In the province of Guadalajara, in the shelter of Sierra Norte, we come across a group of towns that share a singularity: all the houses are built with black slate extracted from the natural surroundings of the area. This, together with the nature that surrounds them, undoubtedly turns these towns into authentic wonders with an ethnographic and architectural value. This group called ‘Towns of Black Architecture’, is in the process of being declared a World Heritage Site by Unesco. Today we wander through the different places that we find in one of the routes of the Black Towns. Will you join us?
It is the gateway to the various routes of the Black Towns. Here stands out, not so much the black architecture but the monuments such as The Church of Nuestra Señora de la Asunción (from the 16th century), the Cistercian Monastery of Bonaval (13th century) and the Mendocino Palace (16th century), nowadays the City Hall. At less than a kilometer we encounter the enchanted city of Tamajón where the shapes of the rocks give the place a magical character.
The first town that we discover in the route that goes from Tamajón to Zarzuela de Galve is Almiruete. Here, in addition to its black architecture, stands out its Fiesta de las Botargas and Margaritas that is celebrated during the carnival in February. And that is an ideal time to visit this place as the colorful costumes contrast with the black background of slate. A surprising panorama, to say the least.
The peculiarity of this town is how nature has been taking center stage giving the impression that it has been inserted between the cluttered houses. The trees, the proximity of the Pyrenean oak forests and the picturesque houses achieve an amazing color combination.
Valverde de los Arroyos
Its urban site is one of the highest exponents of the Black Architecture. To enjoy its charm, it is best to head to Plaza Mayor, where you will find some of the most popular buildings as well as its 19th century Parish Church. It is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful places in the region. A good opportunity to visit is during the celebration of Octava del Corpus, whose protagonists wear very peculiar impressive handcrafted outfits.
Zarzuela de Galve
This is the last town we visit on this route. It maintains several buildings made with slate, as well as a nice main square, ideal to rest after ending the route.
This is just one of the three routes that can be taken from the Black Towns of Guadalajara. Shortly we will publish the other two. Do not miss it!
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