The towns of the Sierra Norte de Madrid are the perfect getaway to escape from the madding crowd and the stress of the pace of the Spanish capital. Visiting them is a great way to disconnect from everything between cobbled streets, stone houses, nature and, above all, a lot of peace. Will you join us to meet them?
1. La Hiruela: gateway to the Sierra Norte de Madrid
The first town that we suggest you visit in the Sierra Norte de Madrid is La Hiruela. It is a municipality nestled in the Sierra del Rincón, an hour and a half from Madrid. Only 50 people live in it, and perhaps this has caused it to preserve its beauty.
The town develops around a few streets where the dark stone houses are the protagonists. They are streets that will lead to the town square, where the church of San Miguel Arcángel stands. La Hiruela has an ethnological museum that you can visit and in its surroundings you can explore many routes of great interest.
2. The Berrueco
Another of the small towns that you can visit in the Sierra Norte de Madrid is El Berrueco. In it, a stone monolith where justice was distributed in medieval times, a pillory, has become its emblem par excellence. And so is the Roman bridge that crosses the Jóbalo stream and where you can walk.
You shouldn’t miss either the church of Santo Tomás Apóstol, Romanesque-Mudejar style and whose origin may be in the thirteenth century. Inside, the sculptures of Saint Anthony of Padua, the Child Jesus and the Immaculate Virgin of Fátima stand out, as well as a chevron-shaped holy water font from the Renaissance period.
In Berrueco there is the Stonecutting Museum, a trade whose traces can be seen among its main buildings. You can also enjoy the Water Museum and a watchtower from the Muslim era that is part of a complex defensive system that joined those of Torrelaguna, Venturada and El Vellón.
3. Buitrago del Lozoya
Located at the foot of the Sierra de Guadarrama, Buitrago del Lozoya is perhaps one of the most monumental towns in the area. It has a large walled space that runs partly parallel to the river and with a fortress in the upper part of Gothic-Mudejar style. Juana la Beltraneja stayed in the latter, who disputed the throne of Castile to Isabella the Catholic.
in Buitrago you can also visit the church of Santa María del Castillo. It is a 14th century temple that suffered much damage during the Civil War. For this reason, it is currently highly restored and in it we can see parts of other buildings, as is the case of the coffered ceiling that covers the main altar from the Hospital of San Salvador.
As a curiosity, there you will find a museum dedicated to Picasso. In it you can admire a set of works that the artist from Malaga gave to his hairdresser and close friend, who was a native of this town.
4. La Cabrera, another of the towns in the Sierra Norte de Madrid
in this locality the most spectacular is the convent of San Antonio. It is a convent of medieval times and Romanesque style whose construction we owe to King Alfonso VI so that it was occupied by the Order of San Benito.
Although there were many ups and downs that the convent went through. Thus, after the Benedictines came the Franciscans. Later it was the headquarters of the Napoleonic troops. And after the expulsion of these, It was part of the property disentailed by Mendizábal to reach the hands of the descendants of Goya. A few years later it returned to Franciscan hands.
Finally, we advise you to visit the town of Rascafría, although you should not forget that there are many more towns that make up the Sierra Norte de Madrid. In all you can see stone houses, public laundries, medieval bridges and fortifications hundreds of years old.
Thus, from Rascafría, the most impressive thing you can see is the monastery of El Paular. But you can also cross the Perdón and Reina bridges, contemplate the remains of old fulling mills and walk through the so-called Forest of Finland, the Ginér de los Ríos arboretum or the Serranía Belga, a kind of park where you can find a great diversity of trees. .