Navalcarnero

  • Navalcarnero
    navalcarnero.jpg

Lying just 30km southwest of Madrid, this charming 500-year-old town offers visitors hearty stews, beautiful landscapes and interesting artistic sites.

The most important historical sights in Navalcarnero are the Plaza de Segovia main square and the 16th-century Church of Nuestra Señora de la Asunción. The old Town Hall stands on the square which has a traditional Castilian layout: an irregular floor plan, arcades, three-storey buildings with porticoes and wooden balconies.

The Church of Nuestra Señora de la Asunción has a nave and two aisles separated by arcades and a Mudéjar-style belfry tower with four chambers framed by stone cornices. Features that are particularly worthy of note inside the church are the altarpiece and the royal chapel, where King Philip IV and Mariana of Austria were wed. On Puerta del Sol, the town’s crossroads, stand a statue of Philip IV.

Chapels and squares

Navalcarnero is also renowned for its abundance of religious buildings. The streets are peppered with shrines and crosses dating back to the seventeenth century, although most have been renovated. The Chapel of San Roque, for instance, used to belong to the family of Juan Antonio Ribera, court painter for Charles IV and Ferdinand VII and is decorated with frescoes by Alberto Pirrongelli. Next to the main square stands the Chapel of Veracruz which also boasts interesting frescoes.

Another popular square is the Plaza de San José where you’ll find the church of the same name. The Wine Museum, also worth visiting when you’re in town, is situated on the Plaza de Alonso de Arreo.  

Food and festivals

In early September Navalcarnero honours its patron saint Nuestra Señora de la Concepción with festivities that include fireworks, running of the bulls in the evening, and the Golden Age Royal Market, a weekend-long event which recreates King Philip IV and Mariana of Austria’s wedding. On May 15, the town pays tribute to St Isidore the Farmer.

Local traditional dishes include roast lamb and small game, such as rabbit, hare and partridge. Chickpeas are a staple of regional cuisine and they are used to make a hearty stew known as olla del segador, which is strongly reminiscent of Madrid’s traditional cocido Madrileño stew.

How to get there:

By car: 35min drive along A-5 highway.

By bus: 45min ride from Príncipe Pío transport hub (528).

Useful links:

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