The Canal de Castilla is a waterway that crosses the province of Palencia, passing through the province of Burgos and reaching the city of Valladolid with one of its branches. It was born as a means of transport between the interior of the plateau and the north of Spain, since the railroad did not exist yet, but with the arrival of this one, it became obsolete.
Today the Canal de Castilla is a natural environment that runs through our land, giving life and irrigation to the fields of Castilla and offering its path and history to tourists who come to visit it.
The first plans to create this navigation network in Castile began in the 16th century, but it was in 1751 when Ferdinand VI, at the request of the Marquis de la Ensenada, took the initiative. Antonio de Ulloa, drafted the "Proyecto General de Navegación y Riego para los Reinos de Castilla y León" in 1953, designing a set of four canals, of which only three were executed.
In 1792, when the works on the three branches had not yet been completed, commercial navigation on the Canal began. Economic activity on the Canal de Castilla reached its peak in the decade between 1850 and 1860, with some 400 barges along the entire length of the canal. All the barges were dedicated to the transport of goods (wheat, flour and wood), except for four daily stagecoaches in charge of carrying passengers from Valladolid to Palencia.
The work came too late, since the railroad was built, which turned out to be a more efficient means of transportation, and therefore the use of the canal in this sense was abandoned. From that time on, its function became solely for irrigation and leisure and tourism activities.
The Canal is a waterway that runs through part of the provinces of Burgos, Palencia and Valladolid. The longest route crosses the province of Palencia practically from north to south, creating a path that passes through villages and rural landscapes with lots of charm.
Some of the constructions you can see along the way are the locks, used so that barges could "ascend" or "descend" when they encountered changes in canal level. You can also see the docks, inland ports used for loading and unloading goods.
Other elements are the buildings constructed around the canal: the dwellings of the lock keepers, warehouses, mills, flour factories; and components such as bridges, aqueducts, dams to regulate the canal bed, chests to take water for the irrigation ditches, etc.
From the Eco Hotel Doña Mayor we suggest you to discover its path and history. We suggest that you approach the Frómista locks and stroll upstream, crossing paths with pilgrims who walk this stretch that coincides with the Camino de Santiago and paying attention to the birds that fly around this natural environment.
You have many options to enjoy it depending on your tastes and the time of the year: