The Sierra de Guadarrama has excellent examples of religious architecture spread into their territory. In this section you can find a sellection of them, but you can find further information about them in “Our Villages”.
Assumption Church (Iglesia de la Asunción)
Plaza de la Villa. Alpedrete.
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 church has a single nave with four sections. It was built with ashlars at the end of the 15th century. Masonry refurbishments were made in the XXth century. It is one of the architectural gems of the Sierra de Guadarrama and its surroundings.
San Andrés Apóstol Parish Church
Avenida Jose Antonio 47. Becerril de la Sierra.
The stone-made parish, of rural baroque style with Herrerian influences, is located in the middle of Sierra de Guadarrama; its construction is dated between the late 16th and early 17th century. The church, which has a rectangular nave with some irregularities, stands out for its tower with three bodies separated by imposts and for its portico on Tuscan columns.
One of the most valuable elements of the church is the lateral atrium. Its roof, of single water, sits on six Tuscan columns that, in turn, rest on a low wall. The atrium is also the place from where the interior of the temple can be accessed through a semi-circular arch constructed with voussoirs. Certain authors believe that this atrium was added at the end of the 18th century.
At the end of the Spanish Civil War, the San Andrés Apóstol Church was quite deteriorated, which is why the National Board of Reconstruction of Parochial Temples took charge of its reconstruction. This church was also refurbished at the end of the 60s of the 20th century and also in 1995.
San Isidro Country Chapel
Area of Las Laderas. El Boalo.
This peculiar country chapel is located in the area of Las Laderas de El Boalo, in a unique and sought-after environment, surrounded by magnificent scenery with stunning views of the Sierra de Guadarrama. It was built thanks to the generous work of residents during the decades of the 80s and 90s, using granite masonry from the area. It is a proof of the devotion the residents of El Boalo profess to San Isidro as the patron par excellence of the farmers and cattle breeders, a guild to which the vast majority of the residents formerly belonged. On the 15th of May, the traditional pilgrimage in honour of the saint takes place at the foot of Peña Mediodía, next to the recreation area of the same name. It attracts the participation of neighbours and tourists for a day in the countryside full of hospitality and of festive atmosphere.
Santa María la Blanca Church
Plaza del Cristo,1. Cerceda.
Santa María la Blanca Church in Cerceda, designated a National Historic Monument, is the only example of stylistic purification in this area that features the 16th-century Castilian religious architecture. Since the times of the Catholic Monarchs, this was called the abulense Gothic style and was part of the last Romanesque style heading to the new Gothic one.
The church is decorated with balls on the cornice and among its unique qualities stand out the harmonic slenderness of the bell tower from where the view of the mountains and the surroundings is wonderful. The church is made of granite masonry, except the sacristy, built with regular ashlars. In the interior, it conserves a Renaissance baptismal font; the main altarpiece, made by flamenco and Spanish artists is very interesting. It is also worth noting the impressive carving of the Christ of Hope. The acoustic of this temple is extraordinary, and throughout the year one can enjoy concerts of the La Coral. It is located in the Plaza del Cristo s / n Cerceda.
Santa Águeda Church
San Bartolomé, 10. Mataelpino.
Saint Águeda Church was built after the collapse of the Church of San Andrés. It has a modern construction style, from the second half of the 20th century. The old church of Mataelpino, dating from the 16th century, was in a ruinous state, so it was decided to build a new one. Unfortunately, the construction ran out of funds after cementing it and having little else done. In 1978 the residents of Mataelpino decided to finish building it, bringing funds and workforce. It was estimated that by supplying manpower, 70% of the cost of construction could be saved. After a year of works, the church as it is in its actual state was completed. Typical mountain materials such as stone and wood were used. It houses the effigy of Saint Águeda, in whose honour the day of the Águedas is celebrated.
San Sebastián Church
Plaza Mayor, 3. Cercedilla.
Parish Church of Cercedilla is consecrated to the dedication of San Sebastián, co-patron of the Villa, together with Nuestra Señora de la Natividad Chrurch. The temple, of late Romanesque origin, is a free-standing building with a Latin cross plan and a single nave. The access to it is through a portico located on the midday facade so that the sequence of the elements that compose the building can be distinguished: the tower, the nave with the portico and the baptismal chapel, and the transept with the sacristy and the chapel of the Christ of Clemency.
Worth mentioning the Churrigueresque altarpiece that decorates the top part of the church. The piece was commissioned in 1612 to the sculptor Juan Ruiz de Castañeda and the painter Francisco Granello. Over the years, the altarpiece has suffered variations and losses likewise the church in its whole; for example, during the Civil War, some of the altarpieces of the temple got destroyed.
