Ayuntamiento de Uclés

Ayto. Uclés

Fuente Redonda

Fuente Redonda is a man-made artificial lake, approximately fifteen metres in diameter and a metre and a half deep, with crystal-clear drinking water. The entire perimeter of the lake, except for the water inlet and outlet, is clad with stone.

Why was it built? One hypothesis is that it was simply used to collect water to supply the nearby village of Aldehuela. The tiered seating around it also suggests that it may have been used for immersion rites in honour of the god Airon.

According to Pelayo Quintero Atauri, the origin of the place name Uclés is related to this spring. It may have been called “Ocilis”, meaning “town located in the eyes or at the source of a river”.

This shrine dedicated to Airon is situated beside a necropolis dating from the Iron Age and Roman times, known as “Haza del Arca”. In the late 19th century funerary urns containing different objects were discovered there and are nowadays held at different museums.

Airon was an indigenous god who was worshipped in Hispania before the Roman conquest. The Romans respected this worship and the god is associated with deep waters (wells and lakes) and sinkholes, so there is a direct relationship between Airon and the underworld.

In the 19th century a votive altar was discovered with an inscription dedicated to this deity and a replica now marks the spot. The Latin text reads: “The Usetana family of Ocilis erected this to the god Airon. Gaius Titinius Crispinus”.

Fuente Redonda is mentioned in a hunting book by Don Juan Manuel, as follows: “And at Fuente Redonda purple herons are the most common.” It is also described in Relaciones Topográficas, the compilation of the towns and cities of Spain undertaken under the orders of Philip II.