáfila-Lampreana salt mines: For donations, sales and exchanges, of those first owners, also by royal or stately donation. They exploit and market them through tenants. In the fifteenth century there were still about twenty "huts" to make salt, with which the province of Zamora and some Leonese monasteries were supplied. The kings received various taxes from the salt flats, such as alcabalas and alvalerías that they leased at public auction. Between 1455 and 1460 the landlord of the Villafáfila salt flats was the Jew Benjamín Odara. 

The territories that surround the Lagunas de Villafáfila, from the term of Manganeses, to Vidayanes and Tapioles were known in the X-XI century as Lampreana territory, and to the south of the current Villafáfila was the town with this name, head of the territory that included various towns and villages, in front of which was the king's merino.

943 The first documented news that tells us about the presence of the Monastery of Eslonza in the "territory of Fáfila" refers to the sale of a vineyard, made to its abbot Adyuvando, in, by another abbot named Eglilo and his sons Adefonsus, Ratario And Simplicius.

945 Revellinos was a neighborhood of Villafáfila, the oldest date on which it is known.

946 Monasteries of Eslonza acquired “pausatas” in Lampreana. The en acquired from the Abbot Proficio, in Revellinos, some pauses "et in alios locos in Lacunas de Arcello vindo vobis meas Pautas" possibly refers to the current Barillos lagoon.

954 Villafáfila is documented as a village: <<in Lamprea, in Villa Fafila, Palacios Obtomos Cun Suas Heretitatues>> (Rodríguez Fernández 1982: Doc. 20).

        In the Prado de los Llamares , there were salt  farms  . 

       Monastery of San Martín de Valdepueblo, uninhabited located, next to the Cea river near Mayorga, received a donation from the magnate Piloti Gebuldiz "in Torrones VII Pausatas"

962 Its denomination as salt pans proper. “terra in Lamprea territory, on the eastern part, the terminus of the Salinas Islands and the northern part, the terminus of the Sancto Facundo friars” (Mimués, 1976: doc.196).

970 Monastery of Santiago de León made new “pausatas” with V.

At the end of the 10th century it was governed by the great figure of the Arab leader Almanzor (977-1002) who with his power devastated the Christian fortresses: Zamora, Toro, León, Astorga, etc. in times of D. Vermudo II. Surely Villafáfila was looted.

1073 It was the family of Count Pelayo Rodríguez, the greatest protector of Leonese religious establishments. King D. Alfonso VI himself granted the church of León the tenths of the Lampreana salt toll, in which acquisitions made by Bishop Pelayo are cited. “Post haec dedit nobis omnen deciman salis Lampreana portatico quae ad eum pertinebat” (After this he gave us the entire tenth of the salt toll of Lampreana, which belonged to him).

In the 12th century, the kings of León, Fernando II and Alfonso IX proceeded to reorganize the border territory between Castile and León, with the foundation of a series of royal towns, to which they granted charters, endowed them with a council and assigned a territory or alfoz which included several villages or places. One of these reorganized towns in the 12th century was that of Villafáfila, which was assigned a territory that included the current terms of San Agustín del Pozo, Revellinos, Sobradillo, Otero, San Clemente or Fortiñuela, among others, included in the alfoz of Villafáfila.

1116 Otero de Sariegos The first news of Otero, sure as such, mentions the assets of the cathedral of León in Lampreana. The human presence in these lands has been linked since Prehistory to the exploitation of salt. Some think that the nickname of Sariegos could be transcribed by "saliegos" or salt producers, but until the depopulation of the 17th century the town of Otero was known by the nickname of Serigo or Seriego. Possibly this name refers to an important character of Visigothic roots called Serico or Serigo who would have the rustic possession of it as a town in the current Otero and who lent him his name.

1135 An agreement was established between the council of Villafáfila and the diocesan chapter of Astorga for the collection by the latter of the tithes and first fruits of the salt of the town

1143, over a period of 10 years, the Eslonza Monastery acquired various properties from Justa Domínguez and her children through one of its members: Juan Spora. This period corresponds to the abadologies of Pedro (1140-1142, 1147-1167) and Martín (1146, 1169-1187), who we do not know if it is about 4 consecutive abbots or 2 that follow each other alternately.

1147 The most important possession that the Monastery of Eslonza had in Villafáfila was the monastery-church of Santa María, which was donated by the council of Terrones. In this church-monastery did the priory have its seat? who managed Eslonza's properties in the area. In it, rents, rights, privileges, salt, etc. were collected. Of the same.

1151 It was his lieutenant D. Ponce de Cabrera, a clear indication that the settlement of her was done or in the process of formation.

         The Monastery of Eslonza purchases the possession of mountains, fountains, etc. It also includes entry and exit rights and the church that carries tithes.

1154 D. Alfonso VII donated to the bishopric of Astorga D. Pedro Cristiano, the thirds of the entire church of Villafáfila and Lampreana.

1 155 The fact is that two Oteros are cited, one from Frades (located in Teso de los Plateros) and another from Serigo, which corresponds to the current

         Half of the church of Santiago donated by Alfonso VII, together with the church of Santa María to the former monastery of Eslonza in León. (Located next to the church of Santa María del Moral).

1156 In addition to being a political center, Villafáfila already appears as the seat of the easternmost archpriesthood of the episcopal sees of Astorgan. The construction of the churches took place throughout the twelfth and thirteenth centuries until reaching the number of ten documented parishes, whose location can be made by the survival of several squares or streets with the names of those, and the persistence of the memory and the oral tradition, because l The first documentary citations of the churches are the following:

-Santa María del Moral is cited in 1147 when the council of the village of Terrones moved to the town

-Santiago in 1155 is donated by Alfonso VII, along with the previous one to the monastery of Eslonza in León.

-San Martín in 1162 belonged to the bishop of Astorga.

-San Marcos in 1162 belonged to León Cathedral.

-San Juan is cited in 1165 next to one of the gates of the wall.

-San Claudio in 1173-76 belongs to Mº. St. Claudius of Leon

-San Pedro in 1182 mentions the chaplain of the same.

-San Miguel in 1201 belonged to the monastery of Sahagún.

- Holy Mary the New. 1307.

-San Andrés, Santa Marta and San Salvador in 1310.

Church of Santa Maria

Church of Santa Maria.

 Regarding its location, those of Santa María del Moral are the only existing one, and San Martín reached its remains until the end of the 20th century, those of San Pedro, San Salvador, San Juan and San Miguel in the squares of the same name, the of San Andrés in the old cemetery, that of Santa Marta at the end of the street of the same name, that of Santiago in the Plazuela del Crucifijo, behind Santa María, and, finally, that of Santa María la Nueva in the suburb near from Las Pilas.

             The area next to Laguna Grande is mentioned, where salt extraction was carried out , "salina quan vocitant pasatan Madronil"   (Rodríguez González, 1966: doc. 31).

1160 Ferdinand II of León, who was probably directing the tasks of repopulating and organizing the town, grants various favors to the nobleman Gonzalo Muñoz, and the date of the letter "in Villa FaFilam 14 Kalendas septembris sub era MCCLXXXXVIII" (August 19, 1160 ).

1162 Pope Alexander III, by pontifical bull, at the request of the Bishop of Astorga D. Fernando, took under his protection all the properties of the diocese, including those he had in Villafáfila.

          The church of San Martín, which belonged to the Bishop of Astorga, and the church of San Marcos, in 1162, belonged to León Cathedral.

1165 Reference is made that Villafáfila had a rammed earth wall, very thick with some stone and brick reinforcements that some gates were called that of San Juan, that of Santiago.

1177 The presence of Jews in the town is mentioned, one of them is Abraham iudeus, it cannot be determined where the Jewish quarter would be.

         The Eslonza Monastery continued to increase its possessions.

1178 Otero, which was included in the alfoz of Villafáfila, was located between three small villages: Requejo, located on the east bank of the Salina Grande, Prado, possibly on the south bank of this same lagoon, and Santa Cruz, which I do not have. from other references.

1181 Fernando II donates Villafáfila to the Lordship of the Military Order of Santiago, this donation was frustrated.

1190 The tenants of the salt mines paid the <<alvara>> certain amount of currency (royal tribute) and the exploitation and commercialization was at their own expense. In this way, the salt was subject to a royal tax, which was paid in the salt mines themselves, and which was collected by royal officials called <<alvareros>>. This took place in Navarra and Castile, although we do not know if this tax was applied in León.

1201 On August 11, the King of León, Alfonso IX, his wife Mrs. Begenguela, and their son Fernando, the future king of Castile and León, are on their way to Castile to meet with Alfonso VIII. On this day they are in Villafáfila.

        The Eslonza Monastery receives the other half of the Church of Santiago, which had been the subject of a lawsuit with the cleric Miguel Arias and his heirs.

1220 The presence of Alfonso IX in the town is documented. when the king, accompanied by his curia which includes the archbishop of Santiago, the bishops of Zamora, León and Oviedo and several counts and "tenetes", witness an agreement between the master of the Order of Pereiro y Alcántara and the master of the Templars of "trium regmorun Hispanie, vidalicet Legionis, Castille et Portugalie", and restores to this last order the land of Alba de Aliste that they had previously taken from them.

1221 The Monastery of Eslonza in Villafáfila must have had difficulties because it had to go to the Pope. This is indicated in a sentence by an apostolic judge, sub-delegate of Pope Honorius III, in which the church of Villafáfila is declared to belong to the same monastery, by right of patronage. From these dates the Monastery begins to decline its influence. Juan Espora disappeared, true architect of the domain. Priory? of the Monastery of Eslonza in Lampreana-Villafáfila, this begins to decline, as we have seen. Contributing to this was the fact that the salt flats became a royal royalty from the reign of D. Alfonso VII.

1224, In November the king meets again in Villafáfila, where he grants various favors to the church of Astorga and acts as an intermediary in the agreement signed by the council of Villafáfila with the bishop of Astorga regarding tithes and first fruits of salt .

1229 Alfonso IX donated the town of Villafáfila to the Military Order of Santiago, the definitive donation. The Fonsadera tribute was given, although it was not given to other Lordships of the Order. Watch over and prowl obligation that disappears in the sixteenth century. An encomienda in charge of a commander was established in it. During the 13th and 14th centuries, the villa is sometimes temporarily handed over to various people in exchange for services to the order. From 1332 to 1364 D. Juan Benavides was lord of Villafáfila and his castle, then Villafáfila returned to the Order of Santiago. At the end of the 14th century, the encomiendas of Castrotorafe and Villafáfila, which were very close, were provided by the same person, and since then a single commander has been in charge of both.until in 1541 it was dismembered from the order.

Distinction of the Order of Santiago

Shield of the Order of Santiago

Castrotorafe Castle

Castrotorafe Castle

During the period of lordship of the Order of Santiago, the neighbors were vassals of the same and were bound by a series of feudal charges with the commander, who as a feudal lord who intervened in the activities of the vassals in preventing them:

The power to freely dispose of their estates, which was limited in terms of its sale, hereditary transmission, change of residence, etc.

The direct provision of their work, through the obligation of work in the feudal estate.

The provision on the product obtained, by forcing it to pay various taxes in kind or in cash, and by monopolizing the means of transforming its products (press, oven, etc.).

In the judicial sphere through the imposition of fines and punishments.

Over the years the feudal charge was softened and at the end of the fifteenth century the neighbors paid:

The martiniega, which was paid by San Martín and which was a fixed amount of 12 maravedíes each pechero neighbor each year as recognition of the lordship.

A yantar or contribution for the commander's food, which was 800 mrs each year among all the pecheros neighbors.

For the master's table, that is, for the maintenance of the master of the order, 6,000 mrs each year among all the residents of the town and villages .

