Alpedrete is located at the foothills of the Sierra de Guadarrama, and its municipal area occupies 12.6 km2 mainly flat land, although mountains surround it.
It shares borders with Collado Mediano to the north, with Galapagar to the south, with Collado Villalba to the east and with Guadarrama to the west and has direct access to the Sierra de Guadarrama National Park. The municipality has a continental climate with mountain influences and also important water resources.
The first human settlements in Alpedrete took place around 1200, as a consequence of the Segovian repopulation which was recorded after the Reconquest. However, the archaeological remains which were found prove the human presence on these lands for thousands of years. In 1630, Alpedrete was accorded the title of “villazgo”, and until 1840 it was considered as a neighbourhood of Collado Villalba with its mayor with jurisdiction over outlying hamlets and country areas. Nowadays, it receives many visitors, and part of its population has only its holiday home here.
Alpedrete has no doubt one of the most beautiful and surprising architectural complexes of the Sierra de Guadarrama. The town hall and the Assumption Church (Iglesia de la Asunción) are the main examples of the municipality’s artistic heritage.
Assumption Church (Iglesia de la Asunción)
The first thing about the Assumption Church that stands out is its resemblance to a fortress. It has a carved parapet at the height of the bullrush, which gives access to the interior through a Romanesque arched door. The stone chancel with its ball decoration and the Mudejar coffered ceiling has great value. Another remarkable element is the spiral staircase, made of stone, which gives access to the belltower and the space for the choir.
The town hall was built in 1959 based on the project of José María de la Vega and under the supervision of Vicente Guillén Zamorano. It has an Escurialense style which makes the balcony of the main facade and the stairs outstanding. The town hall is situated in the Plaza de la Villa and forms, which forms together with the Assumption Church an elegant building complex, in the surroundings of the Sierra de Guadarrama.
Festivals and traditions
Alpedrete has managed to maintain the spirit of its traditions and share them with the new generations and with the numerous tourists who visit the municipality.
Bullfighting shows, musicals, stew and religious devotion meet at the festivities that are organised. Also, other cultural events add up, so that one can enjoy even more the summer evenings in Alpedrete.
- Santa Quiteria Festival, patron saint of Alpedrete:
On the 22nd of May, a large number of events are organised so that everyone can enjoy these celebrations in the surroundings of the Sierra de Guadarrama.
Marian devotion is represented at its greatest on the eve of the festival when the people of the village go downhill to the Santa Quiteria Country Chapel (where the representation of the Virgin is kept all year) and bring the image of the Virgin uphill to the church.
The bullfighting shows and the caldereta dish served afterwards (prepared with the meat of the cattle grazed) are very popular with locals and many tourists who come here to live an unforgettable experience.
- Our Lady of the Assumption Festival 15th of August is the day of the patron saint of the Alpedrete Church. In her honour, religious processions, as well as other events such as concerts, children’s games and fireworks, are prepared to be enjoyed in the surroundings of the Sierra de Guadarrama.
- Our Lady of Carmen Festival: On the 16th of July, Los Negrales neighbourhood organises religious services and events for all audiences to honour Our Lady of Carmen, in the surroundings of the Sierra de Guadarrama.
The impressive mountains of the Sierra de Guadarrama that surround Alpedrete determine its distinctive climate and vegetation. Among the latter stand out the grasslands, the oak specimens and the areas with bushes. The granitic terrain and the rocky areas are also characteristic of the municipality. Mammals, birds including raptors, amphibians and reptiles are the most common animal species present in these parts.
One of the jewels of Alpedrete is its oak pasture where it is a delight to walk and where there are also several abandoned quarries, nowadays home to different species of amphibians.