Even though Sierra de Guadarrama has a rich and well known natural heritage and landscape not everyone is familiar with the cultural and historical heritage. An excellent way to know this patrimony, is through the different museums that can be visited in the region.
The Ethnographic Museum
Avenida Calvo Sotelo, nº 13. Becerril de la Sierra.
At the end of 2012, in Becerril de la Sierra a small museum was opened with photographs, home furnishings, household utensils and tools used in the village in the last two centuries. It is not permanently open to the public, but it can be visited virtually by watching a video available on https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_VFlCnHi1Fs&feature=youtu.be
Power Station (Fabrica de la Luz)
Ctra. De las Dehesas, s / n. Cercedilla.
The old hydroelectric power plant that for over 50 years supplied electricity to the streets and houses of Cercedilla is located on the road to the Dehesas.
A jewel of industrial heritage, it preserves its original structure and machinery; as a peculiarity, all its electromagnetic equipment is locally made.
This plant started to operate in 1925 and was a municipal initiative to produce energy locally and counteract the energy supplier´s increase of tariffs. The power station has been transformed into a hydropower visitor centre offering learning material, interactive displays and miniatures. During the tour, the visitor learns about the history of the plant, how and why it was built, and about the water circuit: the channelling and storage of water, how the circuit works and what is its structure.
For visits, book in advance by calling 91 852 37 18 or by writing to oficinadeturismo@cercedilla.
The Ski Museum
Plaza Mayor, 4. Cercedilla.
In Spain, skiing began right on the slopes adjacent to Cercedilla, around 1903, when a Spaniard, González de Amezúa together with a Norwegian who worked in the wood industry of Madrid, Birgen Lorensen, began what they called at that time to “skate”, down the slopes of the Ventorrillo, using wooded skis.
Since then, Cercedilla has been a reference point for skiing. Ski champions in alpine and Nordic skiing come from Cercedilla: 29 of them at a national level, and 2 Olympic medals winners Paquito Fernández Ochoa, a gold, in Sapporo ’72 and his sister Blanca, a bronze, in Albertville ’92. With a modern layout and the use of audio-visual displays, scenography, objects and ancient documents, the museum invites to a journey through the history of snow sports; the visitor can follow how the skis have evolved, from the first handcrafted wooden ones to the last carving technology model; or see how the first women dressed in wool skirts and scarves skied or even discover how the Alpine Battalion took refuge in the mountains during the Civil War.
Besides, the top floor is entirely about the history of the station of Puerto de Navacerrada in the fifties and the life of Paquito: his descents to Navacerrada Mountain Pass, his training with the national team, the victory in Sapporo and his lifetime dedication to promoting skiing in Spain.
In short, the Ski Museum is a special and unique place to learn about how skiing began, and it has been practised in the Spanish state. It is open to the public on weekends, from 11 am to 2 pm and from 3 pm to 5 pm. You can find out about the activities of the Museum at 918 523718 or on the webpage www.museodelesqui.com
Contact details for tourist information and the Ski Museum: firstname.lastname@example.org / Phone number: 91 852 37 18.
The Roman site “El Beneficio.”
The existence of a Roman inn, established around the second century AD in Collado Mediano is documented. From the 3rd until the 4th century, it was destroyed or remodelled, reaching its maximum splendour in the latter century. The inn was a place for travellers to rest after descending from the Sierra de Guadarrama or just before their ascent to the lands of the North Plateau. The inn was abandoned around the fifth century, after the barbarian invasion and the destabilisation of the Roman Empire.
Ethnological and Archaeological Museum
C / Cañada, 26. Manzanares El Real.
It was founded in 1992 and is located in the Culture House. It has two rooms: one of ethnology and another of archaeology. In the first one, the museum exhibits a sample of the local culture – it shows how was divided a house of yesteryear -, plus many objects used in different activities. In the archaeology room, numerous archaeological remains that have been discovered at different sites of the town are displayed.
Julio Escobar House Museum
Calle Concejo, 31. Los Molinos.
It is an exhibition centre for the legacy of Julio Escobar. Visitors can see a collection of furniture, fans, antique ink and other items.
• Wednesday to Sunday from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
• Saturdays and Sundays from 12:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. and from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
• Appointments for groups can be booked off the clock by calling the town hall at 91.855.10.13