The fonsadera or contribution to the expenses of the war was made as the obligation to go around the fortress and near the town by all the Vºs of V and villages. Every night they had to go around two, but it could be replaced by paying 10 mrs each night they played.

In addition, the commander carried a series of indirect taxes such as the toll or toll right, the castillery or protection of the merchants, the notary's office, and the collection of the penalties imposed by the mayors.

The commander also had a share in the tithes. You know that the tithes were a part of the final production of any activity or product that the Christians gave to the church, and it was not always the tenth part.

To avoid abuses against the vassals, the Order of Santiago had established a system of visitors, who periodically toured the towns belonging to it, arrived at the squares and read the mandates that they brought from the master, and later from the Kings, telling the neighbors that if they had any complaint against the commander, or his officials, or the mayors or any institution or person, that they go before them to express it.

1230 Assault on the Jewish quarter with the death of its inhabitants.

1236 In the General Chapter that the Order of Santiago held in November of that year in Villafáfila, the Santiago supporters granted jurisdiction to Montánchez and it is precisely in this concession document that we find the man who could have been the first Santiago commander of Mérida, his name was Fernan Fernandez

1254 The great conflicts between the convent of Moreruela and the residents of Villafáfila , which began in 1254 the monastery of Moreruela obtains, through an exchange, all the estates that the monastery of Sahagún had in Muélledes and in Montenegro for the entire existence of the monastery, arose from the Sierrico and La Tabla for that one, because there the cattle of the residents of Villafáfila grazed and on those mountains they cut firewood. Until the disappearance in the nineteenth century were in conflicts and lawsuits. Well, each one claimed to be his property.

Monastery of Santa Maria de Moreruela

Ruins of the Monastery of Santa María de Moreruela

XIV century Otero de Sariegos belonged to Doña María de Solier, lady of Villalpando and passed by inheritance to her descendants the Constables of Castile. The lordship included the vassalage of the neighbors who had to pay the chests or martiniega, the ordinary and extraordinary jurisdiction with the right to appoint mayors, a third of the tithes and the right to present to the parish priest, the alcabalas and various properties that added more of 160 loads of sowing land. The priest of the Otero church was appointed by the Bishop of Astorga, but the candidate was presented by the Constable.

1300 It is already mentioned that Villafáfila has a market, this was on Tuesdays, an annual fair on June 23 and 24.

1310 An exchange contract between the infante D. Juan and the bishop of Astorga, D. Alfonso II and his council, for the Cillerro de Villafáfila. The infante gave the bishop the martiniegas del bierzo, the church of El Toral and 2,000 mrs. and the bishop delivered the Cillerro de Villafáfila for life.

1332 Villafáfila and the Castle of the town, became property for life of D. Juan Alfonso de Benavides when he remarried Dª. Mayor Vázquez de Minzo who took the town and the castle as her dowry.

1364 Villafáfila returned to the Order of Santiago upon the death of Benavides, ordered by order of Pedro I el Cruel.

1387 Villafáfila was half destroyed in the Trastamara war produced by the allied side of D. Juan de Avis of Portugal and the Duke of Lancaster England.

1443 New conflict between the Council of Villafáfila and the Monastery of Moreruela when the residents of Villafáfila appropriated some rams from the monastery that grazed on the Table. Which had to be returned.

1455-1460 The tenant of the salt flats was the Jew Benjamín Odava.

1465 Don Pedro Ledesma, chief huntsman of King Enrique IV, and commander of Castrotorare, had the privilege of the alvarerías of the Salinas de Villafáfila.

1467 Villafáfila had been occupied by force by the Count of Benavente, don Rodrigo, who had given it to his brother, don Pedro Pimentel, who, in addition to receiving the rents that the commander used to carry, subjected the vassals to many abuses, In order to obtain from them a greater amount of benefit, "the tyrannized tapeworm", according to the testimony of the neighbors many years later. The delivery of Villafáfila to Don Pedro by the count his brother, was the result of a concert, by which he gave the Count the town of Almanza and the place of Pobladura, which he had received from his first wife, Doña Francisca de Almança: “The said Mr. Don Pedro had and possessed the town of Villafáfila in the name of the Count of Benavente and at the time that the said town of Villafáfila was taken from him by the king our lord, as master who is of the order of Santiago, He returned to the said Mr. Don Pedro and restored the said places of Pobladura and Almança”. This concert was established by deed signed by both brothers on 30-XI-1470 (AHN Osuna 3921-6).

1468 the salt mines were transferred by D. Enrique IV in favor of Commander D. Pedro de Almansa.

1475 Don Pedro Pimentel bought houses from private individuals and later sold them to his brother, the fourth Count of Benavente.

The Holy Week celebrations date back to the Middle Ages, but we do not have documentation until well into the 16th century in the case of Villafáfila. They are liturgical celebrations around the death and resurrection of Christ, which consisted of a series of religious services in the churches by priests and other clerics, and processions through the streets organized by the various brotherhoods that emerged throughout of the centuries

1490 One of the first references we have are from the Brotherhood La de la Vera Cruz, from the year 1490 belonging to the parish of San Andrés, next to whose church was the hermitage and that after its disappearance passed to that of San Pedro . These references are indirect, because in the deed of expense that was made in the will of Yván de Collantes, that " Falling on Saturday thirteen days of the month of February 1490 ", appears the fulfillment of a testamentary mandate of this nobleman, who had been warden of the Villafáfila fortress: “ it was given to Vera Crus + one hundred mrs. What Rodrigo Herrada, Abbot, carried ”.

         The Brotherhood of the Vera Cruz, came out on the night of Holy Thursday, the brothers were of two kinds: light, and blood, or discipline. They all wore a white tunic or shirt and a hood or hood; the light ones carrying a candle and the second ones disciplining themselves during the procession. There were also female cofrades. After the procession there was a refreshment consisting of <<cakes and wine>>. The rites and penances that took place throughout the night of Holy Thursday that made a large number of people stay awake, who made the vigil more bearable with a few drinks of wine, would be the origin of the custom of making lemonade and staying whole the night of revelry that the young people of Villafáfila have followed since time immemorial.

1494 There were 12 salt shacks in operation.

1497 There was a neighborhood of 270 neighbors, of which, 49 hidalgos, 215 pecheros and 6 clerics, the hidalgos represent more than 18% of the neighbors, higher percentages than in Benavente, Toro or Zamora for that time. Many of them were placed on the registers as hidalgos, because they were servants, favored or part of the Pimentel family, who at that time occupied the town and villages.

          The Catholic Monarchs forced the Count of Benavente to restore Villafáfila to its legitimate owner, the commander of Castrotorafe.

1499 The state of the fence, made of rammed earth, was very deteriorated.

In the 16th century the salt flats were leased to the Count of Benavente.

1503 the wall was still in the same situation and the fortress in a similar state.

Running of the bulls and bullfights have been a main element of the Villafáfila festivities. These traditional festivities continue to bring together the neighborhood of the town and those around it, living with true popular roots. It is not possible to specify their origin, although by popular tradition it is said that they date back to the time of the Catholic Monarchs. Although the first documentary news is collected in the mid-16th century, the oral tradition may not be misguided, since the presence of King Ferdinand the Catholic in the town while he was negotiating the Concord of Villafáfila with his son-in-law King Philip the Handsome, on the The succession of the kingdoms of Castile, in June 1506, is sufficiently known by historians and chroniclers (LAFUENTE, M. 1869: 281. and SUÁREZ FERNÁNDEZ, L. / FERNÁNDEZ ÁLVAREZ, M. 1969: 668-669). It is very likely that during his stay, which lasted a week, he was presented by the council with the bullfight of some steer. The fact that the running of the bulls took place in the 16th century on Saint John's Day, coinciding with the dates of the king's stay in the town, since the arrival of King Ferdinand's court in Villafáfila must have occurred on the 22nd of June, according to Zurita's review: "The King being in Villafáfila on the twenty-third of the month of June "and remained there at least until the 27th day when the Concord was signed in the church of San Martín, these conjectures can be supported. In addition, it was customary to receive the kings with release and bullfight.

1506 June 27 CONCORDIA DE VILLAFÁFILA That year had seen the return from Flanders of Queen Juana "La Loca", heiress to the Crown of Castile due to the death of her mother Isabella "la Católica" and her husband Felipe "El Hermoso", due to the inability to the queen to exercise her position tango her husband like her father Don Fernando "El Católico" wanted to take over the regency of Castile. After several attempts to meet and reconcile between son-in-law and father-in-law, and the latter being abandoned by the most important of the Castilian nobility, one of whose most powerful members, the Count of Benavente, came to close the doors of the town and forbid him to be welcomed into none of the towns of their manors, the first interview took place in Remensal de Sanabria, where don Fernando came from Rionegro unarmed and don Felipe fully armed and accompanied by almost a thousand flamingos from Puebla. Faced with the failure of the interview and the obvious hostility, the "Catholic" king retired to Villafáfila and the archduke headed for Benavente.

Philip "The Handsome"

Philip I "the Handsome"

Ferdinand "The Catholic"

Ferdinand "Catholic King"

The choice of Villafáfila as a refuge for the King of Aragon, despite not having good defenses, was due to the fact that it was then the most important town of the Military Order of Santiago "aquende los puertos", whose perpetual administrator was Don Fernando. In the year 1497, he had taken it from Don Pedro Pimentel, brother of the Count of Benavente, who had been holding it illegally for thirty years, to return it to the Commander of Castrotorafe, at the time Don Fernando de Vega. The Commander was one of the few entourage that accompanied the king on such fateful days during his stay in Villafáfila, where they stayed for more than a week, arriving from June 22 to 27. Here they would stay at the house of some wealthy neighbors, since in those years the Castillo and the house that was built on it were almost in ruins.

After several discussions with Felipe's envoys during the visits that took place in the church of San Martín, in which they gave such loud voices that they could be heard from the Pimentel house in the square (according to oral tradition), the king agreed. to sign the Capitulations of Villafáfila on the day , by which he renounces any right over the government of Castile, even if the queen was not capable of governing or died before.

Tower of the Church of San Martin

Church of San Martín with its Bell Tower

Back of the Church of San Martín

South part of the church of San Martin

Immediately afterwards, Don Fernando signed a semi-secret protest before witnesses in which he stated that he signed the concord against his will and to get out of the dangerous situation in which he found himself, but that his spirit and resolution was to rescue his daughter from captivity and recover the administration of the kingdom as soon as possible. After a last encounter near Valladolid, the "Catholic" king retired to Aragon, remaining as administrator of the Military Orders and with other income and profits.

1507 The effects of the plague were felt in Villafáfila, which was marked in the memory of the neighbors as "the year of the pestilençia", still remembered in this way in 1524

1510 The town that the Catholic king gave inn in the darkest days of his reign, and the trace of his presence must have left a good memory among the neighbors, and even in years as far away as 1543, they continued to consider him the liberator of the tyranny to which the Count of Benavente and Don Pedro Pimentel had submitted the town.

1515 The neighborhood is 300.

1518 There were still 12 salt huts in operation.

152? The hospital of San Juan or Divino Pastor was founded.

The council of the town had established some ordinances before the year 1522 that forced the ranchers of the town and the villages to take the sheep out of the limits in summer and winter, to avoid damaging the crops and the vineyards, from San Juan (a few years later from San Pedro) until August 1 for rams and September 1 for sheep, and from the day of San Martín until February 20. This created enormous damage to those who had few cattle, who had to get together with each other to be able to lease terms from outside the jurisdiction, unlike those who owned large herds, who had the capacity to lease the mountains of Castronuevo, or Salinas. , or Quintos and they took their cattle there to winter or wither.

