Navalcarnero

  • Navalcarnero
    navalcarnero.jpg

The Royal Village of Navalcarnero lies 31km 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 main square, named Plaza de Segovia, and the sixteenth-century Church of Nuestra Señora de la Asunción. Plaza de Segovia is the traditional Castilian square: irregular floor plan, arcades, three-storey buildings and wooden balconies. Major buildings facing the square include the old Town Hall.

The Church of Nuestra Señora de la Asunción has a nave and two aisles, separated by arches. The belfry tower, in the Mudejar style, features four chambers framed by stone cornices: the first one is high and plain; the second one has loopholes; the third, intersecting blind arches and, finally, there is the bell chamber. Gems inside include the high altarpiece and the royal chapel, where the royal wedding of King Philip IV and Mariana of Austria took place. Puerta del Sol, a crossroads in the village, features a statue of Philip IV.

Chapels and squares

If there’s something Navalcarnero is renowned for, that’s religious buildings. The streets are peppered with shrines and crosses dating back to the seventeenth century, although most have been renovated. The Shrine of San Roque, for instance, used to belong to the family of Juan Antonio Ribera, court painter for Charles IV and Ferdinand VII. It’s decorated with frescoes by Alberto Pirrongelli. In the same square, the Chapel of Veracruz also features interesting frescoes.

In San José Square, also very popular, you’ll find the Church of San José, while Alonso de Arreo Square pays tribute to the alderman that defended Navalcarnero in the disputes over chartered privileges. The latter houses the Wine Museum.

Food and festivals

The town’s main festival takes place in early August. There are fireworks and running of the bulls in the evening. A few days earlier there’s the Golden Age Royal Market, recreating King Philip IV’s wedding. The most popular religious feast pays homage to St Isidore the Farmer, in mid-May.

Typical dishes include roasted lamb and small game (rabbit, hare, partridge, and so on). Chickpeas are a staple of regional cuisine; they’re used to make a hearty stew known as olla del segador, which tastes like a typical dish of Madrid called cocido Madrileño.

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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