Tordesillas, more than just where Spain and Portugal divided up the world



Discover Tordesillas, where a crucial page of world history was written. This is where Portugal and Spain signed the famous Treaty of Tordesillas, dividing up the new lands being discovered in America and Africa. For many years, the streets of Tordesillas were frequented by royalty. Today, they retain something of their old medieval flavour. Why not pay us a visit? There is so much more to discover.

Tordesillas is in the central area of Spain, 20 minutes from Valladolid and less than two hours from Madrid. A city of great historical importance, there are many reasons why it is worth getting to know. It is set on the banks of the Duero River, in surroundings of outstanding natural beauty. Stately homes and palaces bear witness to the importance once held by the court in the life of the town. Tordesillas is a fascinating town whose place in history is secure for two reasons: firstly, because after a series of difficult negotiations, Spain and Portugal met here to sign the Treaty of Tordesillas. This agreement drew a line in the Atlantic Ocean dividing the new lands which were being discovered in Africa and America between the two powers. The second reason is rather more romantic: after the death of her husband, Queen Juana I, known as "Juana la Loca" (Mad Juana) because she was said to have been driven crazy by love, retired to Tordesillas in 1509. She remained there in a palace-fortress until her death in 1555. A visit to Tordesillas brings this fascinating period of Spanish history to life.

The Museo del Tratado (Treaty Museum) contains everything related to the historic agreement between Spain and Portugal. It is housed in the same 15th-century buildings where the treaty was actually signed. A step-by-step audiovisual display (translated into a variety of languages) takes you through the geographical, political and social background of the period. The objects on display include books, documents, navigation instruments and maps. The tourist office also organises unusual tours and visits in which actors bring to life some of the historic events which have taken place in the town.

But Tordesillas does not only take you back in time. There are also plenty of other, different activities available for you to enjoy in the town and the beautiful surrounding countryside: hiking, horse-riding and biking routes are just some of the possibilities. If you like adventure, how about a microlight flight giving you a bird's-eye view of the landscape? Or, if you prefer sports, there are golf courses and clay pigeon shooting ranges nearby. Come and discover this part of the province of Valladolid. Tordesillas, for many years a favourite of the nobility, now offers visitors a wide range of activities and is ready and waiting to be discovered.

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