• Discover the four Villas of the Sierra Norte

    Still don't know the four of the eleven villas of the Community of Madrid that are located within the Sierra Norte?

    Patones, Torrelaguna, Buitrago del Lozoya and Rascafría stand out for their great historical and cultural heritage, achieving the qualifier of "Villas of Madrid". In this blog we propose an itinerary by car, divided into two days, by these four municipalities so you can get to know a little more about the extensive Serrano heritage, So stay tuned.

    Day 1: Patones and Torrelaguna

    On this day we will focus on the Jarama Valley, located southeast of the Sierra Norte de Madrid. This area stands out for its landscape, contrasting its limestone with the granite we're used to seeing in the rest of our territory.

    We started our journey in Patones, a municipality divided into two urban centres, Top Ducks and Shawls of The Under. Patones de Arriba is one of the best examples of black slate architecture in the Community of Madrid. Thanks to its ethnographic and environmental value it was declared of Cultural Interest in the Category of Historic Set in the year 1999.

    Among its attractions are the Church of St. Joseph (dated from the 17th century), eras, the laundry and the new source (20th century). Cerro de la Oliva shows us that Patones was already inhabited since the dawn of our history, because in this site we find archaeological remains of different occupations that span from prehistory, going through roman times, Visigothic and Middle Ages.

    This Ponton and Cerro de la Oliva will travel through a hiking route through which we will travel to the past to know how it has changed to the way of life in Patones over time.

    After visiting this magnificent place we will take the time to rest and taste the Serrana cuisine in this very locality, in their taverns, steakhouses and restaurants.

    We continue our route to Torrelaguna, located at 10 km from the previous destination. Like Patones, Torrelaguna has its origins in prehistory, and reached its peak at the end of the 15th century, Time of Cardinal Cisneros. Its incalculable heritage made this town declared a Historic-Artistic Set in 1973. We will visit all your cultural heritage, between which is: St Mary Magdalene Parish Church, a magnificent exponent of the 15th-17th-century Old-Century Madrid Gothic; The Snatch-Point-in-Law, one of the six atalayas that were built in the Jarama valley between the 9th and 10th centuries to protect Toledo; the remains of the wall and the Arch of Burgos, protecting its inhabitants during medieval times; and other important monuments and places such as the Convent of the Franciscan Conceptionist Sisters Barefoot (S. XVI) or the Franciscan Monastery (also dated from the 16th century).

    Torrelaguna has been the protagonist of the presence of many illustrious characters of our history, among them is Maria Toribia, more commonly known as St. Mary of the Head. It is to her to whom the Hermitage of Our Lady of Peace pays tribute (or Santa María de la Cabeza), The oldest Marian shrine in Madrid.

    We will spend the night in this unusual place where your people will shelter us with your serrana gentleness under the roofs of your accommodation more rural.

    Day 2: Buitrago del Lozoya and Rascafría

    Our second day we will spend it in the Lozoya Valley, named after the main river that runs through the Sierra Norte de Madrid, the Lozoya River.

    Leaving behind the Villa of Torrelaguna we set sail for Buitrago del Lozoya, located in the Middle Area of the Valley with which it shares a name, is almost entirely surrounded by the same river. It has a total of six Cultural Interest Goods, between them, the old town of the villa, Mendoza Castle, Hospital and the Hospital Walled Enclosure (the most unique and best preserved fortified ensemble in the Community of Madrid, dated between the 11th and 12th centuries, where the aforementioned Castle is located, St. Mary of the Castle Church, the medieval wall and the Clock Tower).

    The most recent period is the Picasso Museum, located in the town's Town Hall, which retains the most than 60 works that the artist bequeathed to his hairdresser and great friend Eugenio Arias.

    In addition to the spectacular cultural heritage, Buitrago also possesses great wealth Gastronomic (we'll stop here to eat during our trip) and natural. It consists of two viewpoints from where we can get a privileged view of the municipality and, near the river, we found the company Adventure Sierra Norte, dedicated to canoe rental, with which to tour the Lozoya River while enjoying the views of the medieval wall.

    At all times of the year, we can find different parties to enjoy in this town, like Living Bethlehem at Christmas, the Marquis de Santillana Classical Music Festival in July or the Medieval Fair in September.

    Our last stop will be in the municipality of Rascafría, located in the upper Lozoya Valley, in the National Park of the Sierra de Guadarrama.

    Perhaps what is known most about this town is the Royal Monastery of Santa María de El Paular, the First Cartuja of the Kingdom of Castile, founded in the late 14th century. It's an example of Gothic architecture, with a background that highlights their identity linked to culture and art since its inception. In it, monks made paper for centuries through a bathan. The artistic treasures covered by the monastery have increased with the restoration and relocation of the collection of 52 paintings and murals made between 1626 and 6132, by the Baroque artist Vicente Carducho.

    But this Monastery is not the only attraction of Rascafría that we will visit today. Very close to this carthusian we find the so-called Finnish Forest, ideal place to walk quietly, listening to the sounds of nature, free of urban noise, and breathing the peace of a pure air away from civilization. To get to this unusual place, first we must cross the Bridge of Forgiveness, built by monks to replace the old one there, wood. His name is because inthoses in that place had the possibility to appeal his sentence for one last time and try to change his sentence.

    In addition to these places, Rascafría also has other places of interest such as the Parish Church of St. Andrew the Apostle, La Casona, The Belgian Serrerías, the Batanes Estate, the Queen's Bridge or the Valcotos and Valdesquí Mountain Stations.

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