Buitrago de Lozoya

  • Buitrago de Lozoya
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Buitrago de Lozoya is one of the loveliest villages in the Region of Madrid. The Old Town is surrounded by majestic walls built by the Arabs, which are in turn surrounded by the flowing river Lozoya. The walls protect the Castle, the Church of Santa María del Castillo, the Clock Tower and a museum displaying works by Pablo Picasso.

The Buitrago walls rise past a meander of the river Lozaya 74km off Madrid. In the old days, they were a key bulwark. Now they protect the Old Town, accessed through the Clock Tower – a 16m-high tower detached from the curtain wall.

Once inside, you’ll come across the Church of Santa María del Castillo, one of the four churches that Buitrago used to have. It’s a gothic building from the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, whose construction was commissioned by the Marquis of Santillana. The careful rehabilitation work done on the site revealed an adjacent graveyard, also from the Middle Ages. The belfry tower is a five-chamber square construction in the Mudejar style. The church had to be renovated after the Spanish Civil War, but the tower is the original.

The Castle or Alcázar attached to the city walls also dates back to the fifteenth century. It was commissioned by the members of the Mendoza family and built in the Mudejar style. Unfortunately, it was severely damaged during the Peninsular War. The original square floor plan and seven towers, each with a character of its own, have come down to us and are open to visitors. The site is used for cultural activities too.

From the Castle you can spot La Coracha, a stretch of wall going into the river. Its purpose was to secure the supply of water. In the same area you can see the Cañada Real Segoviana, a 500km cattle track that’s still negotiable. Beyond the walls lies the oldest bridge in the area, Puente del Arrabal. Built in the fifteenth century, it affords wonderful views of the walled town.

Picasso Museum

One of the greatest tourist attractions in Buitrago de Lozoya is the Picasso Museum, accommodating the collection of works by Pablo Picasso owned by Eugenio Arias, native to Buitrago, who was his barber and friend. Picasso paid Arias with his work, and so the barber collected more than 70 posters, ceramics, lithographs and drawings. The pieces are displayed along with others added to the collection in later years.

How to get there:

By car: 45min drive along A-1 highway.

By bus 1h 40min ride from Plaza de Castilla transport hub (Bus no. 191).

Useful links:

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