Moralzarzal covers an area of 43.5 km2 and is located at the foothills of the Sierra de Guadarrama, so it has a specific climate, with cold winters and dry, hot summers. The municipality shares borders with Becerril de la Sierra, to the north; with El Boalo-Cerceda-Mataelpino, to the northeast; with Manzanares El Real and Colmenar Viejo, to the east; with Hoyo de Manzanares, Torrelodones and Galapagar, to the south; with Collado Villalba and Alpedrete, to the west; and with Collado Mediano, to the northwest.
Shepherds from Segovia were the first to establish a settlement in the lands of Moralzarzal during the Reconquest period. Even so, there is reason to believe that humans were present beforehand. The municipality was added to El Real de Manzanares and in 1636 gained the title of “villa”. The toponymy seems to come from two population centres that joined: Fuente del Moral and Zarzal. Moralzarzal has a unique location in the Sierra de Guadarrama, and many tourists enjoy it.
The artistic heritage of Moralzarzal is best represented by the San Miguel Arcángel Church and by the clock known as Frascuelo. Moreover, it is highly recommended to walk along its streets and enjoy how much the town offers.
Plaza de la Constitución, 1.
Moralzarzal Town Hall is located in the Plaza de la Constitución. It is a two-level stone building that has on top a small tower where is placed a centennial clock known as Frascuelo. In the square, there is also a fountain from the 19th century.
San Miguel Arcángel Church
Glorieta del Caño, 5.
The church was built between the 16th and 17th centuries using masonry and reinforced ashlar chains on the walls, except for the tower, which is of irregular masonry with two bodies separated by an impost decorated with balls. The church nave has a square chancel, and the sacristy is attached to it. Inside, the 16th– century holy water stack adorned with Gothic motifs stands out.
Festivals and traditions
Moralzarzal has managed to maintain many of its traditions and added more recent ones which complement the others. Religious and town festivals take place throughout the year, so you can fully enjoy them.
• La Luminaria Festival. This traditional festival takes place in January in honour of San Sebastián. People gather around a bonfire and chocolate with churros (small deep-fried batter sticks), and cakes are served.
•Cruz de Mayo Festival: It takes place at the beginning of May with a pilgrimage on the streets of the town and a mass in the chapel of La Tejera Park. Afterwards, barbecue and wine are served. Cultural and children’s activities also take place.
• Patron saint’s day celebrations. They take place at the end of September. For a whole week, a large number of events and shows for everyone are held. Bullfights, children’s activities, musical performances, brotherhood meals and leisure events are some of the examples of how much can be done during these celebrations.
• Las Puches Festival: On the 1st of November takes place this festival that recalls the house parties of the past. On this day, one can enjoy the traditional dessert known as “Puches” and prepared by the senior women of Moralzarzal, while listening to music.
Thanks to its location, within the Sierra de Guadarrama, this municipal area enjoys a unique climate, with cold winters and dry and hot summers. This climate also influences the nature of the place, whose most prominent features are an abundance of water – the Navacerrada River, springs and streams -, and specimens of pine, oak, poplars, broom, ash, rockrose and thyme, as well as more than 2,000 hectares of pastures for cattle.