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the beauties

The abandoned towns of madrid they bear witness to the situation that rural Spain has suffered for decades. The lack of employment opportunities and the scarcity of services have pushed its inhabitants to move to the cities to improve their living conditions.

As a result, in all provinces of our country there have been empty or semi-abandoned cities that have a ghostly appearance. If you visit them, you will still notice the encouragement of those who inhabited them and, above all, you will be transported to other times when country life was populated and, in some cases, even prosperous. But, without further ado, we are going to show you some abandoned towns in Madrid.

Torote Fresno

Torote Ash

Torote Fresno Church

fully located vsaround the Henares about fifteen kilometers from Alcalá, this town was created by none other than the first Marquess of Santillana to house the laborers of their land in the 15th century. In fact, in 2000, a grave was found in the local church where the son of the aristocrat was buried.

The main reason why Fresno was abandoned is precisely related to the work of its inhabitants. Apparently, the last ones who lived there were day laborers of the Marquis of Quirós and the Count of Torrepalma. When they stopped needing it, they went elsewhere to earn a living.

Interestingly, Torote’s Fresno is abandoned, but Serroots, which was added to its municipal district in the 19th century, has a population and is currently the council’s capital. There are also several urbanizations in the area. The few inhabitants who were already in the city moved to these other cities.

If you go to this city, in addition to the abandoned houses, you can visit the Church of the Assumption of Our Lady. And, very close to her, Saint Etienne, built in the 16th century according to the canons of the Renaissance, but with Mudejar elements. On its facade stands out a belfry in which two round arches open and which ends in a pediment.

Also you can see the Hermitage of Solitude. But what will catch your attention the most is the good condition in which Fresno is kept. You will almost believe that its inhabitants have just left.

Finally, we will tell you that you can travel to Fresno with your own vehicle. But, if you prefer, there is two bus lines that keeps you close They leave from the Canillejas metro station and are the 251 and 256, which go to Valdeavero, Torrejón and Alcalá de Henares.


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El Alamín, another abandoned town in Madrid

Alberche River

Alberche River, in the basin of which is El Alamín, one of the abandoned towns of Madrid

This city, located in the Alberche region, with its extraordinary natural beauty, had a shorter life than Fresno de Torote. It was also created to house the day laborers of an aristocrat, in this case the Count of Ruiseñada. But its foundation dates back to the middle of the 20th century, and when these workers were no longer needed, they had to leave.

However, it experienced a certain splendor for a few years and even had a church, a school and a post office. It was distributed in a square and five streets made up of about forty single-storey houses in total. El Alamín was abandoned around the year 2000 and currently, it seems, is in the hands of a real estate agency whose plans are unknown.

the beauties

View of Las Bellidas

the beauties

This other abandoned city of Madrid belongs to the municipality of Pinuecar-Gandullas in the middle of the marvelous Lozoya Valley. If you visit it, you will hardly find any standing houses. In fact, there is only one, called Village of Bellidas and around it a set of ruins.

In this case, its people left simply to find a more prosperous way of life than that offered by the countryside. However, in the surroundings of this city you have a lot to see and do.

If you come to Las Bellidas, we advise you to do one of the wonderful hiking trails offered by the Lozoya Valley. And also that you see places like Braojos of the Sierra with its beautiful church of San Vicente Mártir, or The Berrueco with its Muslim watchtower and its temple of Santo Tomás Apóstol.

But above all, get closer Buitrago del Lozoya, a wonderful surprise a few kilometers from Madrid. Declared a Property of Cultural Interest, this town is surrounded by a fortified enclosure built in the 11th century. However, its good state of conservation is due to several subsequent restorations.

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Buitrago also has a Castle from the 15th century and in Gothic-Mudéjar style. Its plan is rectangular, with seven towers, a central patio and even a defensive moat. Likewise, we advise you to pay attention to the Arrabal Bridge, built around the 15th century, and the spectacular Church of Santa Maria del Castillo built in the 14th century and combining the Flamboyant Gothic and Mudejar styles.

