What to see in Numancia is the small Interpretation Center, then stroll through the site; Then it is worth going down and touring the village of Garray. This can take us about three hours; It is normal to continue the trip by visiting the city of Soria. Those who decide to stay to sleep in Soria can book active tourism activities in places as beautiful as Laguna Negra and Círcos Glaciares de Urbión, located in the vicinity of the typical town of Vinuesa. Those who return to Madrid or Segovia can spend the day in places on the way, such as Burgo de Osma and Calatañazor; Or visit natural areas such as the Sabinarand La Fuentona and the Río Lobos Canyon.
It was an important celtíbera city, that the arévacos fortified on a hill. In the year 153 a. The inhabitants were in practice rebellion, because of the bad government to which the Romans subjected them; Reason for which they decided to give shelter in its walls to some warriors of the tribe of the beautiful ones, coming from the city of Segeda (region of Calatayud) and that were fugitives of the Romans. And it would be one of these, Caro de Segeda, who led the numantinos and beautiful, defeating the 23 of August of the following year to the 30,000 legionaries commanded by the consul Quinto Fulvio Nobilior. Using new troops supported by elephants, the consul unsuccessfully besieged Numancia but a surprise outing of the Arévacos caused the Romans about four thousand dead and the loss of several pachyderms. Shortly after the consul was dismissed in his position. After almost twenty years without being able to submit them, the Senate of Rome conferred the task to general Publio Cornelio Scipio Emiliano, called “The African minor.” He planned his campaign systematically, and between years 134 and 133 a. Of C. ordered to build around Numancia a siege of 9 kilometers of length, with towers, moats and palisades. The isolation caused the famine and diseases of the settlers, obtaining their surrender after eleven months. But his prolonged “numantine” resistance, and the fact that most decided suicide rather than slavery, made the chronicles of the Romans themselves present their inhabitants as heroes; Scipio was only able to bring fifty Roman Numantins to Rome as proof of his deed.
Like the neighboring city of Soria, Garray must have been repopulated in the 11th and 12th centuries. Its first settlers must have been of Basque language, because the two possible origins of its name are Basques: Garai (“elevated place”) to be located in the slope of a hill, or because its settlers were dedicated to the transport (the word garra ) Also plausible given the immemorial mercantile link of Soria with the Basque ports.
Miguel de Cervantes immortalized it in his dramatic work The siege of Numancia released in 1585. With that gesture the Spanish resistance to the French was identified in the War of the Independence, giving name to a unit of soriano volunteers.
The site of Numancia was discovered in 1862 by the architect and archaeologist Eduardo Saavedraafter several theories placed him in Zamora. Adolf Schulten delimited the Roman encampments outside the city due to Scipio (Castillejo, Travesadas, Valdevortón, Peñarredonda, La Rasa, Dehesillas and Alto Real). The deposit was declared National Monument in 1882.
The hill of Numancia belonged for centuries to the lineage of the Marichalar, until Luis de Marichalar -vizconde de Eza- donated it to the state in 1917. Archaeological excavations had begun a year earlier and continue to this day.
Workers discovering a numantine street. (Photo by A. Rioja de Pablo)