1525 13 people emigrated from the town to America, the first D. Luis del Barrio belonging to a family of noblemen established in it in the fifteenth century, went to Mexico, where he died in the conquest of Cipotecas and Minges. others from the family who marched were D. Diego and D. Pedro del Barrio. The latter, nicknamed the "Perulero" for having been in Peru, returned to the town with a large quantity of silver and much wealth. At his death he left a thousand ducats mandina, for the construction of a chaplaincy attached to the Church of San Martín with three chaplaincies for his descendants. The hidalgo Juan de Villagomez was also part of the army of the Strait of Magellan.

1528 The neighborhood is 300 in the village.

1536 The Order of Santiago owned two silos, which stored a fanega of wheat.

1538  The neighborhood is 290 neighbors.

         Only three 3 cabins to make salt work, belonging to the Order of Santiago, the Moreruela monastery and the nobleman of the town Alonso González.

         Certain data on the bullfighting festivals that are preserved in the documentation, the first reference, although indirect, when in a notebook prepared by an envoy from the Emperor's court to find out the value of the alcabalas of the town and land it is noted: " It seems from the information that in the year fifteen and thirty-eight the butcher shop of the said town was auctioned off in Alonso Sanchón, vº of the said town, with the payment of alcavala veynte and eight myll mrs and four myll for a bull .. and del toro loses ma mytad after death "

Throughout the Old Regime, the bulls or steers that were run were brought by the obligatory butcher, as one of the conditions for their concession. The butcher shop, like the grocery store (fishmonger) and sales in general were a council monopoly, and every year the regiment auctioned them off to the highest bidder, who was awarded the exclusive supply of meat or fish to the town, and he served his trade in the butcher shop located on the ground floor of the Town Hall. Among the conditions of the position was that of: " bring the steer bullfight and close the plaza on their own ".

A fundamental element of these Holy Week celebrations were the sermons given by foreign preachers that the council hired at its expense among foreign friars, generally Franciscans or Dominicans from nearby convents (Benavente, Vaderas, Toro). Thus, at least since 1538, the payment of the preacher's expenses is documented in the council's accounts. That year, 5 ducats were paid to the friars of San Francisco de Benavente for their sermons during Lent. During the 17th and 18th centuries, the departures of the Holy Week preacher continue to be documented, in addition to the sermons for the rest of the year, and of the San Roque preacher.

During Holy Week the following sermons were said: Palm Sunday, Passion Tuesday: the sermon of Tears, on the denial of Saint Peter, on Thursday the sermon on the Eucharist, on Friday the sermons of the Encounter, which preached from a balcony in the Plaza Mayor; that of the Seven Words and the Holy Burial; and Easter Sunday.

1539 Lucas Álvarez settled in Otero de Sariegos and wanted to receive the privileges of nobleman that the council denied him, for which he filed a lawsuit before the Royal Chancery of Valladolid. The mayors of that year were Pedro Mielgo and Pedro Lozano, both of the general state, and the aldermen Juan Reguilón and Pedro de Cozano. The following year Juan de Mózar and Vicente de San Martín served as mayors, Alonso Gallego as alderman and Bernardino Prieto as attorney general of the council.

1541 Villafáfila approves 6-VI the Municipal Ordinances I still feel of the order of Santiago.

         Villafáfila ceased to belong to the Order of Santiago and on December 3, Carlos I informed the town of its incorporation into the Crown.

1542 Carlos I, pressured by the growing financial needs of the crown to defray the expenses to which imperial policy forced him, makes a sale On March 31, 1542, Don Bernardino Pimentel Almansa y Quiñones (5th son of the 3rd Count of Benavente D Alonso Pimentel), 1st Marquess of Távara, took possession of the manor of Villafáfila and its annexes of San Agustín del Pozo and Revellinos by virtue of the purchase that, for an amount of 13,634,186 maravedíes, had been made from King D. Carlos I of Austria, as Master of the Military Order of Santiago and from his Master. Villafáfila and its annexes, henceforth would be "lordship" of the Marquesado de Távara and its neighboring vassals of the same. Under whose jurisdiction they remained until the abolition of the manors, in 1811, during the War of Independence, and definitively in 1836.

Villafáfila from that moment was part of an economic manor (the one held until then, with the Military Order of Santiago, was of the encomienda type), in which the "sir" was only interested, above all else, in this appearance.

There was an exception in the purchase due to royalty: the rent of the thirds and alcabalas, forera currency and the supreme appeal of justice to which Villafáfila resorted.

Shield of the Pimentel

Shield of the Mayorazgo de Villafáfila

Shield of the Mayorazgo de Villafáfila of the Marques de Távara

The sale of the lordship and jurisdiction of the town to Mr. Bernaldino Pimentel meant the removal of the town and land of Villafáfila from the jurisdiction of the Order of Santiago, subject to the empire of the Chapter Laws and the supervision of the Council of Orders, which prevented stately excesses. From 1542 the new lord exercised justice in the town, whose neighbors felt offended from the first moment. For the exercise of the same, he appointed with the position of corregidor, equivalent to that of mayor, people he trusted, generally graduates and lawyers from Valladolid, who exercised justice on his behalf and whose actions were submitted by the incoming corregidores. to residence trials, which many times ended up reaching the court of the Royal Chancery of Valladolid, requesting the protection of the real jurisdiction before the manorial abuses. TIt tries to obtain a benefit, both economic and power, with which it intends to exercise over the neighbors a series of supposed rights that did not correspond to it, such as participating in municipal elections, prohibiting hunting, disposing of the meadows and council lands, which the neighbors welcomed their servants and officials, etc., into their homes, so they started a long lawsuit before the Chancery of Valladolid, which they ended up winning in part.

             The first purchases of houses in the town square by the Marquis of Távara are recorded, the seller is the sixth Count of Benavente, Don Antonio Alfonso Pimentel, and perhaps they are the same houses that Don Pedro Pimentel had bought from private individuals in 1475 and later sold to his brother, the fourth Count of Benavente. The policy of acquiring houses and land for houses in Villafáfila continued at least until 1556.

1543 Just one year after the possession, D. Bernardino Pimentel, of his lordship, entered into a lawsuit with his vassals of Villafáfila. He wanted the powers, about it that did not correspond to him, in accordance with the purchase and with the rights that the neighbors had historically, since the times in the town it was royalty and lordship of the Military Order of Santiago.

The prohibition of cattle grazing in Fortiñuela, together with the increase in the number of cattle in the neighborhood and in the number of cattle that occurred in the first half of the 16th century, caused new differences between the residents of Villafáfila, San Agustín and Revellinos, who had a lot of cattle. . The council of the town had established some ordinances before the year 1522 that forced the ranchers of the town and the villages to take the sheep out of the limits in summer and winter, to avoid damaging the crops and the vineyards, from San Juan (a few years later from San Pedro) until August 1 for rams and September 1 for sheep, and from the day of San Martín until February 20. This created enormous damage to those who had few cattle, who had to join each other to be able to lease terms from outside the jurisdiction,

            There are only 3 salt making cabins left.

1546 The bulls were run on the day of San Juan, June 24, as indicated in a testimony of a resident of Villafáfila in a lawsuit between the town and its first private lord, the Marquis of Távara, in the year 1546: " that Don Bernaldino Pimentel had an old house in the square that used to belong to the Count of Benavente, where the bulls were locked up when they ran on Saint John's Day " (ARCh.V. Civil Lawsuits. Pérez Alonso f. 515-1); this house is the later called Palacio del Duque, which was located in the new part of the main square.

1549 Sentence of the lawsuit between D. Bernardino Pimentel Lord of Villafáfila and his vassals, the sentence was favorable to the council of Villafáfila 5 of 7.

1550 Faced with the recusal of the lawsuit between D. Bernardino Pimentel Lord of Villafáfila and his vassals, the Royal Chancery issued a final sentence modifying only slightly the previous resolution.

1556 On November 9, several servants of the Santa María de Moreruela monastery and a friar from it, with the agreement of the entire convent, and with the support of several residents of La Granja, went to the end of La Tabla and began to plow and break in he. The residents of Villafáfila found out immediately and proceeded to prevent it by legal means and by force. The residents of Villafáfila, while the lawsuit was being settled, took the opportunity to sow in the terms of La Tabla in several quiñones in the years 1556-57 and 1557-58, reaping its fruits.

1557 On Holy Thursday the Monument was put up to host the exhibition of the Blessed Sacrament in all the parishes, and this is stated in its factory books that are preserved; since 1557 in that of S. Andrés

1558 The Marquis of Távara acquires a cabin from Juan de Villaturiel, a resident of Zamora for 100 reales, apart from the one he had from the purchase of the Alfoz de Villafáfila, which belonged to the Order of Santiago.

1560 The Salt Making Cabin belonging to the Marquis of Távara was still maintained as a residual activity, although the one purchased two years earlier had not put it into operation.

1561 Otero de Sariegos has 26 neighbors.

1564 By Royal Decree of D. Felipe II, all the salt mines in Castile are incorporated into the crown, with the exception of those in Andalusia and Granada, rewarding their owners, prohibiting the manufacture of salt without a royal license. Causing the definitive abandonment of the extraction of salt from the Lagunas de Villafáfila. 

1565 July 31 resolution of the trial between the Monastery and Villafáfila, The judges once again ruled in favor of the monastery in and condemned the council of Villafáfila to deliver within 30 days to the abbot and monks half of the fruits that they had harvested and taken from the term of La Tabla, taken out the seed that they had sown and half of the expenses that they would have made in sowing and harvesting the fruits.

1571 First references that we have of Holy Week, are from the Brotherhood La de la Vera Cruz, belonging to the parish of San Andrés and that after the disappearance of this passage to that of San Pedro, this brotherhood went out on Holy Thursday night, the cofrades were of two classes: the light, and blood, or, of discipline. They all wore a white tunic or shirt and a hood or hood; the light ones carrying a candle and the second ones disciplining themselves during the procession. After the procession there was a refreshment consisting of <<cakes and wine>>.

1575 The office of darkness was celebrated in all the churches during Holy Week, already in the inventory of that of San Andrés an axeman for the darkness is mentioned.

1577 In the accounts of the council there is an item without a specific date, but located between the Friday before San Juan and the eve of San Juan, in which the Attorney General of the town notes: " but I paid 12 mrs to someone who took the stones of the plaza for the bull ", so it follows that the bull still ran on the day of San Juan, in the Plaza.

1582 Otero de Sariegos, the mayors were Pedro Mielgo and Bartolomé de la Barrera, the aldermen Bernardo de Valle and Bernardino Prieto, the attorney Domingo Mielgo, who together with 21 other neighbors granted power to sue over the pledge of some Villafáfila sheep that they had entered to graze in term of Otero. That is why we know that between the two towns it was worth fleeing when they entered the other to graze without a license and were not caught by the guard.

         The dynamism of the town is also deduced from the existence of two brotherhoods, one called Vera Cruz, surely with medieval roots for penitential purposes; and another of the Blessed Sacrament, more modern for the exaltation of the Eucharist. It also had a pósito or alhóndiga, founded by Mr. Saldaña, a priest who had been from Otero, with certain loads of wheat stored in a panera, which he lent to the neighbors to be able to support himself, with the annual return without interest.

1586 The main productions were cereals, especially wheat, according to what can be deduced from the different factory books of the parishes, and to a lesser extent barley and rye. In total, between five and six thousand loads of all bread are usually harvested in Villafáfila, of which a thousand are planted, another thousand are paid as rents to monasteries, churches, and foreign owners, five hundred or six hundred are paid as a tithe, one thousand eight hundred they serve for the consumption of the neighbors and livestock, leaving the rest for sale.

