Manzanares El Real – a day trip from Madrid

Manzanares el Real

A half an hour drive away to the north of Madrid is where a different world begins. The Sierra de Guadarrama are mountains, at times gently sloping and covered in forests, but sometimes are just bare rocks. Among them, you’ll find small towns, old fortifications and castles. This all makes for the sensation of being in a place where time has stood still. You can find all of this a stone’s throw away from the city, at the foot of the rocky La Pedriza. The Castillo Nuevo de Manzanares El Real is famous for having being shown on the big screen and most of the sources making reference to the castle will reveal that it was used as a location for the film “Cid” from 1961, and starring Sofia Loren.

The castle dating back to the 15th century is not just associated with the medieval history set out in the film, but is in fact rooted in the more modern history of Spain. It was in this castle, in fact, that the documents constituting the Autonomous Community of Madrid.

Take a look at the photos and you’ll see that the castle looks a little unrealistic. Its idyllic location between the rocks of the Sierra de Gudarrama and the resevoir on the Manzanares river makes it an ideal place to which to escape from the bustle of the city. The views in the setting sun are breathtaking.

These pictures were taken on a sunny December afternoon.

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