Guadarrama

La Torre Cultural Center- Guadarrama

It has been built where the San Miguel Arcángel Parish Church previously lay, on the highest spot of a hill and surrounded by a garden. The eldest preserved elements are the Mudejar apse and the medieval tower with Romanesque reminiscences. The multiple repairs suffered over the centuries have hidden its original style, deterring a construction date without error. The majority of what we can appreciate nowadays (walls, major chapel and tower) come from the 16th and 17th centuries, granted by the brick vault of the apsidal chapel and the pointed arch, the exterior masonry parameters and the balls decoration on the three bodies of the tower, rubblework built and situated at the church virtual axis.

San Miguel Arcángel Church - Guadarrama

It is situated at the foot of the hill crowned by the old parish church. It rises on the same place where the old Granary (Royal granaries) laid, and part of the old factory integrates the church nowadays. The old Granary was destroyed during the French invasion, only surviving the walls. With the remains a new church was built preserving the original masonry material. One of the principal elements of the church is an Imperial coat of arms of the Old House of La Cadena and two Madrid coat of arms of the same century.

Los Caños Fountain - Guadarrama

Fuente de Los CañosIt was built in the reign of Carlos III in 1785 according with its commemorative plate. It was a decorative element of the recently made Castilian Royal Path (Camino Real de Castilla). It was built on stone with rough and irregular middle size ashlars, crowned with a triangular gable with a round arched niche, containing the San Miguel Arcángel stony sculpture, and below it the heraldry of the Duke of El Infantado, lordship of the Guadarrama village. Two bas-relief lion heads whose mouths holds the respective iron pipes, pour water to two squared ground plan and stone made low drinking fountains.

El Rosario or Guadarrama Bridge - Guadarrama

That stone bridge saves the Guadarrama River on the “El Escorial Old Path”, which means the 18th century road made to connect El Escorial and the France road; being that way also connected through Guadarrama the Royal Sites of San Lorenzo and La Granja de San Ildefonso.

The bridge has five spans shaped as circular lowered and voussoired arches, and is completely made on granite ashlars, with an impost of the same material separating the parapet from the arcade. The parapet is formed by large granite slabs horizontally placed and sheltered at the edges with simple plinths.

Commemorative Monument to El León Pass crowning

In the 18th century the Borbon Kings Fernando VI and Carlos III undertook the task of modernizing the Spanish paths, not only with regard its condition but as well and especially through an ambitious plan contemplating a radial structure with the center at the Capital City. Before 1750, they managed to achieve some of the projected works; among them the new passageway of the Guadarrama Pass is one of the most remarkable, substituting the old La Tablada Pass by the new El Alto del León, 24 m higher than the previous. It is the tracing practically preserved until nowadays, being visible at the Guadarrama village exit the large cylindrical milestones, crowned with cones, placed at the road both edges to indicate the way when the path is covered by the snow.

About 1750, at the highest spot of the pass was risen a stone commemorative monument signaling the pass between both Castillas. It is built as a pedestal where pauses a lion resting its legs on two spheres symbolizing the Old and the New World. On the pedestal is written the following inscription “Ferdinandus VI Pater Patriae Viam utrique Castellae superatis montibus fecit an salutis MDCCXLIX Regni sui IV” (Fernando VI Father of the Nation, made the path for both Castillas over the mountains, in the year of our Lord 1749, fourth year of his reign). Due to the Spanish Civil War, the emblematic monolith was marked with abundant shrapnel traces. In the 40’s, the Alto del León Pass or Guadarrama Pass became the Alto de los Leones.

El Arcipreste de Hita Monument

The Arcipreste de Hita Rock (Peña del Arcipreste de Hita) was declared Natural Monument of National Interest in 1930, proposed by The Spanish Language Royal Academy (Real Academia de la Lengua Española) to commemorate the sixth centenary of the appearance of “The Book of Good Love” (El Libro del Buen Amor). The Arcipreste de Hita Monument was inaugurated on the pass road, very close to the top, made with a natural rocks aggregation to recall his trips through this Sierra. The place known as “The Arcipreste Rock” (La Peña del Arcipreste) is completed with the Aldara Fountain, in memory of the “Serrana” he met, and a casket with a copy of the famous book.

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