The primary reason for the visit was not the place's architectural heritage but it's viniculture. We like Ribiera de Duero wines generally but have a particular soft spot for those produced in Toro. Somewhat frustratingly all the specialist wine shops were closed until 5.00pm for 'lunch'. The only place open was a small supermarket so we bought a couple of bottles there. In truth, unless you go for known growers and are willing to pay for the privilege, then you can often buy the same wine found in the bodega at a lower price in a local supermarket.
We discovered this at the excellent small museum situated in the building where the treaty had been signed. As we looked at the reproductions of old maps and the explanations of the diplomacy that lead to the treaty how momentous the agreement proved to be. It sealed the fate of Portugal and Spain, the former building its empire in the East Indies and Africa, with Brazil its only 'prize' in the New World.
Spain gained the most, and conquered the remainder of South and Central America. This focus gifted North America to England, Holland and France's later imperial ambitions. We reflected just how much the shape of the modern world was defined by the treaty signed here. It could even mark the first glimmerings of global consciousness. Without it, no chillies in India, Roman Catholics in Peru, no African Americans, it sealed the fate of native American culture from the Aztecs to the Sioux. It is not possible to visit the museum without reflecting on the ingenuity and courage of 16th century explorers, but also their greed and merciless religious fervour.
We had planned to stay in Tordesillas for two nights so we could visit the museum. We discovered that it was open until 6.30pm and included it as part of our evening stroll. By the time the sun was setting over the Duero we had more or less wrapped it up for Tordesillas.