La Acebeda: Connect with Castile's past in a unique forest in Madrid's Sierra Norte
Our stop this week we made in La Acebeda. Located in the Lozoya Middle Valley region, this municipality in Madrid 60 inhabitants is located 88 km from the capital, near the border with the Autonomous Community of Castile-León.
The municipality owes its name to the numerous holly ones that boasted part of its territory, many of whom survive today. The population is home to the largest holly forest in the Community of Madrid, in the municipality. Holly is a shrub of the Aquilet family that in this area can reach the 10 meters high (the highs can reach the 20 m). Under normal conditions, holly life can reach 100 years.
The first historical sources attesting to the birth of the village date back to the Reconquest period, when houses began to be built by the shepherds who led their flocks to the transhumanroutes. Proof of this is that the Cañada Real Segoviana runs through the municipality under the name of “Port Street”, transporting us to past times when the economy was based on agricultural exploitation. This route was for centuries the main transhuman infrastructure in Castile, and now communicates, along with numerous livestock routes, reserves and natural areas of a high biological and landscape value. This makes the practice of many outdoor activities particularly a source, such as hiking, cycling or horse riding.
If you are looking for some sightseeing in and around The Acebeda, We invite you to visit the Forge, a magnificent example of municipal rural architecture. This small rectangular and sturdy building construction, houses inside the old blacksmith's oven, as well as a bellows and an anonym, and on the outside a foal survives to smith.
Another resource with which you will find in La Acebeda is the baroque Church of San Sebastian, 17th century. Its brick yarn facade in masonry and its rectangular floor plan of a nave, houses inside a valuable sagrarium in polychrome wood with 16th-century paintings, as well as a processional cross in baroque silver.
Also noteworthy is the Sanctuary of the Saz Fountain, placed 2 km from the city centre. On the banks of the stream of Dehesa we find this artificial grotto of small dimensions, which houses a carving of the Virgin.
In La Acebeda we find the tunnel of the same name, belonging to the former Madrid-Burgos railway line. Work on this line began in the years 30 of the last century, although the initial project had been presented in 1894. Construction of the line was completed 1968, almost half a century after the start of the works. This line has been inactive since 2012, because in 2011 there was a collapse in the Somosierra tunnel. The line has left important railway constructions, such as the Viaduct of Los Plantíos and the Dehesa:
If you want to walk, we propose to do a circular route of 16 km of acebeda travel, linking the municipality of the same name with the neighbouring town of Robregordo.
In the municipality you will find some great rural accommodation old-fashioned building (from the 18th to the early 20th century), with irregular masonry walls).
Do not miss the opportunity to visit this municipality of the Sierra Norte de Madrid and taste a serrano dish in one of its restaurants.
Sierra Norte de Madrid. Naturally Rural.
Photographs: Own images, r_santos (Panoramio), Google Maps, Directorate-General for tourism (Ministry of economy and technological innovation. Comunidad de Madrid).