Just 74 kilometres (46 miles) outside the capital, a remarkable time capsule dating back to the 9th century.

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Walled Enclosure of Buitrago

A unique fortress dating back to Islamic Al-Andalus.

At the foot of the mountains surrounding Madrid, 74 kilometres (46 miles) out, you can visit an old walled town which is the most complete and best preserved in the capital region. Buitrago de Lozoya was built by Muslims between the 4th and 11th centuries with the aim of halting the advance of Christian forces; the wall was then later modified after the Reconquest by the Crown of Castile. With a characteristic triangular shape and a perimeter of 800 metres (half a mile), one side runs along the Lozoya River, which acts as as natural moat. There are two distinct sections, the upper allure (wall-walk) and the lower allure, and other distinctive elements include the clock tower and other towers, the main gate, the ramparts, the coracha (a double wall to protect the water supply), and the castle in the corner (built much later than the wall, in the 15th century, and also worth a visit). It was declared a National Monument in 1931.

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