   June 7 is cited that there are many parishes for the few neighbors, being, that of Santa Marta, San Andrés, San Juan, el Salvador and its flooded San Miguel, San Pedro, San Martín and Santa María del Moral.

  In those same years there were five existing hermitages in the town: Vera Cruz, in the parish of San Andrés, Nuestra Señora La Blanca or Santa María la Nueva, in San Pedro; that of Magdalena, in that of San Martín and those of San Isidro and Ntra. Sra. De Villarigo, in that of Santa María del Moral.

         The Chapel of the Knights of the Order of Santiago located in San Marcos.

1586 The main productions were cereals, especially wheat, according to what can be deduced from the different factory books of the parishes, and to a lesser extent barley and rye. In total, between five and six thousand loads of all bread are usually harvested in Villafáfila, of which a thousand are planted, another thousand are paid as rents to monasteries, churches, and foreign owners, five hundred or six hundred are paid as a tithe, one thousand eight hundred they serve for the consumption of the neighbors and livestock, leaving the rest for sale.

   June 7 is cited that there are many parishes for the few neighbors, being, that of Santa Marta, San Andrés, San Juan, el Salvador and its flooded San Miguel, San Pedro, San Martín and Santa María del Moral.

  In those same years there were five existing hermitages in the town: Vera Cruz, in the parish of San Andrés, Nuestra Señora La Blanca or Santa María la Nueva, in San Pedro; that of Magdalena, in that of San Martín and those of San Isidro and Ntra. Sra. De Villarigo, in that of Santa María del Moral.

         The Chapel of the Knights of the Order of Santiago located in San Marcos.

1587 The expense of the Ramos is recorded annually. Generally formed by branches of laurels that were used to buy in Tierra de Toro, with which they went out to procession throughout the town, as it was one of the general processions, with the assistance of all the parish priests and the ecclesiastical council.

            Otero de Sariegos has 46 neighbors.

  List of Batteries and Neighbors of the Archpriesthood of Villafáfila.



1 P. - 65 times


Saint Christina

1 P. - 24 times

San Agustin

1 P. - 54 times



2 P. - 175 times.


1 P. - 46 times



1 P. - 30 times


1 P. - 148 times



1 P. - 26 times


1 P. - 18 times


Santa Colomba

1 P. - 19 times


1 P. - 46 times



1 P. - 27 times


1 P. - 52 times



1 P. - 18 times

st. Helen

1 P. - 19 times


Powdery manganese

1 P. - 42 times


1 p. - 25 times



1 P. - 27 times


1 P. - 27 times



6 P. - 381 times.


1588 In February the Marquis of Távara ordered the mobilization of 60 residents of military age, half with pikes and swords and the other half with arquebuses and swords. To fight in the wars maintained by Felipe II.

1591 Real sale made in favor of this town and its neighbors from the different vacant lands and other idlers bought from their SM on November 16.

         Otero de Sariegos has 52 neighbors, which could correspond to about two hundred inhabitants, and the regiment of the council was made up of two mayors, two aldermen and a solicitor.

1596 Wine production amounted to 12,006 pitchers of wine from forty-seven owners, including clerics, which was stored in thirty-three cellars. Twenty-two neighbors have sheep, 4,760 heads are registered. There are seventy-seven day laborers, a fifth of the population, and they would serve the farmers. Almost half of them are poor. There are 13 paid shepherds. Twenty-two neighbors have sheep, registering 4,760 heads. There are seventy-seven day laborers, a fifth of the population, and they would serve the farmers. Almost half of them are poor. Pastors working for others amount to 13.

XVII century With the profession by the council of a "Vote of Villa", this is a solemn promise by the council, in honor of San Roque, coinciding with one of the plague epidemics that hit the town, the bullfight had to be moved to August 16, surely coinciding with dates in which the harvesting and threshing work was already ending.

Another of the traditional processions is that of the Holy Burial. This procession leaves from the 17th century on the afternoon of Good Friday from the disappeared parish church of San Pedro, and currently it does so on the same day from Santa María, which processions the Christ of the Urn and Our Lady of Solitude until 1959 when was replaced by La Dolorosa.

1601 The neighborhood is 214.

1629 Otero de Sariegos, Santiago de Mózar and Juan Sánchez, mayors, Fco. Mielgo and Santiago Lorenzo, aldermen, Francisco Rodríguez, PG. Francisco Reguilón, Fco. Gutiérrez, Asensio Mielgo, Fco Prieto, Macías Calvo, Aloº Gallego, Tomé de Mózar, Juan Pñérez, Bartolomé Villalba, Santiago Suena, Juan de la Fuente, power to head the alcabalas with the Condestable.

1630 There are still in Otero, at least, sixteen neighbors, who grant power to head with the Condestable the alcabalas, that is to say to arrange a fixed amount of money as alcabala (a sales tax).

1631 The neighborhood is 153. Otero de Sariegos was 18.

            Otero de Sariegos, a census carried out in Castile for salt consumption lists 18 neighbors, equivalent to 70 people, 19 heads of cattle and 930 sheep.

1642 The poor condition of the Church of San Andrés, causes it to be abolished as a parish, remaining as an annex to the Church of San Pedro, and its parishioners became members of the same parish.

1663 Villafáfila has been a constant trend towards the weekly processional night, which has led to the intervention of the episcopal authority. In the factory book of Santa Mª in her pastoral visit, the bishop of Astorga leaves an order: “ that the processions of Holy Thursday and Good Friday be during the day and that they leave on time and return to the church on time

1656 5th Marquess of Távara D. Enrique Pimentel Toledo and Enrique de Guzmán, acquired the sales tax of Villafáfila.

1667 Villafáfila has been a constant trend towards the weekly processional at night, which has led to the intervention of the episcopal authority. For example, in the pastoral visit, it is ordered <<that the processions that take place on Good Thursday and Good Friday leave and return with the day, penalty of Major Excommunication.

1668 There were no residents left in Otero de Sariegos and the Villalpando appeals judge had to intervene, as Mayor of Otero in the absence of the ordinary mayor, because some were dismantling the houses and taking the tile and the wood.

1673 It is mentioned among the altars of San Pedro, it is a carving with articulated arms, as it was used for the celebration of the Descent, a ceremony representing the unfastening of Jesus from the Cross and his transfer to the grave, which preceded the procession of the Holy Burial. Surely the Descent has been celebrated since the 17th century, hence the articulated invoice of the Christ, but until the middle of the 18th century I have not found any documentary references. Together with the Christ of the Urn, the image of Our Lady of Solitude participated in the representation of the Descent, whose head is articulated so that she can respond affirmatively when presented with the nails, the crown and the body of Christ.

         The assets of the church of Otero, which is depopulated, are added to the parishes of Villafáfila, in the churches of San Martín and Santa María and the books, liturgical objects, census deeds and properties are deposited. Even the altarpiece dedicated to San Martín was moved to the church of the same name in Villafáfila.

1675 by order of the Bishop of Astorga, after consultation with the Constable, as Lord of Otero, as stated on p. 15 of the lib. aforementioned. The parish of Otero de Sariegos is dependent on the church of San Martín de Villafáfila, so on p. next it gets curious next chapter of expenses: as the church is abandoned, a passenger from Toros had entered it and had taken the image of Santa Bárbara, and they had to pressure him for the justice to return it and thirteen reais that was paid to a man for bringing into the picture. That same year, the bones of Antonio de la Peña, who had been a priest in Otero, were transferred to Villafáfila to be buried in San Juan due to the abandonment of the church. Even the altarpiece dedicated to San Martín was moved to the church of the same name in Villafáfila.

1679 We know the name of some of these new settlers, they were residents of nearby towns who had estates there, two residents of Villafáfila " José García and Antonio Vela became alienated and went to populate a place called Otero de Serigo " So did the brothers Tomás and Santiago Bueno, from Villafáfila, whose descendants have remained in Otero until today, and Domingo Sancho, Juan García, Andrés Pérez, from Riego del Camino, and Antonio Salagre. These were the pioneers of the second repopulation.

1681 Otero de Sariegos, six neighbors had gone to live in the town at the request of the Constable of Castile”. These neighbors ask for, and are granted, tax exemption for six years.

1682 The depopulation lasted a few years as a memorial is presented in the Treasury Council stating that " in 1665 it was completely depopulated and its neighbors went to live in other places and their church was demolished and in 1681 they had gone to inhabit the villa six neighbors at the request of the Constable of Castile ”. These neighbors ask for, and are granted, tax exemption for six years. The following year there was already a priest and the village of Otero comes to life again, reiterating the requests for tax exemption "due to the wars in Portugal and the calamities of the times it was depopulated, and having, after a few years, gone to populate it five and a half, His Majesty was served to relieve them for ten years of the contributions of millions and other royal income, also in consideration of that the Constable for the same time forgave them their taxes... they ask that they be given a certificate for the Sala de Millones that they not be forced to pay taxes” .

         In place of the demolished church of Otero de Sariegos there was a hermitage, as it is said in the accounts, 14 reals that cost an alb that he bought for the hermitage of Otero, which the Bishop did send.

In the 18th century, the most powerful hidalgos in the town were the Costillas, the Leóns, the Díezes and the Velascoes. The villa had a deposit.

         At the beginning of this century, I despised the church of Santa Marta.

            Otero de Sariegos, during the 18th century, new people arrived in the town, some to take charge of their ancestors' estates, others by marriage, and others as servants or shepherds of the neighboring landowners.

1714 The brotherhood of Jesús Nazareno This brotherhood was based in the church of San Martín, and must have emerged at the beginning of the 18th century. Thus, in 1714, in the factory book of the aforementioned parish, an inventory of liturgical objects is made and they are mentioned: " some liturgical liturgical objects in which Our Lady appears... some liturgical liturgical liturgical objects in which Jesus Nazareno appears ", from which it is deduced that since Before that year, the images of Jesus the Nazarene and of Mary who came out in the procession on Good Friday were taken out in procession.

1715 In the pastoral visit of the Bishop of Astorga he approved “ the rules and constitutions of the brotherhood that has been established again in said church (S. Martín) of Jesús de Nazareno ”,

1717 Cofradía La de la Vera Cruz, there were 45 female cofrades, although the type is not specified.

1730 Brotherhood of Jesús Nazareno or the Dulce Nombre de Jesús, belonging to the church of San Martín, which came out in the procession on Good Friday.

1735 The brothers of the Divine Shepherd of Béjar, founded hospitality in the Hospital of San Juan.

1738 There is an expense item for the festival of San Roque, which includes: " Refreshment 34 Reales. Three pounds of biscuits, a pitcher and a half of wine to the town hall and town hall the day they brought the steers ."

1744 The typical instrument of Holy Week in Villafáfila, the Trumpet, is mentioned, it is made in the accounts of the parish of San Pedro.

1751 in the reign of D. Fernando VI, the Andalusian regiment had established a company.

 The following ecclesiastical institutions owned property in Otero: The parish church of San Martín, Memoria del Licenciado Saldaña, Chaplaincy of Santa Catalina de Villafáfila, Chaplaincy of the Barrios de Villafáfila, Vínculo de don Fernando Díaz de Villafáfila, Cura de San Pedro de Villafáfila, Ecclesiastical Chapter of Villafáfila, Convent of Santiago de Zamora, San Nicolás de Benavente, Santi Spiritus de Benavente, Manuel Gómez, priest of Villarrín, San Marcos de León, Orphans of San Salvador de Villafáfila, Chaplaincy of Francisco Bueno, Monastery of Moreruela, Christ of Villarrín, Hermitage of Villarigo, Santa María la Nueva de Villafáfila, San Benito de Valladolid, Chaplaincy of San Lorenzo de Villafáfila, Don Manuel Vida de Villafáfila, Patronage of San José de Villarrín, Don Bernardo Redondo, priest of Villarrín, Don Pablo Suena ,priest of S. Salvador de Villafáfila, D. Manuel Cea priest of Otero.

