The Toros de Guisando are one of the most famous and historic stone sculptures in the town of El Tiemblo, just a few minutes drive from our Hotel, La Posada del Agua. So if you are thinking of spending a few days with us or visiting the vicinity of the reservoir of El Burguillo, we are going to know what are the Toros de Guisando and its history, as well as some tips to visit this popular enclave and enjoy this point of tourist and cultural interest.
What are the Toros de Guisando: the true story behind their enigma?
The story behind the famous Toros de Guisando, the group of four sculptures located in El Tiemblo, is partly a great mystery. There are many theories about the true origin of these granite stone sculptures, considered to be an Asset of Cultural Interest, which form part of the Vetton culture, and which are believed to date from between the 4th and 2nd centuries BC, representing bulls or boars.
The creators of the monuments were the Vettones. An ancient Iberian people inhabiting the area, whose territory extended over the provinces of Ávila, Zamora, Toledo, Segovia, Cáceres, Salamanca and Madrid.
These sculptures are in a north-south alignment, pointing towards the sunset and in the direction of Mount Guisando. They are more than 2.6 metres long and 1.5 metres high, and have a base and several holes into which cow horns fit.
According to some experts, they may have been created at this site because it was considered a site of great importance to the Vettones.
Another hypothesis suggests that the sculptures were erected as a monument to protect livestock, since it is known that they were a warrior people dedicated to livestock-raising activities. There is also another theory that their creation could be related to the delimitation of the area between the villages. But the most accepted hypothesis so far is that they were created as a religious symbol.
Another historical landmark that has made these sculptures famous was the signing of the Treaty of the Bulls of Guisando, in 1468, between King Henry IV of Castile and his sister Isabella (later Isabella I “the Catholic”) proclaiming her Princess of Asturias and heir to the throne of Castile. It seems that this was a common crossroads at the time, and that Queen Isabella sometimes spent the night at the Monastery of Guisando, on the hillside opposite the monument.
The Toros de Guisando agreements, signed between Isabella I of Castile, “The Catholic”, and her half-brother, King Henry IV of Castile, were named after this spot. Although there is no evidence that it was chosen because the site of the monuments was considered to have any religious value.
Tips for visiting the Toros de Guisando and how to get there
To get to Toros de Guisando from Madrid, you can take the M501 road, take the N-403 after passing San Martín de Valdeiglesias and turn at km 83 onto the AV904 road in Ávila.
To get to the Toros de Guisando you can take the road to El Tiemblo, Ávila, in the direction of Soltillo de Grada. But if you are coming from Madrid, you can take the M501 road and turn towards the AV904 road in Avila.
From our Hotel, it is only 11 minutes away by car, as we show you in this route.
The area of these monuments is located near the bed of the Tórtolas stream, located between Madrid and Castilla y León. The area is open on the first three Wednesdays of each month, as well as Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays.
The opening hours vary in summer and winter seasons, as in winter the entrance is until 18:00 hours (in summer it is allowed until 21:00 hours). In any case, we will be happy to inform you of the best times to visit and other activities you can see during your visit.
Admission is free on the first Wednesday and Friday of each month, while on other days it costs 2 euros.However, children under the age of 14 enjoy free admission, as long as they are accompanied by an adult. Please note that you can find info and book at https://www.torosdeguisando.org/ and by writing to firstname.lastname@example.org.
As a complement to the visit to the Bulls, you can visit the ruins of the Monastery of San Jerónimo de Guisando (from the 14th century) and enjoy walking through the church, the cloister and its romantic gardens. To visit the monastery you have to book on the same website, where there are two types of guided tours: a three-hour walk up from Los Toros, for 10€/person, or you can take a car for 12.50€/person.
And if you want to rest and relax, you can do so at La Posada del Agua, our sustainable rural hotel on the El Burguillo reservoir.