Colmenar de Oreja

  • Colmenar de Oreja © Comunidad de Madrid
    colmenar_de_oreja.jpg
  • Museo Ulpiano Checa © Comunidad de Madrid
    museo_ulpiano_checa.jpg

Colmenar de Oreja is situated in the south-eastern part of the Madrid region, in the Comarca de las Vegas, transversed by the Tajo, Tajuña and Jarama rivers. With barely 8,000 inhabitants, it is one of the historically most preserved towns.

Its beautiful Plaza Mayor is the most famous monument and is the perfect example of the Castillian porticoed squares of the 1700s and 1800s. It also maintains plenty of activity as a meeting point thanks to numerous bars, restaurants and terraces.

Another place you should visit when in Colmenar de Oreja is the Ulpiano Checa Museum. This acclaimed impressionist painter and poster artist was born here and often went back to his home town even though he spent most of his career in various salons and exhibitions in Paris. Today his home town houses the biggest collection of his works.

Colmenar de Oreja © Comunidad de Madrid

Another important monument is the Santa María la Mayor Church. It was built by the Order of Santiago in the mid 13th century and extended in the second half of the 16th century. The Hermitage of the Santísimo Cristo del Humilladero which has a 16th century chapel is considered to be the city’s third most important monument.  

Colmenar de Oreja boasts two chapels that are worth visiting. San Roque chapel whose main façade has two beautiful columns made out of Colmenar stone; and the chapel of San Juan with a solid and simple construction in which the wooden beams on which the roof lies stand out.  It was used as a barracks by the French in the War of Independence and still bears the scrapes in the jambs of the door that enabled the cannons to be taken inside.  

The local cuisine preserves its Castillian roots with dishes of humble origin but with tasty and filling result. The most famous dishes are carne al desarreglo – a delicious stew made with veal, tomatoes, onions, garlic and parsley, or the patatas chulas – a side dish made with boiled and fried potatoes. And to drink there is nothing better than a glass (or two) of their famous local winesOne of the restaurants to sample local cuisine is the La Cantina de J. Mingo which offers home-made food and roast suckling lamb.

How to get there:

  • Public transportation: line 337 from Conde de Casal or the line 415A.
  • By car: on the Valencia highway, the A-3, taking the M-404 exit around km mark 50 in Villarejo de Salvanés to Belmonte de Tajo and from there to M-303 to Colmenar de Oreja

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