1752 Otero de Sariegos the questions of the cadastre of the Ensenada are made, there were in total, in addition to the priest, 17 neighbors, with their own house, corresponding to 86 inhabitants, 49 males and 37 females, 11 are farmers, 1 day laborer, 1 baker , 1 grain merchant, 1 poor man, a shepherd and an innkeeper, and in addition 5 servants, 2 shepherds and 2 young boys, who live in the house of the masters. Only one neighbor, a native of Villarrín and who married in Otero, Don Francisco Calzada, was a hidalgo. Of the 26 adults whose origin we know, 7 were from Villafáfila, 7 from Villarrín, 5 were born in Otero and from each of the following towns: Barcial del Barco, Belver, Cerezal de la Encomienda, Quintanilla del Olmo, Riego , Santovenia and Villalba, came a neighbor. There were 19 houses and one ruined, three paneras, and, in the absence of particular eras, it was threshed in the meadows of the council. The neighbors had 823 sheep, and they leased pastures to ranchers from other places, such as Pinilla de Toro, Vezdemarbán, Abezames, etc. There were 64 oxen or farm cows, 31 donkeys, 45 pigs and 8 mares.

           The council of Otero had an annual budget of 507 reais, which it spent: 2r. to the master of the Canto de Astorga, alms 93 r. of the rogation of San Marcos. 36r the day of taking accounts.16 r. well cleaning. 4 rs of paper. 36r to the priest for the processions and votes of the council. 30 p.r. to the clerk for taking the accounts and other testimonies. 40r to the duke for the council and justice elections. 100 r of salary to the mayor and alderman for collecting distributions and trips to Zamora. R150 of wine that they spent all year.

 The neighbors paid the tithes (more or less a tenth of the yields) of everything they produced and distributed in the following way: of the lambs and of the grains, the bishop of Astorga took a third, another third the Duke of Frías , and the remaining third part the priest of Otero; and of the rest of the productions: wool, chickpeas, wine, etc., one third goes to the bishop and two thirds to the priest.

         The town of Otero belonged at that time to the Duke of Frías, to whom the lordship and vassalage corresponded, with the power to provide and appoint a mayor and a councilor every year at the proposal of the antecedents, and, given the scarceness of the neighborhood , repetition in the same positions for many years was frequent. In order to carry out the election freely, without the intervention of the Duke or his delegates, the council paid him 40 reals every year. In addition, he received 14 loads of averaged bread (wheat and barley) from the income from his lands, and they took them to Villalpando, along with the lambs that belonged to him by reason of the tithe of the parishioners, for being patron of the church.

         On April 10, the questions of the Cadastre of the Ensenada in Villafáfila are made.

1767 A file is made on rehabilitating the Salinas de Villafáfila again. The exploitation of salt after its abandonment in the times of Felipe II.

         The processions of Holy Week have varied throughout the centuries both in the days of departure and in the routes. Some were typical of parishes such as Hecce Homo, which has been coming out of the parish of El Salvador since the 18th century, doing so on the afternoon of Holy Tuesday, since in 1767 it is noted in the church accounts “ five reales that they spent refreshments with those who carried the eccehomo of Holy Tuesday in the procession ” and three years later it is mentioned that the badges were taken out in the procession of Holy Tuesday.

During the reign of Carlos III, the saltpeter from the salt flats was used to make gunpowder, building a factory where the salt was purified and potassium nitrate was extracted.

Gunpowder factory east side

Powder factory facade

1772 The Church of San Andrés disappears, after its dismantling where some objects were sold, some usable materials are destined for the church of San Pedro, taking the altarpiece and the images to said church.

            Otero de Sariegos over the years the number of residents of the town continued to grow, in the tax distribution register there are 19 residents, including the priest and a widow: In the tax distribution register of 1772 there are 19 residents, including them the priest and a widow: D. Antonio de Calzada, mayor 59 reales, Diego Bueno, alderman, 13 and a half reales, D. Francisco de Calzada, 50 and a half reales, José Ledesma, 37 and a half reales, Sebastián Vaquero, 40 reales and a half, Francisco Salagre, 18 reales and a half, Jerónimo Rodríguez, 14 reales and a half, Andrés Vaquero, 26 reales, Manuel Guayo, 27 reales and a half, Alonso Vicente, 2 reales, José Gervás, 4 reales, José Méndez, minor , 2 reales, José Méndez, mayor, 2 reales, Francisco Bueno, 2 reales, Manuel Elena, 6 reales, Francisca Méndez, 2 reales,but some neighbors such as Francisco Pascual, Isidoro Pozuelo, Matías Bueno and Juan Seijo, who for some reason (being servants in a house or being very old) do not contribute, do not appear in the census.

Otero de Sariegos, Don Francisco Calzada and his sons Antonio, Félix and Ambrosio and his grandson Manuel, initiate a lawsuit before the Royal Chancery of Valladolid, claiming from the council half of the town hall and justice offices for being hidalgos, the only family with this state in Otero (the lawsuit is joined by Don Manuel Ojero, a hidalgo from Villalobos who settled in Otero in 1777 when he married María de Calzada, Francisco's daughter). The rest of the neighbors oppose this distribution. In 1776 the court acquitted the council of the lawsuit, but the Calzadas appealed and in 1783 the sentence was revoked and it was determined that the offices of justice and regiment should be distributed, alternating each year the mayor and alderman of each state, hidalgos and pecheros.

1774 Otero de Sariegos are 21 neighbors, we do not know how many inhabitants it amounts to.

1775 The church of San Juan is abolished as a parish, becoming an annex to the church of San Martín.

1781? Disappearance of the San Juan Hospital.

1787 Otero de Sariegos, there were 98 inhabitants, 55 men, of whom 17 were married and 2 were widowed, and 43 women, of whom 17 were married and 1 was a widow. There were already two families of hidalgos, the Calzadas and the Ojeros, related to each other, who sued with the rest of the neighbors because they want half of the council positions to be in their hands, by sharing between the two states: hidalgos and pecheros .         

          The streets of Otero de Sariegos were: La Paz, Del Medio, Traviesa, Plaza, Cerrada, El Sol, La Luna.

1795 to June 9 the works of the new Factory begin the Real Factory of Salitres de Villafáfila end in 1797. This factory had five fenced places: San Pedro, Matadero, Leñera, Viñón, San Juan and Los Ruices. In the first one were the boilers for firing the salty crusts collected in the salt pans, with which the lyes and raw saltpeter were obtained.

1800 Villafáfila stops paying the rent for the land of the Moreruela Monastery.

At the beginning of the 19th century, both buttresses of the Santa María church were the same, since the ascent to the tower was made through the interior of the church. Then one of them had to be replaced by another hole, as indicated. This is confirmed by the expense items recorded in the Factory book.

1807 Years before, the church of San Juan was demolished, due to references in the San Martín factory book. Of that year.

1808 French occupation settles in Villafáfila, one of the causes was the Royal Saltpeter Factory, they remained until September 1812, causing various havoc in it, both in people and estates, as well as in the main buildings: The Duke's Palace, where The General Headquarters were established, at the village Pósito bread basket, which was looted of the few grains it had, and in private houses, at the same time in 1808 the justice and individuals of the Villafáfila Board had taken from the flows of the Factory 3,760 Reales, we do not know if to avoid its seizure by the invaders or to face one of the multiple demands for money by the Napoleonic troops. Silos were built in houses to hide grain and valuables.

1812 The Royal Saltpeter Factory stops producing saltpeter due to its negative profitability.

        The proximity of the abbey of Moreruela led to the transfer of various objects of worship and ornaments by the clergy of Villafáfila from the convent church to the parish churches of the town during the first exclaustration in the years of the War of Independence. . Thus, the parish priests of Villafáfila went to the monastery in 1812, which was abandoned, and brought several altars and images as a deposit. These situations of deposit of goods in the parishes of Villafáfila occurred again in the exclaustration of the liberal triennium.

1813. Creation of the Zamora Provincial Council that Felipe Vitacarros de Villafáfila represents for the towns of Pan.

1815 In February the Royal Saltpeter Factory is reopened, but its profitability was still impossible.

1817 The Royal Saltpeter Factory is definitively closed.

1819 There is an expense item for the festival of San Roque, : " refreshment on the eve and day of the festival and that of the attendance of the Steers reduced to Lemonade, Biscuits and Almonds".

1820 Around the beginning of the 19th century, it was already customary to gather on Palm Sunday in the church of San Martín to auction off the money given for carrying the images of Jesus, Our Lady and the crosses to ask for. In 1820 for Jesus they paid 6 bushels of bread, payable in August, 40 reais for carrying Mary and two bushels for the crosses to ask for. The following year, 120 reais are paid for Jesus and 100 for Mary.

1831 The image of Saint John and the trumpet is auctioned for the first time, in addition to those previously mentioned, so it is to be assumed that since then the Encounter ceremony will be held, and that year they are worth less: Jesús 72 R., La Virgen 33 R, S. Juan 9 R, the trumpet 9 R, and the crosses to ask for 7 reales. The image of the Virgin receives various names such as La Soledad or María.

      When the control of the municipal accounts by the provincial political authorities becomes more severe, the city council has problems getting these items approved, and in 1831 the outgoing city council asks the Mayor of Zamora for a record of the civil governor, that several items be taken into account, among them " one hundred reais of refreshments for two days in San Roque to give to the authority, priests and individuals of category, who meet for the function of steers on the day of the Saint ".

1833 First burial in the San Andrés cemetery. on June 20, Bartolomé Sastre.

1835 With the enactment of the Law of Municipal Terms, Villafáfila got the terms of La Tabla and the Refierta area to be included in his municipal term, renouncing the rights over the Sierrico.

1836 Villafáfila leaves the Señorío del Marques Távara, detaching itself from the alfoz San Agustín y Revellinos.

1843 With the confiscation, the possessions of the monasteries were put up for sale, with many residents of Villafáfila participating in the acquisitions. The Table was divided into 10 quiñones, to make their purchase more affordable, of which 8 were acquired by D. Marcelino Trabadillo, a lawyer and rapporteur, a native of Villafáfila and resident in Madrid, who also acquired the Priorato del Hoyo, also from of the monastic property, and many other real estate properties. The other two quiñones from La Tabla were bought by Antonio Rodríguez Palomino, a farmer from Villafáfila.

1844 The Royal Saltpeter Factory after the disentailment was bought by D. Marcelino Trabadillo. 

1845 The sales taxes were abolished by incorporation of these to the crown, law of 13-5-1845. Throughout the Old Regime

1852 The bullfight was held in the Small Plaza or Plaza del Reloj, and the toril was next to the girls' school, the city council approved in session that " because the toril room is next to the girls' school and is They keep the lost cattle and where the steers are locked up and the wall has fallen, which is raised at the height of the school and the house of Don Ramón Ruiz, to beautify the main square ".

           On August 20 Otero de Sariegos: A tragic event that some people still remember from family stories is the murder of Ojera. She is Mrs. Gertrudis Fidalgo, a native of Villaveza who had married in 1810 Mr. Manuel Ojero, a hidalgo from Otero, where she moved to live. They had a son, Manuel, and several daughters, Manuela, mother of the Ignacias, Josefa, mother of Las Montemolinas, and Luciana, grandmother of the Ciego. In 1837 she became a widow and married D. Rafael de León, also a widower from Otero. In 1852 when she was going from Otero to Villafáfila to see a daughter who had just given birth, she was attacked by one of her shepherds whom she had fired and killed, leaving his body lying in the field, in a trail where she appeared days later. As she did not appear, they went out to look for her, and in a ditch on the road to Villarrín they found her. They didn't know who it was, but the pastor took some silver garters that he was wearing and gave them to his girlfriend, and they caught him there. The news as it appeared in a Madrid newspaper:Gazette of the Spanish notary public.

