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Urueña-La Villa del Libro (Booktown)

Several images of the town of Urueña

The medieval town of Urueña is located in what once was the border between the kingdoms of Castilla and León, in Tierra de Campos. A large defensive wall attempts to protect the village from the wind on top of a hill.

Urueña’s recent history begins with Joaquín Díaz and his arrival to this village. In 1985 the Joaquín Díaz Ethnographic Center was created, its final location was inaugurated in 1991 and in 1994 the Fundación Joaquín Díaz was created.

In addition to the collections (prints, chapbooks, musical instruments, library and music library) available both to visitors and researchers at the offices of the Foundation in Urueña, you can also visit the Bell Collection (Colección de Campanas), the Urueña Museum of Music (Museo de la Música de Urueña) which displays part of Luis Delgado’s collection of musical instruments from all over the world, and the Gramophone Museum. (Some of the collections may be visited by appointment only).

Since Joaquín Díaz’s arrival to town, many others followed. Those include the Artisan Bookbinding Workshop of Urueña (Taller de Encuadernación Artesanal de Urueña) and Alcaraván bookstore (which turned Urueña into the smallest village in Spain with a bookstore).

It was not until 2007 when Urueña became the first booktown in Spain by means of the Diputación de Valladolid (Provincial Council). The bookstores and book-related establishments that can be found today in Urueña are: Alcaraván bookstore, Alcuino Caligrafía (Calligraphy), Páramo bookstore, Almadí bookstore, Bibliomanía bookstore, Enoteca-Museo del Vino (Cellar-Wine Museum) bookstore, El Grifilm bookstore, El Rincón Escrito bookstore, La Bodega Literaria bookstore, La Punta del Iceberg bookstore, La Boutique del Cuento bookstore, the Artisan Bookbinding Workshop of Urueña (Taller de Encuadernación Artesanal de Urueña), and the Centro e-LEA Miguel Delibes with its permanent exhibition on the history of books.

In Urueña you will also find: a fantastic toy shop of the kind you can no longer find Juguetes Oriente 9; a crafts shop with exquisite cheese too, La Real; the 150-year-old butcher shop, Amando de Castro, with good traditional and home-made “embutidos” (sausages, etc.); Francisco Javier Marcos bakery, with breads and pastries fresh from the oven; Teo's kiosk, where you can always find everything you need.

In addition to this, in Urueña you can also visit DiLab, the design laboratory, a very interesting temporary exhibition space.

Click here to see some other businesses in Urueña: Recording studio and label, Barlovento Músicas; design and tipography, TF Media; antiques, La Casita de Urueña; Fundación Música Abierta (Open Music Foundation), focusing on music and disability; publishing company, Editorial Castilla Tradicional, etc.

Click here to see the great places where you can eat and here if you want to stay overnight at the different casas rurales (country houses/rural cottages) – one day may not be enough to see everything. We recommend you to visit on a holiday or any day between Thursday and Sunday to find everything open.