Grado del Pico – Segovia

Grado del Pico, where the book The Verb To Be of Football is set lies between the hills of the Sierra de Ayllón and the hills of the Sierra de Pela between the Central System and the Iberic System.  It is the last village in Segovia bordering on the provinces of Guadalajara and Soria. This small village is at a height of 1,273 metres and to the north of it is Pico del Grado. This is a strategic point as evidence of the Mesozoic era(Triasico, Jurasico and Cretacio) can be observed.

The River Aguisejo is born in what the villagers call El Manadero, which is a circular well from where the water springs. It is the main river in the area of Ayllón and it is 25 kilometers long.

Grado del Pico, though small has a bitter history. During the French Invasion and the War of Independence 1808 – 1814, it was invaded (1812) by 4,050 members of the French Cavalary – an inconceivable number considering the population!  The soldiers stole money and documents and captured the parish priest of the neighbouring village, Sanitbañez de Ayllón, plus a number of other important members of the village. The French took them to Soria, 126 kilometers away, where they executed the prisoners and then hanged them from trees.

Grado del Pico is in the part of Spain which is called La España Vacia (The Empty Spain) due to the number of people that live there. Twelve people were registered in the most recent census but even fewer live there permanently.