The Comunidad de Madrid ,oh yes!

On a nice day still waiting for Spring, cloudy but rain stop and not cold around 10C or 50F in my neck of the woods, and hoping to get our puppy Saturday. I would like to speak about an area dear to me.

I have written on a few times in my blog with concentration in Madrid of course (lived there for glorious 4 yrs and visit every year for upteem times)so, to tell you I will be biased. Well this is the Comunidad de Madrid or the autonomous region of Madrid, it includes Madrid but will leave out as much as possible to tell about the other beautiful towns and history of it.

The Comunidad de Madrid is the province of Madrid; the capital and as well capital of Spain. The province is surrounded by the provinces of Guadalajara, Cuenca, and Toledo in the region of Castille La Mancha, Avila and Segovia in the region of Castilla y Leon. In 1981,Madrid was separated from Castilla La Mancha heir to the old Nueva Castilla of which Madrid belongs since the 19C . By 1983,the Comunidad de Madrid was finally established.

The comunidad or community has a beautiful landscape especially in mountain range of Guadarrama and at Ayllón ,the most westernmost area of the mountain range of Somosierra, as well as Gredos , the easternmost part. You have wonderful mountain tops of Peñalara at 2428 meters, Peña Cebollera at 2129 meters, and at Alto del Mirlo at 1700 meters. In my wonderful Guadarrama you have also the peaks of La Maliciosa at 2227 meters and the Siete Picos at 2138 meters. The Jarama river runs for 190 km,and is the longest river here on the borders of the Tajo river ; it is by here that you can go to Guadarrama , Somosierra and the wonderful peak station of Puerto de Navacerrada.

As you can imagine the transports here are big and excellent. You have the Barajas-Madrid Adolfo Suarez international airport just outside the city of Madrid in the proper town of Barajas; the best way to reach the area. Of course, if you are like me ,you come by car if in Europe I do it every year! The road network is free except the radials highways or Radiales mark with an R like R-2, R-3, R-4 and R-5. There are too not radiales but do charge these are the AP-6 ,and the M-12. From Madrid, you have all the roads or all the roads lead to Madrid!!, from Kilometer zero at the Puerta del Sol in Madrid. The highway/motoways or as here call Autovías, you have the wonderful A-1 going to Burgos Basque country and France! ,A-2 the way to Barcelona, A-3 the way to Valencia , A-4 going south to Andalucia, A-5 go west to Badajoz and Portugal, and the A-6 to Galicia, and the great A-42 to Toledo. The wonderful M-30 (completed as I was leaving Madrid) is managed by the City of Madrid ; the M-40 and M-50 beltways are managed by the State; and the M-45 is by the region. Alongside, you have the M-21 and M-31 that connects them in axis all the beltway autovias. The roads passed by good views mountain passes like the Navacerrada at 1858 meters , Guadarrama/Los Leones,at 1511 meters and the Somosierra at 1434 meters.

It also has a railroad since 1851 opened by Queen Isabel II on the line Madrid-Aranjuez; the oldest in Spain. There is the fast speed train or AVE with service like to Madrid-Córdoba-Sevilla, Madrid-Córdoba-Málaga, Madrid-Zaragoza-Lérida-Tarragona-Barcelona,Madrid-Toledo, Madrid-Segovia-Valladolid,Madrid-Cuenca-Valencia, and the Madrid-Albacete-Alicante. There are suburban trains call Cercanías ;which are the busiest in Spain. It has 10 lines from the Capital to the suburbs and with correspondance in Atocha Cercanías, except the C-9,that runs on the sides of the mountains or Sierra de Guadarrama, passing by mountain passes such as Navacerrada ,and Cotos. This line has a unleveling descend of about 60%, one of the most penpendiculars in Europe ; opened in 1923 by the King Alfonso XIII. There is a metro/subway/tube in Madrid run by Metro de Madrid.

This comunidad de Madrid part of the historic Castilla has three Unesco world heritage site such as Monasterio de El Escorial , the University and city center of Alcalá de Henares, and the cultural center of Aranjuez.

Webpages to help you plan your trip are here:
Tourism comm Madrid :

State Community of Madrid tourism :

Province tourism ofiices major cities:

The Comunidad de Madrid celebrates its main day on May 2 as the independence Day (from Napoleon’s  France in 1808). The enclosures of bulls such as those at San Sebastián de los Reyes (going back to the 16C) are second only to Pamplona. The gastronomy here is diverse and plenty, the one not to missed is the Cocido Madrileño , the little soldiers of Pavia or soldaditos de Pavía, the besugo a la madrilène (red sea bream fish ), the potage or potage de vigilia. Wines are plenty with DO Vinos de Madrid, located at Arganda del Rey, Navalcarnero ,and San Martín de Valdeiglesias. Also the wonderful anisette or Anís de Chinchón;the beef from the Sierra de Guadarrama;olives from Campo Real; and Olive oil of Madrid; also the cheese or queso de Campo Real. The sweets are best from the convent in Alcalà de Henares or the big strawberries of Aranjuez.

I like to tell you a bit of history I like:

During the Roman Empire the region was integrated to the province of Citerior Tarraconense, except the southwestern part, belonging to Lusitania (Portugal).The region was connected by two important Roman ways such as the Via XXIV-XXIX (from Astorga to Laminium), and the Via XXV (from Emerita Augusta to Caesaraugusta). The city of Complutum (Alcalá de Henares) reached high relevance in the empire while Titulcia and Miaccum at the foot of the mountains. The city of Madrid came about between 860 and 880AD, as a walled town where a religious and military community lived. This push the contruction of fortifications for the defense of cities like Toledo,above the Talamanca de Jarama and Qal’-at’-Abd-Al-Salam (Alcalá de Henares),as the most importants. In 1083, king Alfonso VI takes the city of Madrid ,and two years later he entered in Toledo. While Alcalá de Henares felled in 1118, on a new annexation of the kingdom of Castilla.

The Castilian monarchy begins to expand on the center of current Spain for its excellent hunting grounds and forest lands ; El Pardo was a preferred site frequented by the kings on hunting trips since king Enrique III (14C). The Catholic kings pushed for the construction of the Royal Palace of Aranjuez. In the 16C, San Lorenzo de El Escorial was added to the list of Royal sites. Madrid was one of 18 towns with the right to vote in the Cortes or Court of Castilla. As well served as residence to various monarchs such as Emperor Carlos I, that enlarged and renovated the Alcázar. In the 16C ,also, came about the university or Universidad de Alcalá de Henares, opened in 1508,while residing the Cardinal Cisneros. By 1561,king Felipe II established Madrid as the Capital of his empire that can considered the big push to create a province of Madrid. In 1833 ,Spain creates the provinces and one of them was Madrid( feat that was carried out into the Hispanic Americas). In this new division the province was put in the region of Castilla la Nueva (new Castile); eventually the provinces of Ciudad Real, Cuenca, Guadalajara , and Toledo were added. These changes made that the small town of Valdeavero, before part of the province of Guadalajara now passed to Madrid in 1850. The status of Autonomous Community of Madrid was approved in 1983. The province of Madrid became in 1983 the Comunidad de Madrid.

And this is it, Comunidad de Madrid, a bit condense story of a beautiful region and many memories of youth with my mom, and now souvenirs of visiting with my family, so lucky to be able to do it every year. Enjoy it as I do, it is magical. Have a great weekend ! Cheers!!!

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