When you get to the charming town of San Martín de Trevejo, in the Jálama Valley, many things are going to catch your attention.
One of them will surely be the stream of crystal clear water that runs through the centre of the streets of the village. Another thing is that you probably hear someone from the town speaking in a language hard to distinguish and place, but we are here to tell you all about it. What you hear is "a fala", a peculiar treasure that this place shares with two neighbouring municipalities. Valverde del Fresno and Eljas, and on which the linguists cannot get to an agreement. It seems to have a Galician-Portuguese origin, although it also resembles Bable or Asturian, and is almost certainly related to the repopulation that brought people from northern areas here. The isolation of San Martín made it possible for the fala to brew, calmly, and to reach our days in marvellous condition.
But in Trevejo there is also another identity mark: wine. The beautiful traditional houses, all with a very similar structure, reserve the ground floor for the cellar, or boiga. And entering some of them, as well as being able to taste a small bottle of the region, you will have the sensation of sneaking into a kind of ethnographic museum. There is a reason why when Saint Martin founded the village, back in the fourth century, it was called San Martín de los Vinos (Saint Martin of the Wines).
But not everything is popular architecture and traditional customs. This town, so close to the Portuguese border, has a long history of wars and battles, and several military orders administered their possessions here after the expulsion of the Muslims. In the beautiful and arcaded Plaza Mayor, you can sense all this historical weight, with the Casa del Comendador and a Bell-Tower marked with the coat of arms of Carlos V. And there are also several noble houses, with their crests and their challenging bricks, joined by the religious monuments.
The church, naturally, is dedicated to San Martín de Tours, the saint who, according to legend, shared his Roman legionary cloak with a beggar. Do not miss the panels of Luis de Morales that are kept inside, if only to understand why the author was called the Divine. Do not forget to go to the Convent of San Miguel; its current building was erected in the fifteenth century, but it is said that its foundation was the work of Saint Francis of Assisi himself, in person and sandals.
We bet you can't wait to see San Martín de Trevejo now!