In the heart of the village and presiding over the old town, we find the Plaza Mayor. It has cobbled floor and irregular layout. It is divided into two parts by a bubbling stream, present all over the year. The first thing that will attract the visitor’s attention is the pilón, or fountain, located in the center of the square. It dated from 1888 and it’s one of the most representative monuments of the village.
Imposing arcades on the eastern and southern side of the square guard the city hall building. The arcades facilitate a protected transit for pedestrians, and in past times they were a complement to the market infrastructure.
Also in the main square, visitors can find the emblematic bell tower from the 16th century. The shield of Charles V is on one side of the building. That’s probably because of the fidelity of San Martin de Trevejo to the king when the region had the presence of The Order of the Hospital of St. Jonh of Jerusalem.
Commander´s house is also in the Plaza Mayor or Main Square. San Martín de Trevejo hosted the headquarters of the Encomienda of Trevejo. The Encomienda was an administrative and fiscal system through which the Commander collected the Diezmo –a mandatory tax paid by the citizens and corresponding to one tenth of their belongings- for the Order of St. John of Jerusalem.
Due to the importance of the “Encomienda”, and being San Martin the center of this reuptake, the village became the most influential one in the area until the existence of the last Commander of Trevejo, Esteban Riaño, appointed in 1789.
The medieval road called Calzada do Portu is located in the northern entrance of the village, and communicates the old town and the mountain pass of Santa Clara. Until well into the twentieth century, the road communicated the Xálima Valley with the province of Salamanca. During its five kilometers of course, walkers can delight in the serenity that the fresh and pure air here transmits, while they walk among ancient oaks, chestnuts and heathers.
The Pilón das Hortas is located at the beginning of the roadway. It is an abundant mighty spring that has more functional than ornamental use, due to the great properties of its water.
SAN SEBASTIÁN QUARTER
The picturesque quarter of Saint Sebastian is formed by several streets with original staircases to access to the houses. Some of them are also associated to huge stones called “poyos”, as a kind of bank. Beautiful and robust doors with huge latches and wooden beams outside the facades will also attract the attention of the visitors.
Streets San Juan and Batuecas are only a few examples of the attractive local architecture of the place. Like is typical in the whole village, these streets own one of the best attractions of the town: the regatos. These water streams are ancient irrigation canals, and they evidence the importance of water in the past times of San Martín de Trevejo.
The rest of the old town
The streets in San Martin de Trevejo have, all of them, gallant facades that mix popular architecture and mansions with historical soundness. This fact invites the traveler to stop and watch their ashlar facades and coats of arms on them. The village has four historic entrances, which are: Port Entrance, Saint Peter Bridge, Saint Jonh and Fort Entrance. Inside the accesses we can find the lords of Ojesto’s house, the lords Santos Ageros’ house, the Rectoral House and the Figuerola’s house.
Some streets merit a special mention because of their historical meaning:
City Street (calli A ciai), which takes in numerous three-floor houses with two typical entrances: one to access into the house and one bigger to get down into the cellar.
Hospital Street (Calli do Hospital). It probably owes its name to the Order of Saint John of Jerusalem, the administrator of the village in past times. Its rocky mossy facades, in addition to the close roofs, immerse the voyager into the past.
SAN MARTIN DE TOURS CHURCH
This church is located very close to the Main Square. It was finished in 1653. Inside the three naves, one of the most appreciated treasures for the mañegos is preserved: the 16th-century panel paintings by the famous painter Luis de Morales. The reason why the paintings came to San Martin is unknown, but they were most probably part of a large altarpiece.
Another treasure into this building is in the apse: the valuable sepulcher –guarded by two shields- from the couple who contributed to build the temple.
The 18th-century main altarpiece should also be seen, just like two more altar pieces from the same time which guard one oil painting by Santo Domingo de Guzmán.
The Chafaril fountain is located next to one of the village’s bridges. It is composed of two sinks that receive the water ejected by three pipes. Close to the fountain we can see a sculpture of a washerwoman, who until not long ago, they worked in this place. They washed here because a little pond also existed here in past times.
Over the oldest sink –dating from 1538-, a stone shield from Carlos V is represented, as a symbol of the loyalty of San Martin de Trevejo to the king.
CRUZ BENDITA HERMITAGE
This temple is part of the wide architectural and religious set which defines San Martin de Trevejo. The old hermitage guards the most venerated image in town: la Cruz Bendita –Blessed cross-. It is characterized by a small size and it is located close to 18th-century altarpiece. In the past, the hermitage was the headquarters of the Vera Cruz Brotherhood. The first evidence of the existence of this group dates from 1576, although it probably existed before.
Due to this kind of brotherhood did austere and disciplinary processions, the first fraternities were founded in convents, hospitals and hermitages. Thus, the Vera Cruz brotherhood encouraged the construction of this hermitage, for the use and benefit of all the inhabitants of San Martin de Trevejo. Then, this is the place where every 3rd of May the most illustrious festivity in the village is carried out.
The Cruz Bendita hermitage is about 500m away from the old town, and really close to one of the most important traces in San Martin: the San Miguel convent. It was firstly occupied by the Franciscans, and then by Portuguese Jesuits. Finally on 16th of May 1931 all the properties into the building were commandeered and their occupants evicted. After this moment, it became anti-tuberculosis children’s hospital.
Some of these sinks are preserved in several streets in San Martin de Trevejo. Although in the past they were more numerous, they keep receiving water from natural underground springs, as the case of the pozitus in A Ciai Street and the one close to the Ojesto House.
Despite nowadays they have ornamental function only, they were very important in the past because they gave drink to the pets which lived on the place.
During the walk though San Martin de Trevejo, you can observe different manorial houses, like the Santos Agero or the Ojestos’ ones.
The Casa de los Señores de Ojesto was a noble palace in front of the parish church. Two robust columns preside over the main entrance. It has an interesting story, as it welcomed the Army of Castile’s General Captaincy during the Independence War in Spain.
Despite the fact that they both are not open for visits, some local may open and show them. Please ask for more information in the Tourist Office.