1857 Otero de Sariegos 166 inhabitants.

1858 Throughout the Old Regime, and at least until 1858, the bulls or steers that were run were brought by the obligatory butcher, as one of the conditions for their concession. The butcher shop, like the grocery store (fishmonger) and sales in general were a council monopoly, and every year the regiment auctioned them off to the highest bidder, who was awarded the exclusive supply of meat or fish to the town, and he served his trade in the butcher shop located on the ground floor of the Town Hall. Among the conditions of the position was that of: " bring the steer bullfight and close the plaza on your own", as it appears in the contract of 1830. But the Plaza del Reloj remained small and in 1858 the butcher, in charge of bringing the steers, made a request to the City Council on August 8: " approaching the bullfight of steers for the festival of San Roque by the supplier of fresh meats, who is in charge of said bullfight, has reported not finding said bullfight, if said entertainment is not made in the Plaza Mayor, in order to avoid damage that could be caused to the cattle and particularly to all those attending said fun. It is agreed that it is in the Plaza Mayor where people will be more comfortable than in the girl ". From then on it was held in the Plaza Mayor.

1861 The image of the Ecce Homo, which paraded on Holy Tuesday, began to do so on Holy Thursday in the afternoon.

1863 The City Council was already in charge of bringing the steers, due to the enthusiasm of the people, who, if they contradicted it, could cause dire consequences. as it appears in the book of Minutes of the corporation 

1865 Already at that time it was necessary to request government permission, because in the session held by the City Council on August 9 it was noted: " Heifer bullfights and fireworks are celebrated in San Roque, it is agreed to ask the governor for permission ."

1873 The popular roots of the bullfighting at that time was so great that the neighbors did not consent to the festival missing, and, when they had doubts about its celebration, they vehemently demanded it before the City Council, especially in times of revolution when it was easy that the concentrations would lead to riots, as stated in the Minutes Book of the City Council, in the session held on August 8:

  Otero de Sariegos 153 inhabitants and 66 buildings.

1877- Otero de Sariegos 129 inhabitants.

1878 Otero de Sariegos, we know the taxpayers of 1878 who could vote in the elections, since suffrage was still not universal, and it was exercised according to certain levels of contribution: By territorial figure, D. Crisógono Costilla, farmer, domiciled on the street from La Paz, nº 3 with 81 pts., Francisco Martín, farmer, calle del Medio nº 6 with 52 pts., Felipe Gómez, tilled, calle Traviesa nº 2 with 80 pts., Gervasio Calzada, the street with 51 pts does not appear ., Juan Antonio Gómez, farmer, in Plaza nº 4 73 pts., Lucas Alonso, farmer, Traviesa 4 with 40 pts., Manuel de León, farmer, Closed 1 with 123 pts., Tomás Fidalgo, farmer, Plaza 2 with 82, Teodoro García, farmer, calle el Sol 10, with 87, Valentín Miranda, farmer, calle de la Paz 6 with 123., Hilaria Costilla appears as Hilario, and contributes with 87 pts., D.Ángel Miñambres Gómez, a parish priest who lives at Calle del Sol 6 and Marcelino Calvo Calvo, a teacher, at Calle del Medio nº 3.

1879 The City Council receives the favor of Mr. Marcelino Trabadillo, Rapporteur of Courts, son of the town and resident in Madrid, large landowner of the region, to provide the bullfight at a lower price than the real cost, and this is stated in the minutes of the 27th of July of that year

1880 The Vera Cruz that paraded on Holy Thursday stopped doing so.

1887 Otero de Sariegos 132 inhabitants.

1896 The churches of El Salvador, San Pedro and San Martín are suppressed, as an indirect effect of the Disentailment of Madoz. Being attached to that of Santa María.

1897 Otero de Sariegos148 inhabitants.

End of the 19th century, it spread through the town that the priest of San Martín wanted to sell the image of Jesús Nazareno, the most revered by the town, which meant that people gathered at the gates expressing their disappointment, carrying sickles, Tornaderas, the Civil Guard had to protect the priest, and the population was on guard in case he was sold.

1899 lightning, “ crackling ” part of the tower, being rebuilt as it can be seen today

1900 Otero de Sariegos 158 inhabitants.

20th century at the beginning of the century, without specifying the year, there was an occasion in which the consistory did not hire the steers. The day of San Roque arrived in the morning and the people crowded with excited spirits at the door of Don José Santiago, Don Pepe el Cervato , who had to go out the back, jumping over the walls, to hire the steers that ran and fought on August 17, thus establishing the festival of San Roquito. Since then, the bullfight through the field was held all day on the day of San Roque and the bullfight in the Plaza took place on the day of San Roquito.

          The Church of El Salvador and San Pedro are dismantled and part of the altars and materials are sold and the rest for the church of Santa María.

1905 Church of Santa María, the floor is paved, the 5 altar tables are made and the pulpit is arranged and placed.

1906 Last relationship we have of the Brotherhood of Jesús Nazareno or the Dulce Nombre de Jesús, belonging to the church of San Martín, which came out in the procession on Good Friday.

         Surely when the parishes disappeared at the end of the 19th century, Holy Week would be reorganized by transferring the images of San Salvador and San Pedro to Santa María. The processions, images that paraded in them were the following and acts:





Tomorrow Palm Sunday






Palm Sunday Afternoon

Image Auction





Holy Tuesday




Holy Thursday afternoon

Ecce Homo




Good Friday morning Jesus Nazarene, Mary and Saint John Meeting
Good Friday afternoon Urn and Solitude Entombment

The Buttresses of the Church of Santa María are placed and the actual works of its extension begin, raising the two side chapels from their foundations to the cornice, suspending the works due to lack of funds.

1908 The two chapels are covered and the two lateral doors of the church of Santa María are made.

The Bishopric of Astorga buys a valuable altar for 2,500 pts. where some tables were found that represented the temptations of San Antonio in the church of Santa María. Today it is in the museum of the Bishopric of Astorga.

Life of San Antonio, part of the Altarpiece of San Antonio, today in the Museum of the Bishopric of Astorga.

1909 The two doors are placed, the two side chapels of the church of Santa María are vaulted.

         May 25. A great storm was unleashed, accompanied by a veritable deluge of hail and water. The violence of the rain brought down the roof of a modest house, burying two women, mother and daughter, in the rubble. Neighbors came to the aid and were able to save them, with no more than a few light bruises.

1910 The tower of the church is finished.

   In the population in fact ascended:

























Swaroop Index 45








Four. Five



  Of the 278 children born in the five-year period 1911-1915, 66 died before their first birthday.

1911 The gates of the church are made.

1912 The large arch of the choir is built, along with its walls, the high vaults up to the main altar, and the choir and what remains of the church to be parquet are laid.

1913 The Sociedad Benéfico Obrera is founded, "La Benéfica" as it is popularly known, it was a workers' mutual aid union, in order to provide economic assistance to mainly agricultural workers and shepherds in times of difficulty and to subsidize the expenses of the burial of full members. (March 11) which is when its statutes are drafted and presented to the Civil Government for approval in accordance with the Associations Law of 1887, in force, (March 12).

 The promoters gathered an assembly on Three Kings Day and agreed to the constitution of the company and sent a letter to the Bishop of Astorga (January 9) informing him of it and asking him to accept the honorary presidency

 The Board of Directors consisted of the President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer or Depositary, and 4 collector members, one per quarter. In order to be elected, you had to be over 25 years old, have been a member for at least one year and be able to read and write, with the positions being mandatory, honorary and free.

 A standard-bearer was also chosen to carry the banner and a bailiff-crier.

The society had a chest with three keys to store money, debt obligations and documents, which remained in the possession of the depositary. He had to give a detailed account to the president, and every two months to the board of directors and every 4 months to the general meeting of the state of the funds.

The first year, Don Luis Trabadillo, Don Ramón Costilla and Don José Santiago, the three rich neighbors of the town, already entered as protective partners.

 Two evenings of the play were held, on May 15 and 16, and 80 pesetas were collected.

 The patronage of San Isidro Labrador is established, and already in 1914 the cost of mass and wax for the day of San Isidro is recorded.

The balustrade of the choir, the door of the same and the doors and gates are put.

1914 The Royal Factory had been reformed into a flour factory by D. Luis Trabadillo, an activity to which he dedicated himself for almost half a century.

flour factory

1915 The presbytery is arranged, the wooden plinth of the main altar is placed and its window is made.

1916 It is agreed to print the regulations of the Charity so that each member has one, paying the corresponding cost. 200 copies are printed at Gráficas Unidas de Benavente at a cost of 14 pesetas.

1918 It is established that in order for the Charity members to find out when one of them dies, 12 chimes of the town hall clock will be rung, in addition to the proclamation.

1921 Finding of the Treasure of Villafáfila by Vicente Fernández Rodríguez (Patadicas), delivered to the Provincial Museum as a deposit until the means for the acquisition by the State or by the Museum itself were arbitrated.

1922 Return of the objects to their owner, finding the treasure of Villafáfila at his request, as the means for its acquisition had not yet been obtained.

         Until then, 15 pesetas were paid to the Charity for each coffin, from then on 30 pesetas were given.

1923 The Provincial Museum of Zamora acquired the treasure of Villafáfila, charged to the allocation for the material of the Center itself, paying for them a price of one hundred twenty-five pesetas requested by the finder, with which the lot of pieces definitely entered the Zamora Museum.

         The low ceiling of the choir of the church of Santa María is made.

  Charity: Visit of the Bishop of Astorga: they agreed that the day before the partners be notified by proclamation that they all present themselves to receive it. 

1924 Benéfica agreed that members over 50 years of age would pay 5 pesetas to enter and those over sixty 10 pesetas and would not be entitled to aid the first year.

1929 Benéfica agrees to make some medals or badges on one side will be Sociedad Benéfico-Obrera de Villafáfila and on the other side San Isidro Labrador. They cost 120 pesetas.

        October 31, The Minister of Finance, Mr. Calvo Sotelo: the mayor and secretary of Villafáfila, has been visited to discuss the distribution of profits.

1930 Benefica, the daily allowance for sickness is raised to 1.5 pesetas.

1931 December 21. Workers affiliated with the Casa del Pueblo abandoned the road construction work, forcing non-members to follow them; Between them they add up to 150. The attitude of the socialists is due to their opposition to working together with the unaffiliated workers. They have promised to resume work when they associate. For not having reached an agreement, the spirits are extremely excited, fearing incidents.

1932 January 20. A motorized pump with eight firefighters has left for Villafáfila to see if they can put out an apparently intentional fire at the D. Agustín Larrincain flour factory. The town is 53 km from the capital, and it is believed that the factory will have burned down completely, because the fire started very early.

               Otero de Sariegos: In the town of Otero de Sariegos they had some love affairs, which were cut off some time ago. Ermelo de León Herreros and Damiana de León, aged twenty-two and seventeen, respectively. Damiana, who lives with her father and her brother, refused to resume the relationship, which Ermelo required with great tenacity. Today taking advantage of the absence of relatives. Ermelo entered Damiana's house and after a violent scene, he pulled a revolver from her, with which he fired four shots at her, killing her instantly. After placing himself next to her corpse, he fired two shots at himself, which left him lifeless. He has left a letter in which he explains his resolution. The people are in shock. September 21, 1932 published in the Heraldo de Madrid.

