Urueña – Urueña, Spain - Atlas Obscura


Urueña, Spain

This charming, medieval walled village is Spain's first "book town."  


Urueña, Spain is a small town in the province of Valladolid, Castille y Leon. The wall that wraps around the sleepy medieval settlement dates from the 12th and 13th centuries. Many of the centuries-old structures have been restored to give the city a strong sense of Old World ambiance. But that’s not what draws people to its quaint streets.

In 2007, Urueña went one step further to enhance its charm, becoming the first villa del libro (Book Town) in Spain. It’s now home to 12 bookstores—and only about 200 people. 

Today, its gnarled, narrow streets are lined with book-related hubs that specialize in topics from children’s books to wine to bullfighting. There are second-hand bookshops, libraries, museums, and cultural centers all dedicated to books, publishing, and printing.

While there, you can do more than just purchase books. Its shops host workshops about topics like bookbinding and calligraphy, as well as vibrant festivals and readings throughout the year. Maps of all the book sights are posted throughout the town, making it easy for bibliophiles to pop from one bookish paradise to another.

Aside from the book-related wonders, Urueña itself is beautifully situated and has been well-maintained and restored. There is a walkway atop the medieval wall that stretches almost all around the town, offering delightful views of the stone streets and houses inside the wall and the gorgeous fields and vineyards that surround the settlement.

Know Before You Go

Parking is readily available outside the town walls. As the village is so small, you can easily spend a day exploring its many bookstores and book-related shops. Keep in mind that like in most places in Spain, the shops and sights mostly close from 2 to 4 p.m.

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