again — sorry about the lack of photos. our experience with Carrión de los Condes, after two soggy days of hiking, largely involved being inside drying out and reading books on the rather-uncomfortable bed. but, in spite of that, the town has a rather interesting history. usual highlights: strategic position, volatile history, Muslims vs. Christians, Roman roots. less-common highlights: link to El Cid (real or fictionalized), fraternal fighting, and an impressive peak population of 10,000.
the earliest settlements occupied land somewhat to the north of where the town stands now, using the nearby hills as natural defenses and (the Visigoths) as location for tombs. following an early 8th century conquest, the Moors built a castle (now the site of a church) which fell to Alonso Carreño (who changed his name to Carrión) several years before the end of that same century. from then the town flourished as an economic and agricultural center, boasting that large population (many of whom, as elsewhere along the Camino, were Jewish).
as do other nearby towns, Carrión has a history with El Cid. Alfonso VI (king of León) took refuge here after his brother, Sancho III (king of Castilla), defeated him and from Carrión ordered Sancho’s assassination; this did not go over well with most Castillians and El Cid in particular. to further tarnish the relationship between Castilla and León, in the epic poem recounting the tale of El Cid the dishonorable men who married and mistreated El Cid’s daughters came from Carrión. in light of the behavior of those fictional villains the town is known as “de los Condes.”