But even more surprises await you in Buitrago. Don’t stop watching the Forest house, a 17th-century Renaissance-style mansion that was built to house the Dukes of the Infantado. But even more curious is the Picasso Museum which houses paintings by the Malaga artist donated by Eugenio Arias, who was his hairdresser and friend.



Church of San Pedro in Polvoranca

It is another of the abandoned towns of Madrid and is between Leganés, Fuenlabrada and Alcorcón. It may have been the one that was first depopulated. Its inhabitants began to leave in the 18th century due to the harsh climate of the region, the diseases caused by the nearby rivers and also the development of nearby towns such as those we have just mentioned.

However, you can still see in Polvoranca, today absorbed by Leganés and transformed into a park, the Church of San Pedro Apostolate, it is true that very deteriorated. Out of curiosity, we will tell you that this abandoned town is described in the novel Nazarinof Benito Perez Galdos.

On the other hand, since you are in Polvoranca, you can take the opportunity to visit Leganes, which offers you some interesting monuments. This is the case of Church of San Salvador a 17th century temple with a main altarpiece made by Jose de Churriguera at the beginning of the XVIII. We also advise you to see the neoclassical hermitage of San Nicasio and the Casa de Salud de Santa Isabel, which was the first psychiatric hospital to open in Spain.

Finally, go to Barracks of the Walloon Royal Guards building created by Francesco Sabatini one of those responsible for the Royal Palace of Madrid in the 18th century and don’t forget to pass by the Plaza Mayor to see the Swiss automaton clock of the Town Hall.

Navalquejigo, the largest of Madrid’s abandoned towns

the dump

Town hall of El Escorial, to which Navalquejigo belongs

This city of Madrid is located in the marvelous landscapes of the vsGuadarrama Basin specifically in the town of the dump. You can get there by train, as it still has a station where the C-3 line stops.


The history of Navalquejigo is even more curious than that of the other abandoned towns of Madrid. Founded in the Middle Ages, it remained uninhabited in the eighties of the 20th century. But, soon after, a group of homeless people came to him and saved him from disappearing. Even today, it is classified as a Property of Cultural Interest.

In fact, you can still see several monuments in this village. So the Exaltation of the Holy Cross Church the pillory, the washhouse fountain, the old town hall building and the 17th century bridge.

But, as you will have understood, since you are in Navalquejigo, you must go to San Lorenzo del Escorial, one of the most beautiful villages in Spain. it’s spectacular monastery which includes a basilica, a palace, a library, a school and a pantheon of kings, alone is worth a visit.

It was built in the 16th century by order of Philip II and famous architects such as John the Baptist of Toledo Yes Juan de Herrera. It marks the transition from the Plateresque style to the classicism of the Renaissance and its colossal dimensions are truly impressive.

In short, this is not the place to tell you what to see in San Lorenzo de El Escorial. But we cannot avoid mentioning other places of interest in this declared beautiful city Patrimonium of mankind. Among them, the houses of the Prince and the Child two 18th century neoclassical mansions built by Juan de Villanueva with their respective gardens.

But also the trading houses, the Castañar and La Herrería estates and the Royal Colosseum Theater of Carlos III, popularly known as “La Bombonera” and built in the 18th century. All this without forgetting the curious Pulpit of Felipe II, in which, according to legend, the monarch sat to see the progress of the works of the sanctuary. However, it appears to be an old altar of Vetton origin.

In conclusion, we have presented to you some of the abandoned Towns of Madrid. But, unfortunately, there are many other cities that, although still inhabited, follow the same path. The phenomenon of depopulated Spain leaves the fields of our country without inhabitants. And it’s a shame because in rural areas there are real monumental gems that deserve to be well maintained. Without leaving the Community of Madrid, this is the case of madarcos with 49 inhabitants, the hiruela with 65 and a beautiful natural environment or Holly with 68 inhabitants.

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