The stay of prince Carlos -future Charles V- in San Vicente de la Barquera

The story tell us that he arrived in the Cantabrian town on September 29th, 1517, and that he stayed there for almost fifteen days because of an illness

During his first trip to Spain in 1517, prince Charles -future Charles V- crossed enough towns and localities of the north and center of Spain. In one of them he stopped more days than expected. It was in San Vicente de la Barquera (Cantabria). The why is what we are going to tell next.

The historian Valentín Sainz Díaz tells that the still prince Carlos arrived at San Vicente la Barquera on September 29th, 1517, after departing that same morning from Colombres. So says Vital Laurent in a chronicle that Vicente Diaz refer us: «(Charles) left Colombres to make two long leagues of very bad and painful road, and arrive at a seaport called San Vicente de la Barquera, where there is a beautiful little village located on the side of a mountain, where the houses on one side reach the water, and where most of the inhabitants are fishermen, who every year go to the North Sea to fish the fish called cod. When those of the town of San Vicente heard that the King was in the fields to go to his villa, most of the noble people went to meet him very far away; and when they found him, all of them got out, went to bow him and then went back to riding, accompanying him to his lodging. Then, when entering this town, the girls accompanied him very joyfully, singing and spreading joy, until his palace, which was next to the town, in a monastery of Franciscans, in whose convent was also Dona Leonor, sister of the Emperor and all the ladies and maidens of the court and some gentlemen and great dignitaries. »

It was the day of the festivity of San Miguel; and that he stayed there -as Vital tell us- in the residence for the purpose prepared in the Monastery of San Luis, of the Franciscan Fathers, near the villa, in the company of his sister Leonor and various members of the Court that he brought with him.

San Vicente de la Barquera

A plan that got frustrated

What was the plan? Overnight and continue on the way to Valladolid as soon as possible, where he was expected to proclaim King of Castile. That it would have been so if it had not been for an inopportune fever that forced him – always according to Sainz Diaz – to stay, at least, thirteen days in San Vicente de la Barquera. And he goes to the emperor’s chronicler to ratify the duration of this stay. A few days to see if it improved, but until thirteen the stay was extended because far from improving, it was getting worse every day that passed.

Route for correspondence

As a curiosity, that stay forced to launch a special mail so that correspondence between Charles and the regent, Cardinal Cisneros, reached both parties quickly and without any problem; a mail that united during those days to San Vicente de la Barquera with the Convento de la Aguilera, near Aranda de Duero, where Cisneros was waiting for him.



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