1934 A rammed earth bullring was built in the Prado de los Llamares, the remains of which still exist.

            Charitable, during the years of the republic the festival of San Isidro is maintained, thus it is approved in 1934.

1935 August 21. A fire broke out, destroying José del Teso's house. He and his wife suffered severe burns, and José was admitted to the hospital. The Zamora firefighters came. Losses are calculated at 35,000pts.

          16 October. Transporting a José Ferrero mowing machine. The mules spooked him, capsizing, catching José under him. He fractured his spine, and was admitted to the hospital, in a very serious condition.

1936 -1939 The civil war was very traumatic for the inhabitants of Villafáfila, since 38 people died during it.

1939 Charity: entrance fees are updated: between 18 and 30 years old 10 pesetas; between 30 and 40, 15 pesetas, and more than 40 will not be accepted.

1940 Charity: each partner pays 75 cºs per month, and 3 pesetas are given as a daily subsidy. and it is agreed that between 18 and 40 years old pay 3 pesetas up front, and those over 40 years old will not be admitted.

1950 One of the traditions linked to the bulls was the custom of asking for them on Santiago's day at the door of the mayor. The day before at night the craftsmen and servants who were in full harvesting task came to sleep at home and at night they stayed to sleep in the threshing floors. On the 25th, people went out into the street with cowbells to ask for the bulls in the streets, intoning couplets and songs composed for that purpose, with a jot rhythm, some of whose lyrics are preserved. when people gathered asking for the bulls at the door of the mayor, Valentín Rodríguez, he threw a piece of adobe from the window against the attendees and the show ended.

         Charity: they spend 9 dozen rockets and one of bombs and the maximum entry age is changed again and number members are admitted from 18 to 45 years, at 10 pesetas, the fees can enter at any age.

1951 Charity: it is agreed that members over 65 years of age who are covered by the national old-age subsidy will be paid a single month's total relief, and those who are not covered will continue to be paid according to the regulations.

1952 The Archconfraternity of the Heart of Mary invites the Beneficial Society to the religious acts that are celebrated on May 22, it is agreed by a majority of the general meeting (president Luis Gallego) that all the partners will attend under a fine of 5 pts.

         Charity: it is agreed to pay all members over 65, sick or not, the amount of 180 pesetas every year, as if they were sick for a month.

1953 Manuel de León "Ensillao" died, attributing death to a blow from the ox while he was asleep, they were a servant of Santiago Gómez.

1957 The Sociedad Benéfica Obrera is registered in the Special Registry of Montepíos and Mutualities of the Ministry of Finance, as a mutual entity with the capacity of social security and financial aid to its associates. That year, invitation expenses for musicians, directors and partners were already recorded at 70 pesetas and fees were raised to 10 pesetas per quarter and the subsidy to 12 pesetas per day. New regulations are printed at the Pertejo Printing House in Zamora.

1959 A deep repair of the church of San Martín was attempted, almost all of it was demolished, the south and east walls were demolished, both raised to half height, the works were suspended due to lack of means. That was collapsing in the following years.

         Holy Week undergoes changes in images and processions, Solitude from Friday afternoon passes to Saturday night leaving only women, procession of solitude, on Sunday with the image of El Salvador and the Virgen del Carmen, procession of the Encounter. it's done like that:

Morning of Palms   bouquets
Palm Sunday afternoon image auction  
Afternoon Holy Thursday Ecce Homo Penance
Tomorrow Good Friday Jesus, Mary and Saint John Meeting
Good Friday afternoon Anguish, Urn, Sorrows Entombment
Holy Saturday night Loneliness Loneliness
Resurrection Sunday The Savior and Virgin of Carmen Meeting

1960 As of this year in the town, a great transformation is taking place in the agricultural exploitations: use of the tractor, the animals used for the cultivation, mules, horses, oxen are disappearing for said activity, contribution of mineral fertilizers and the incorporation of new seed varieties.

1960-1970 In these decades there is a great emigration of people to work in the main cities of the country, Madrid, Barcelona, ​​Bilbao, also to Germany, France and Belgium. That will also continue in the following decades to a lesser extent.

1961 The San Andrés Cemetery is closed, located in the place occupied by the old church of that name, the last buried was that of Julio Valverde Santa Cirila on July 22.

         July 25 The new cemetery of Santa Isabel is inaugurated, which is on the road to the Table, which is municipal, blessed on July 25 and three days later his first burial took place, that of Victoriano del Teso Miguélez.

1964 March 31, the Benevolent Board of Directors agreed that the party that had been taking place on the day of San Isidro would be moved to the day of San José Obrero with the same uses and customs that had been taking place. The partners ratified it in assembly. Quotas of 5 pesetas per month, a fine of 75 for those who do not attend funerals and assistance of 20 pesetas per day, maintaining as always the ratio of 4:1 between the daily assistance and the monthly fee.

1965 Lawsuit caused by the town councils of Granja and Villarrín, la Tabla and la Recierta were lost.

1966 It becomes dependent on the Bishopric of Zamora.

            May 27. Improvement of the pavement on the road from Villafáfila to Manganeses.

1967 Benéfica agreed that whoever died and had not received a subsidy a year before, would be given a monthly payment of 600 pesetas (corresponding to one month of subsidy).

1972 A Controlled Hunting Zone of 2854hac was created. which included the dried up Laguna de Salinas and the main lagoons in the municipalities of Villafáfila, Revellinos and Villarrín de Campos.

         The agrarian concentration is carried out, which supposes a great improvement for the farmer, it is passed to much larger farms from the 8,790 farms, it is passed to 1,320.

        The Ministry of the Interior issued DECREE 2052/72, of July 17, approving the Incorporation of the Municipality of Otero de Sariegos to that of Villafáfila , published in the Official State Gazette on July 26, 1972 and the Official Gazette of the Province of Zamora on August 7, 1972, and the resolution of the file was sent to the Civil Government of Zamora on September 7, 1972.

        On December 12, the Order of December 12, 1972 was issued, which agreed to abolish the Otero de Sariegos Justice of the Peace, passing on to the Villafáfila court, which took charge of the documentation and archive of the suppressed Justice of the Peace .

Sariegos Knoll

  Benefica raises the fee to 30 pts. fees at 25 pts. the fine for missing meetings is 25, and for funerals 180p, delays in payment are penalized with 10 pesetas and patients are paid 180 per day.

1976 Charity: 24 regular members and 38 honorary members appear in the accounts, and that year the flag was changed, a subscription was made for it among the members who put 100 and 200 pesetas for its acquisition. 

1978 Charity: 22 numeraries and 43 honoraries appear.

1979 Democratic local elections, Mayor D. Marcelino Trabadillo for UCD.

scrutinized 100.00%
Total Councilors 7
Census 655
votes cast 479
abstentions 176
blank ballots 0
invalid votes 7
Matches Councilors Votes %
UCD 4 275 58.26
PSOE 3 197 41.74




1980 Creation of the Villafáfila Football Club, playing in the second regional.

Villafáfila Football Club Shield

Villafafila Football Club Team

1981 D. Marcelino Trabadillo resigns as mayor and is replaced by D. Isidro Domínguez Calzada for UCD.

1983 Local Elections, Mayor D. Luis Gallego Cañibano for the PSOE.

1984 Disappearance of the Villafáfila Football Club.

         The running of the bulls in the countryside is resumed.

1986 The Junta de Castilla y León law 1/1986 of March 31 with said law the former Ministry of Agriculture created the Lagunas de Villafáfila National Hunting Reserve.

         The new Town Hall was built in the likeness of the previous one.

1987 Local elections, Mayor D. Luis Fernando Fidalgo Montero for the PP. in coalition with the CDS.




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1988 The neighbor Víctor Gómez Fernández was caught by the cattle and it caused several fractures in his femur.

1989 The Reserve becomes part of a ZEPA Special Protection Area for Birds. It also becomes part of the RAMSAR Convention.

  Charity: with Jesús Rodríguez de la Granja as president, the Company is dissolved and administratively liquidated as Mutual Social Security. In a general process of dissolution of numerous entities created since ancient times for the same or similar purposes as the charity.

1990 February 20, an Order of the Ministry of Finance is published in the BOE to revoke the administrative authorization, dissolution and administrative intervention in the liquidation of the entity called "Sociedad Benéfico Obrera de Villafáfila" (MPS 2392). A State Comptroller is appointed who carries out the appropriate procedures.

1991 Local elections, Mayor D. Luis Fernando Fidalgo Montero for the PP.




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          June 4, the Order of April 25 of that year is published in the bulletin in which the Extinction of the Villafáfila Workers' Benevolent Society is declared and its cancellation from the Special Registry of Insurance Entities is proceeded.

1992 Charity: nine partners had 10,500 pts on loan from the company. each.

1993 Beginning of the construction of the Interpretation Center and Fauna Park "El Palomar"

         The Brotherhood of Christ of Mercy is constituted.

1994 D. Luis Fernando Fidalgo Montero resigns as mayor and is replaced by D. Antonio Ruiz García from the PP.

         Holy Week increases one more day with the procession of silence of the Brotherhood of Christ of Mercy, thus remaining Holy Week:

Morning of Palms   bouquets
Palm Sunday afternoon image auction  
Holy Wednesday Night Christ of Mercy Of Silence (Brotherhood of Christ of Mercy)
Afternoon Holy Thursday Ecce Homo Penance
Tomorrow Good Friday Jesus, Mary and Saint John Meeting
Good Friday afternoon Anguish, Urn and Sorrows Entombment
Holy Saturday night Loneliness Loneliness
Resurrection Sunday The Savior and Virgin of Carmen Meeting

1995 Local elections, Mayor D. Antonio Valverde Rodríguez, for the PP.




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         Inauguration of the Interpretation Center and Fauna Park "El Palomar".

1996 April. There are demonstrations for wanting the Ministry of Education to remove a large part of the courses from the Villafáfila school, for four days the Interpretation Center was invaded by the population as a measure of pressure. The courses were not removed when the general elections took place that year and the political party changed.

The former Lagunas de Villafáfila National Hunting Reserves are renamed Lagunas de Villafáfila Regional Hunting Reserve with Law 4/1996 of July 12 on Hunting in Castilla y León.

Big Lagoon

1997 Visit of his HR the Prince of Asturias D. Felipe de Borbón. came to Villafáfila to see the Interpretation Center and Fauna Park, taking a tour of the center, which reproduces the ecosystems of the Lagunas de Villafáfila Natural Reserve

1999 Local elections, Mayor D. Antonio Valverde Rodríguez, for the PP.




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2000 The Reserve becomes part of the Natura 2000 Network, as a Special Protection Area for Birds (ZEPA) and as a Site of Community Interest (SCI). All the lagoons of the lagoon complex were included in the Catalog of Humid Areas of Castilla y León.

         The Descent in Holy Week is recovered by the Brotherhood of Christ of Mercy, after more than five decades without representing, it is only represented in leap years.

Morning of Palms   bouquets
Palm Sunday afternoon Easter Proclamation  
Palm Sunday afternoon image auction  
Holy Wednesday Night Christ of Mercy Of Silence (Brotherhood of Christ of Mercy)
Afternoon Holy Thursday Ecce Homo Penance
Tomorrow Good Friday Jesus, Mary and Saint John Meeting
Tomorrow Good Friday Descent - Urna and Soledad (leap years)
Good Friday afternoon Urn, Pains and Anguish Entombment
Holy Saturday night Loneliness Loneliness
Resurrection Sunday The Savior and Virgin of Carmen Meeting

         The new part of the main square is built.

2001 The entire roof of the church is renovated, a new sacristy is made from which the bell tower is accessed, the old rise that was on a buttress is annulled and filled. It is provided with heating.

