In the Sierra Norte de Madrid, There are four municipalities that stand out for its rich historical and cultural heritage, recognized with the distinction of "Villas in Madrid", a total which includes part of 11 municipalities in the community. A set of unique destinations for the recognized value of their Cultural Heritage, that have managed to preserve their rural authenticity and also, they have sufficient tourist infrastructure to achieve quality and satisfaction: Patones, Torrelaguna, Buitrago del Lozoya and Rascafría.
We propose a cultural itinerary of two days that unites these four Villas and can make in car, during which you will be able to get to know a little more about the extensive Serrano heritage.
We started the route in Patones top, one of the best and most representative examples of the architecture of black slate, in the community of Madrid, which has earned him to be declared in the year 1999 Good of Cultural Interest in the Historical Ensemble Category, by his large ethnographical and environmental value. Located in the Middle Valley of Jarama, It houses buildings featured as the Church of San Jose (17TH century), eras, the laundry and the new source (20th century).
Area inhabited since prehistory has several places of archaeological interest highlighting the site of the Cerro de la Oliva, Archaeological evidences of different occupations ranging from prehistory have been documented in which, Roman period, Visigoths and modern age, a walk through its streets takes us back to these remote times. The uniqueness of its architectural heritage, the geological, the natural environment and its gastronomy, It will make your visit to Patones unforgettable.
We continue our route in address to Torrelaguna, located in the middle of the Jarama Valley just 10 km. patones. Populated since prehistory municipality, It reached its full swing at the end of the 15th century, coinciding with the time of its most illustrious citizen: Cardinal Cisneros. Another natural illustrious character of Torrelaguna: María Toribia, known as Santa María de la Cabeza. She is consecrated the chapel of Nuestra Señora de la Piedad (or Santa María de la Cabeza): It is the oldest Marian Sanctuary of Madrid (pre-Islamic origin).
The town was declared a historic-artistic site in 1973 for its valuable heritage. Perhaps the best-known landmark is the parish church of Santa Magdalena María, a magnificent exponent of the Gothic Madrid (15th - 17TH). The Town Hall, the Alhóndiga or the Atalaya de description SS are other resources that you can not miss in your stop in this town, in which you will feel, strolling through its streets within an album of architectural styles.
The route of the second day we started in Buitrago del Lozoya, already in the Middle Valley of the river of the same name, the walled enclosure which surrounds. Gastronomy come together in Buitrago, nature and art; It has a total of six property of Cultural interest (BIC), include the old part of the town, Castle, the Hospital and the walled enclosure. The latter is the most unique and best preserved of the community of Madrid fortified, built between the 11th and 12th centuries. We can also find the Museum Picasso-coleccion Eugenio Arias, with more than 60 works that the artist bequeathed to her hairdresser (neighboring the Villa). There is almost always some cultural or festive event in Buitrago, example of this are his famous Nativity (declared of Regional tourist interest), the Marquis of Santillana classical music festival in the month of July, or the Medieval fair, held the first weekend of September.
We end our journey in Rascafría, municipality of the National Park of the Sierra de Guadarrama, where history and culture in a unique natural environment merge, chaired by Peñalara. The Benedictine monastery of El Paular, old Charterhouse institution founded at the end of the 14th century, in the heyday of the Gothic, It has a track record that emphasise their identity linked to culture and art since its inception. Was equally remarkable paper that for centuries the monks carried out through a fulling stock. The artistic treasures that shelters the monastery from the 16th centuries, 17TH and 18th century have increased with the restoration and relocation of the 52 pictures or murals, made between 1626 and 1632, by the Baroque artist Vicente Carducho, in its original semi-circular hollows of the cloister. These paintings relates the history of the Carthusian order and its founder St. Bruno and they are currently one of the main attractions. The Church, its polychrome Alabaster altarpiece, Sala capitular, the cloisters and courtyards are equally important. Other heritage resources of the municipality are the bridge of the Queen and of forgiveness (both of the 18th century), and the Finca los Batanes, where is the archaeological remains of the paper mill and the Finnish forest.
You know what the mill de El Paular tender was born in the workshop of slope, in 1604, the Prince Edition of Don Quixote.