• Water, Reservoirs, bridges and villages of the Lozoya River - Part 1. Emilio Ramirez

    How many times have we said and heard in Madrid the phrase ""Lozoya water"", talking about how good the water is that is drunk in the capital. Its foundation lies in the, since the mid-19th century, for a hundred years, the city of Madrid was supplied for its consumption of the water of the Lozoya River.

    It crosses the Community of Madrid during the 81 km, from west to east. From the Sierra de Guadarrama to the divide of the communities of Madrid and Castilla-La Mancha, in Patones, where it pours its flow into the Jarama River. Its sources are found in the Iron Head Mountains, Navacerrada, Cotos and Peñalara.

    The rocks that make up the Lozoya Valley are hard: Gneis, Granite, cuarcite and slate, so when flowing it drags and dissolves few minerals, cause your water to taste good and, therefore, be highly prized for human consumption.

    Five reservoirs have been built along their route, where the 62% of the water resources of the Community of Madrid: Pinilla (dam built in 1967), Riosequillo (1958), Old bridges (1914-1939), The Villar (1879) and El Atazar (1972). And, Also, the pontoon of la Oliva (1856), it was built for the same purpose but that today is deprecated. In them you can enjoy the waters of our protagonist, the Lozoya River.

    The human trail in these places goes back to Prehistory, as evidenced by the archaeological remains found in the sites of Pinilla del Valle and other villages surrounding the Lozoya. Since then, these places have witnessed the changes of humanity. You could say that the origin of many of today's villages was in Islamic settlements, although they were founded during the 11th and 12th centuries, when there was the reconquest of these territories by the Christians and they organized into the so-called "village and land communities": commonees that included different villages around a main village.

    The human trail in these places goes back to Prehistory

    The settlements surrounding the Lozoya are located in their Upper Valley and in its Middle and Lower valleys. In the first, cross it 13 bridges and loom to him 13 Locations: Rascafría, Oteruelo del Valle, Valley Mall, Pinilla del Valle, Lozoya, Canencia, Garganta de los Montes, The Cuadrón, Gargantilla del Lozoya, Pinilla de Buitrago, Navarredonda, San Mamés and Villavieja de Lozoya.

    A few miles from his birth, is the first bridge that crosses its channel: the little one Angostura Bridge, built in stone, which is part of a magical and perfect place for hiking: towards the centenary yeowe, to Cotos or the island area. Half an hour's walk, you get to the tiny Pradillo Reservoir and its prey, long ago abandoned, in Rascafría, that make up a paradisycal place worthy of knowing and whose leap of water you should not miss.

    The Lozoya's next meeting is with the El Perdón Bridge, built at the behest of the monks of the Monasterio de Santa María de El Paular, during the first half of the 18th century. It is surrounded by meadows and forests and from it you can enjoy a beautiful view of the Monastery and access the Finnish forest.

    Continuing along the river course, Found, among others, the people of Valley Mall, that in the sixteenth century lived a wealth boom because of the importance of its own hut and because it was a place of passage of transhumante livestock. They based their economy on the tolling of herds and on the transformation of wool. South of the heart of this town, is the bridge located on Calle Grande, leading to the Hermitage of Santa Ana, built in the 18th century and from whose enclave you can see unique panoramic views, presided over by the Peñalara massif.

    The first water retention of the Lozoya River is the Pinilla Reservoir. In 1965, the Elizabeth II Canal decided to embalm the water in this area, implying drastic changes in its landscape and the chores of its inhabitants. It is an idyllic place at the foot of the Sierra de Guadarrama and overlooking the National Park, where you can breathe tranquility. Baththe banks of Pinilla del Valle, its archaeological park Valley of the Neanderthals and those of the people of Lozoya. One kilometer from the Pinilla Dam is the Canto Bridge, from which a path allows us to reach the village of Canencia.

    Another municipality bathed by the river is Gargantilla del Lozoya, whose name alludes to its origin, since it could have been founded by inhabitants of Garganta de los Montes, fled before the 15th century by an epidemic and to evade taxes and taxes. Outside the village are preserved the remains of the ancient Hermitage of Santiago, place that was the origin of Choker.

    The inhabitants of Garganta de los Montes they also came to The Cuadrón. This originated from the crossroads of livestock tracks, where the Jews in the area owned fertile land near the river. When expelled from Spain, the aforementioned inhabitants take over them and the core of the village is formed.

    The Lozoya River continues to cross the banks of villages and valleys in its middle and low courses. In our next post, we'll tell you more about them. For the time being, we invite you to get to know them and to walk through their streets, marked by history, and its nature, full of life-filled ecosystems.


    This text is the summary of the first part of the work done by Emilio Ramirez: "Doors and balconies to Lozoya", you've made available to Sierra Norte de Madrid. And that you can read in full by clicking here.


    We remind you that the current management and management instruments prohibit bathing in the entire Lozoya River basin. The only authorized bathing areas in the entire basin are the recreational area of Las Presillas, in Rascafría, and Riosequillo's recreational area, in Buitrago del Lozoya.

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