            Charity: under the presidency of Agapito Ovejero, new statutes are drawn up, in which all the partners are honorary.

2003 Local elections, Mayor Dñª. Berta Susana de Caso Bausela for the PSOE, in coalition with the UPZ.




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2005 DECREE 7/2005, of January 13, approving the Natural Resources Management Plan of the Lagunas de Villafáfila Natural Area (Zamora).

         On March 31, an extraordinary plenary session is convened, summoning the assistance of the people with general interest in its 2nd point “Approval of the Specifications of Solar Disposal for the Construction of a Senior Residence.

            Benefic listed 83 members.

2006 Law 6/2006, of July 5 , declaring the Lagunas de Villafáfila Natural Reserve.

            Charitable only 63 installments are charged and 55 attend the meal.

2007 May 10, a public presentation is made about the Residence, in the Town Hall assembly hall, with an exhibition of plans, where its services are explained. To this date there is nothing built.

         Local elections, Mayor Dñª. Berta Susana de Caso Bausela for the PSOE, in coalition with the UPZ.




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          Creation of the Brotherhood of the Virgin of Sorrows (La Dolorosa).

          The Villafáfila Celebration Commission (COFEVI) did not present the accounts for 2007.

2008 1st Procession of the Brotherhood of the Virgen de los Dolores (La Dolorosa), which parades on Good Friday in the afternoon, together with the Urn and Angustias.

         The Villafáfila festivities are left without attractions due to an incident between an operator and a tombolero, which was followed by an argument with the City Council, with the result that the tomboleros decide to leave and will not return until the people who are mayor change. There was an incident, when he was firing the rockets, five bombs were fired at the operator at the same time and they ended up at the priest's house, smashing the window and entering a room. A portable bullring was used for the first time.

          The Villafáfila Celebration Commission (COFEVI) did not present the accounts for 2008.

          The flour factory, currently the site where it is located has been sold, floors are being built, most of the factory has been derived, only the area of ​​the machines remains, to create a small museum.

2009 The residence project by the Residencia las Salinas association has failed to meet the execution deadlines and has been asked to return the site to the municipality,

 On April 10, the Villafáfila Festivities Commission (COFEVI), together with the town hall, gives a list of accounts for 2008, with a debt of approximately €18,000, leaving the musical performances of the night unpaid.

 April 11, Creation of the Pro-Holy Week Board of Villafáfila.

           1st conference on Holy Week in Villafáfila, organized by the Pro-Holy Week Board of Villafáfila, where it was exhibited

  •  Holy Week in past times in Villafáfila, by Mr. Elías Rodríguez Rodríguez.

  •  Presentation of the Pro-Easter Board

  •  Passage of old photographs of Holy Week and 2008. By Mr. José Luis Domínguez Martínez.

          The Church of Santa María del Moral is painted entirely from the inside.

          September, the site of the stop, which had been alienated for the residence project, has been returned to the City Council, after non-compliance with the execution deadlines.

          Inaugurated on December 11, the Environmental Classroom and its dining room also serves as a social dining room for those over 60 years of age.

2010 March 28, Palm Sunday, the 1st Proclamation of Holy Week is read by Ms. María Marcos Salvador, Villa's natural daughter, and director of the Intelligence Center against Organized Crime (CICO). Promoted by the Pro-Easter Board of Villafáfila

         April 1, Holy Thursday, the procession of Santa Vera Cruz, disappeared at the end of the 19th century, is recovered, maintaining the traditional features, and including that its bearers were dressed in the Castilian cape, it was carried by men and women at the end of the procession He gave a glass of lemonade and a pastry in memory of the old parva. Promoted by the Pro-Easter Board of Villafáfila. This is how Easter is:

Morning of Palms   bouquets
Palm Sunday afternoon Easter Proclamation  
Palm Sunday afternoon image auction  
Holy Wednesday Night Christ of Mercy Of Silence (Brotherhood of Christ of Mercy)
Afternoon Holy Thursday Ecce Homo Penance
Afternoon Holy Thursday Vera Cruz Santa Vera Cruz
Tomorrow Good Friday Jesus, Mary and Saint John Meeting
Tomorrow Good Friday Descent - Urna and Soledad (leap years)
Good Friday afternoon Urn, Pains and Anguish Holy Burial (Brotherhood of Sorrows)
Holy Saturday night Loneliness Loneliness
Resurrection Sunday The Savior and Virgin of Carmen Meeting

         On July 3 and 4, an agri-food fair is held in memory of the one that was held annually on the date of Santa Isabel (June 18), which then consisted of products for agriculture and livestock.

2011 April 11, D. Volusiano Calzada Fidalgo, natural son of the Villa, missionary of the Divine Word.... gave the proclamation of Holy Week.

         May 22, local elections, the PP obtained the absolute majority with 271 by 188 of the PSOE.


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         June 11 inauguration of the new mayor, Mr. José Ángel Ruiz Rodríguez of the PP.

         June 12 II farm fair held in the Plaza Mayor.

         June 14 Mr. José Ángel Ruiz Rodríguez mayor of Villafáfila is elected Deputy for the area, he was elected by a majority of the councilors against the candidacy headed by the mayor of Villanueva del Campo, Manuel Febrero. The result of the vote was 53 votes for the deputy elected against 36 councilors in February.

         Fiestas de San Roque, the tomboleros and attractions return due to the change of mayor.


        Repair of the road that goes from Villafáfila to La Tabla

        The proclamation of Holy Week is offered by Mr. Miguel Martín Vega, son of the town.


      January 28. Junta de Castilla y León begins an archaeological excavation in the Villafáfila salt flats aimed at obtaining new findings on its prehistoric exploitation. The company Aratikos Archaeologists S. L is in charge of the works, which have a budget of 65,000 euros. The research will focus on Molino Sanchón, an enclave located a short distance from the town of Villafáfila where the oldest salt exploitation discovered in the area is located, dating from between 2300 and 2000 BC.

      March 24th. Mr. Ulpiano Caldero Pintado Crier of Holy Week, son of the people, teacher who has taught in Madrid and an active collaborator of Holy Week, even acting as an auctioneer.

      May 1. The Workers' Benevolent Society popularly known as the "BENÉFICA", celebrates its first century of existence, 1913 - 2013, the celebration began with its members staying at the gates of the City Hall, where they were presented with a badge, an old replica, enlivened with a brass band and rockets, they celebrated a mass like every year, presiding over the act the flag with the inscription of the Society, followed by a meal at the Mesón Las Lagunas de Villafáfila. Mr. Elías Rodríguez Rodríguez, a member of the society and historian of Villafáfila, gave a talk on what La Benéfica had been in these 100 years, with the exhibition of the existing documentation throughout its years. To finish, its members finished the celebration with a snack enlivened by the charanga.

      On July 16, a small fair is held in the Plaza Mayor, with exhibitors of all kinds, crafts and handmade food products.

      August 7th. VII Popular Cross of Villafáfila is celebrated, with the participation in the queen category of 100 runners, increasing the participation with respect to the previous year.

      The running of the bulls in El Campo, which since the mid-1980s, has changed the day of celebration before it was the Sunday before the San Roque festivities, to the last day of celebration on August 17 in the afternoon, with a large influx of people and recovery of assistance with horses, which years ago had almost stopped participating.

      Villafáfila has the highest population density of the Great Bustard in the world with about 2000 specimens.

      In winter, the presence of Greylag Geese (legs) in Villafáfila, the second lowest in the last 25 years.


      8 January. Villafafileña María Marcos Salvador spent yesterday her first day of work in León as the new provincial chief commissioner.  

     9 January. 2014 The former mayor of Villafáfila, Susana de Caso, gave a statement yesterday in the Villalpando court as accused of a possible crime of document falsification that could have occurred during her term as head of the City Council.

      February 2. The number of geese that have arrived this year at the Lagunas de Villafáfila to spend the winter stands at 10,000 copies, a number below the average recorded in recent years, when they reached 25,000 copies.

      February 6. The municipal secretary of the Villafáfila City Council, Miguel Ángel Haedo, and the socialist councilor Marina García Montero, yesterday gave a statement in the Villalpando courts as part of the open proceedings to investigate a possible crime of false documents under the mandate of the previous mayor, Susana of Case.

The  Villafáfila Lagoons Natural Reserve Park House  received 12% more visitors in 2013 than the previous year, reaching  18,581 people .

      March 6 The town of Villafáfila has maintained its dissemination through the Internet for a decade. This is how long the virtual portal has been running, promoted by a resident of the town in a private capacity, José Luis Domínguez Martínez, in which it collects all kinds of content related to the town.

      March 13, Ornithology lovers have one more reason to go to the Villafáfila lagoons these days because the unusual presence of a pair of flamingos allows them to capture rosy images that constitute an exception in the most important natural birdlife area in the province.

       April 11. The dovecots are the protagonists of a photography exhibition that is exhibited in the Villafáfila Town Hall assembly hall and was inaugurated in the morning. The exhibition entitled "Curiosities of the pigeon houses of Villafáfila and Otero de Sariegos" is directed by José Luis Domínguez and organized by the Consistory itself and the website, with the collaboration of Adri Palomares and the Caja Rural Scientific Foundation.

       April 13. D. Elías Rodríguez Rodríguez, town crier of Holy Week, son of the people, doctor, and great historian of Villafáfila.

Zamora is at the forefront of design with the proposals of two young professionals who have been set by the Association of Graphic Designers and Art Directors, a Catalan entity that each year announces one of the most prestigious awards in the sector, the renowned international.

      April 24, Villafáfileño Fernando Aparicio Galende will attend the Laus Awards gala to be held in Barcelona on June 26, where they will compete in the categories of Packaging and Final Study Project in graphic design, respectively. Simply by being nominated they already have a guaranteed prize, now it only remains to wait how far they can climb in the awards ceremony. He has seen how his final year project can give him added joy. Based on the new concept of the "new ugly", a visual trend that began as a way of designing in northern Europe and has spread throughout the world, the Zamorano has published a book that analyzes for the first time this concept that wonders about the definition of beauty. "Conversations about the new ugly", that's the name of the book, It also exemplifies this new trend with its design and has already been on sale in the bookstores of national museums as prestigious as the Reina Sofía in Madrid or the Contemporary Art Museum in Barcelona, ​​selling more than 75 copies, «a high number, considering account the specifics of the subject”, recognizes Galende. “These awards are among the most prestigious in the sector, like the Goyas in Spanish cinema,” thanks the Zamorano.

      April 25 San Macros: the descendants of Otero celebrate their feast with a mass procession and all together a small drink.

       May 1. with this it is 101 years, the Workers' Benevolent Society celebrates its party



Jose Luis Dominguez Martinez.




Elias Rodriguez Rodriguez:


History of salt mines in the Villafáfila lagoons.

Zamora: Institute of Zamoran Studies "Florián de Ocampo", 2000. ISBN 84-86873-87-8.


The Concord of Villafáfila. June 27, 1506.

Institute of Zamorano Studies, Florián de Campo. 2006.


Manuel de la Granja Alonso:


Villafáfila: History and actuality of a Castilian Leonese villa. nineteen ninety six.


Manuel de la Granja Alonso:


The Art of a Castilian-Leonese Villafáfila 2008.


Jose Luis Dominguez Martinez.

Data and personal work



Elijah Rodriguez Rodriguez.

Manuel de la Granja Alonso.

Jose Luis Dominguez Martinez.


Transcription and montage:

Jose Luis Dominguez Martinez.


All text, photographs, transcription and montage, their rights belong to their authors, any type of use is prohibited without authorization.


All text and photography has been authorized for storage, treatment, work, transcription and assembly to José Luis Domínguez Martínez, its dissemination on, and any other means that is authorized.