Only 20 kilometers from Vinuesa and at an altitude of 1,800 meters, you can find one of the most fascinating and beautiful places in the province of Soria. The eroded walls, of glacial origin, are reflected on the cold waters giving them the characteristic color for which it receives its name: the Laguna Negra.
These dark waters have been for years the source of mysteries, legends and stories that increase the fame of this lagoon and human curiosity. The myths about its icy waters having no bottom or the one that assures that the ship of a young adventurer sank among its currents are some of the popular stories collected by Erasmo Llorente in the year 1882. Years later, the famous writer Pío Baroja also dedicates some words to these waters in his work ”El Mayorazgo de Labraz”. In this issue, the author talks about a woman who lives at the bottom of the Laguna Negra and kills everyone who approaches her. It is not possible to look at the dark water without finding death.
Legend of Alvargonzalez Land
However, it was in 1912 when the illustrious poet Antonio Machado published the work that would undoubtedly bring fame to this natural enclave of Vinuesa: ”Las tierras de Alvargonzález”. This Machado legend describes the parricide of the patriarch Alvaronzález by two of his three sons, due to his excessive ambition. The third son emigrates to America and, while he manages to make his fortune, his brothers do not get their lands to bear fruit. When the brother returns as a rich man, he buys the land from his brothers, which becomes fertile again. His brothers blinded by envy and hatred, give him the same end as his father. But, carried away by remorse, they flee to the Laguna Negra where they will perish drowned in its cold waters: ”Another day, the sons of Alvargonzález took the road to the Laguna Negra in silence. When evening fell, they crossed through the beech and pine trees. Two wolves that looked out to see them, fled in fear. When they arrived at the lagoon, they contemplated the calm water for a moment. Father! they shouted, and when in the holes of the rocks the echo repeated: Father! Father! Father! they had already been swallowed by the water of the bottomless lagoon. There are those who say that in the silence and solitude of the lagoon the tormented cries of the two children can still be heard.
The Laguna Negra is one of the most common accesses to ascend the Pico de Urbión. Surrounding the stone wall that forms a cliff and following the route, the most adventurous can reach the birthplace of the Duero River, discovering in its path the Laguna Larga and Laguna Helada, both of glacial origin. Those who prefer a quieter and calmer walk will enjoy the pleasant journey from the parking area to the Laguna Negra. But, without a doubt, the whole landscape forms an idyllic setting for any lover of photography. The snow covering like a white mantle the rocks in winter or the mixture of green and reddish colors in autumn make that to photograph the Laguna Negra in any station, always turns out to be a pleasure.
Another of the most characteristic events held here takes place on the first Sunday in August. For more than 60 years this day has been celebrated with the famous swimming trip to the Laguna Negra. A great participation of swimmers without fear of the cold or the myths of its waters, are those who go into the Laguna to cross it swimming. Only the brave and less fearful of the cold are able to enjoy this experience in a space unique in beauty and legend.
If there is time, we recommend all visitors to go to the Casa del Parque, located between Vinuesa and Laguna Negra. In this space, tourists can learn about the characteristics of the ecosystem that surrounds them and the geographic uniqueness of the Laguna Negra Park and the Urbión Glacier Circles.
A place of myths and legends, a landscape sculpted over thousands of years by ice and the uniqueness of its ecosystem, make this one of the most visited places in Castile and Leon. A place as beautiful as it is unique, which will leave no one indifferent.