• Water, Reservoirs, bridges and villages of the Lozoya River - Part 2. Emilio Ramirez

    Today, we'll tell you about the Middle Valleys and Lozoya River Low. During this tour, cross the river 4 bridges, retain their waters 4 dams and present to them land 8 municipalities: Buitrago de Lozoya, Old bridges (four population centers), Berzosa del Lozoya, Robledillo de la Jara, Cervera de Buitrago, El Atazar, El Berrueco and Patones (that integrates Top Ducks and Shawls of The Under).

    During the 16th and 17th centuries, this region lived its great heyday, to which the settlement of a large population of Judeo-converts dedicated to trade and various trades contributed. Their heritage came from livestock, especially sheep, and shearing.

    But at the end of the 18th century, its economy suffered a major setback as the wool trade began to decline, due to the marketing of fleenity from abroad with lower prices and the depreciation of its own wool, lowering its quality. Still, until the 19th and early 20th centuries, the economy of the entire region continued to be based on livestock activity.

    In addition, these populations had subsistence farming: Wheat, rye and linen, with the complement of small orchards. They exploited forests to meet their wood needs and make charcoal, of which an important part was brought to the Court during the 18th and 19th centuries.

    In the second part of the 20th century, during the 1960s and 1970s, there is a large loss of population in these areas, due to the rural exodus to the capital, looking for work in industries. And, at the same time, the reservoirs and the unique nature of the mountains begin to attract curious tourists, who enjoy spending their time in the area. We invite you to follow in your footsteps through the wide range of aquatic activities that can be carried out on the Lozoya River.

    At the beginning of the middle course of the river, Is Riosequillo Reservoir, in Buitrago de Lozoya. This was planned to solve the problems of drinking water shortages caused by the increase in population in the capital, after the Civil War.

    Buitrago del Lozoya was marked in the 19th century by another historic landmark, that influenced populations throughout the region: the War of Independence. Its walled enclosure, of Arab origin with various medieval extensions, was set on fire in 1808 by Napoleonic troops. Today, is the only one that remains whole and the best preserved in the Community of Madrid. We encourage you to visit and immerse you in a journey into the medieval past of this unique village.

    The life of the villages of the Lozoya Valley has been marked by its waters

    Continuing the descent of the river, we find the villages of Manjirón, Cinco Villas, Walls of Buitrago and Serrada de la Fuente, that make up the municipality of Old bridges and surround the reservoir of the same name. On walls of Buitrago, your forest, plus a spectacular nature, houses a series of semi-buried military constructions that are part of the Water front, one of the main stages of the Spanish Civil War, we invite you to visit via a hiking trail, where both sides intended to take control of the Old Bridge Reservoir, from which the water reached the capital.

    Later, is located the El Villar Reservoir, which gets its name for its location next to the historic El Villar Bridge, today submerged in the waters of the river, that in this area bathes the banks of Robledillo de la Jara.

    The El Atazar reservoir is the last in the course of the river and one of the best known of the place. On its shores, claim the attention of visitors in the eras of the village of El Atazar, located staggered on the slope of the mountain where the urban core sits. This town has remained very isolated, being one of the open councils exist in the Community of Madrid until a few years ago, because its population did not exceed 100 inhabitants.

    El Berrueco is another important enclave of the area and was a strategic place on the border separating Christians and Muslims, being part of the Middle Brand. In it were established watchtowers with the mission of warning of the meddling or attacks of Christians. Today, one of them is preserved in the term of this municipality. Its proximity to the El Atazar Reservoir makes it one of the most outstanding balconies to look out of this. You can't pass it by..

    Very shortly before the Lozoya empties into the Jarama, are the remains of the first dam built in the Lozoya to supply water to Madrid, the Pontoon of the olive (1856), that could not be used because of leaks in its support, that the technology of the time couldn't fix. We recommend you to visit it, either on your own or through a guided tour by the Patones Tourist Office. And if you are intrepid climbers, this is also your enclave.

    Where the Lozoya meets the Jarama, we stumbled across the lands of Patones, made up of two population centers. The first, Patones de Arriba, was built in medieval times and is famous for its slate houses and convoluted streets. Down a path among olive groves, you get to Patones de Abajo, built by inhabitants of Paons de Arriba who were descending to the plain during the last century. Through several hiking trails proposed by the local Tourist Office, you can enjoy this municipality, that has already captivated many restless hearts.

    The Lozoya Valley is a place of incredible nature, whose life has been marked by the presence of its river waters and its orography, as well as the history of their peoples. We encourage and invite you to come and enjoy this exceptional enclave, their traditions and their people.


    This text is the summary of the second 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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