San Ildefonso Parish
Manuel Semprún Street, c / v Burgos, c / v Cuenca. Collado Mediano.
It was built in 1782 with the debris of the old church and of the San Juan Chapel. Inside the main altar is one of the most valuable pieces of the temple: an altarpiece of the late seventeenth century from the Convent of Mercedarias, in Madrid. The church, restored in 1942, is one of the most beautiful in the Sierra de Guadarrama area.
San Miguel Arcángel Parish Church
Church Street, v / v Reyes Católicos, c / v Panera, 1 and 3. Guadarrama.
It was built in the 18th century in the same place where the old royal granary (Paneras Reales and Real Pósito de la Villa y Corte de Madrid) was. It was destroyed during the French invasion, and a private citizen bought the debris and donated it to the parish priest for the construction of a new temple in the village.
The masonry of the original construction was preserved; the vault was replaced by a wooden ceiling and a slate roof. At the backside of the church, there is one of the main elements of the church that represents the art of heraldry of the time. It is an imperial coat of arms of the Old Chain House (Antigua Casa de la Cadena), and two other coats of arms of Madrid, of the same century, located on the two sides of the first one.
Former Parish Church of Nuestra Señora del Rosario
Plaza de la Caldereta. Hoyo de Manzanares
Its construction began in the fifteenth century and was not completed until the 18th century. Throughout its history, the granite stone building had to go through numerous refurbishments, the last one making of it what it is nowadays: a Cultural and Social Centre. The stage arch had to be modified so that the central nave could be turned into an auditorium with a capacity of up to 150 people. The chapel is dedicated to the Virgen de la Encina, patron saint of the Villa. It is located in one of the wings of the crossing and continues to be used for religious events.
Nuestra Señora de las Nieves Church
Cura Street, 1. Manzanares El Real.
According to the existing documentation, Nuestra Señora de las Nieves Church seems to have been founded in the early 14th century, under the protection of the first Marquis de Santillana. Its architectural style is not defined, due to the different modifications it has undergone, to the point of mixing the Romanesque with the Gothic, without forming a unity.
The church has three naves, separated by arches on stone columns. The central nave, in Romanesque style, is headed by a presbytery of pentagonal shape. The tower has three parts, separated from each other by imposts. The sacristy, of later construction, is covered with ribs. Lastly, the porch is from the mid-16th century, and its style is purist Renaissance.
12, Santa María St. Miraflores de la Sierra.
Miraflores de la Sierra Church is located in the old town, facing east. The first church had was built between 1419 and 1481. Thanks to the apse with the buttresses that contain the walls and the round tower, it can be imagined that the exterior aspect of that church was that of a castle or fortress. The main entrance was a Gothic cover that is not preserved.
Inside the church, there is a beautiful baptismal font from the year 1492. The tower, square, belongs to the first building built during the 15th century and is the only element that remains of it. Over the centuries, it underwent numerous reforms until it became what it is now: a succession of added elements such as the tower, the presbytery and cruise ship, three naves, two porches facing north and south, respectively, and a series of terraced chapels on both sides of the aisles.
San José Chapel
Doctor Rodríguez Padilla Park. Los Molinos.
It dates from 1737. It was located in the Old Cemetery that stopped being used in 1940 when the new cemetery began to be built in Los Llanos. The chapel is in Herrera’s neoclassical style and is currently surrounded by a park called Doctor Rodríguez Padilla.
San Miguel Arcángel Church
Glorieta del Caño, 5. Moralzarzal.
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.
Nuestra Señora de la Natividad Festival
Iglesia sq. Navacerrada.
On the 8th of September Navacerrada commemorates Nuestra Señora de la Natividad, but on the previous and subsequent days more celebrations take place, in what represents the patron saint’s day: Children’s Day, Women’s Day, Elder’s and Men’s Day are celebrated, so the whole population is represented. These days are full of events, notably the running of the bulls, the bullfights, the sports competitions, the musical performances, the parades and the religious services. Social harmony between neighbours and visitors also stands out.
Inmaculada Concepción Church
San Sebastian St. 2. Soto del Real.
The parish of Soto del Real is dedicated to Inmaculada Concepción. It was built in the second half of the 16th century, on top of a primitive church whose tower is the only part left. Its construction had different stages, and therefore, its elements are from different centuries. Thus, the chancel, the upper part of the temple and the transept are from the 16th century, while the central nave, of lower height, is of the 18th century. The tower is separated from the body of the church, although it is currently joined by the Parish House.
Inside the church, there are several Baroque style altarpieces, from the 18th century. Another important element is its altar table, made of limestone, which has a frontal decorated with plateresque motifs from the first third of the 16th century.