A journey through history

We invite you to know and discover the interesting History of El Molar, which surely surprises you. Among other curiosities, did you know that here was the limit of the Middle Mark, a large territory occupied by Muslims during the Caliphate of Cordoba, more than a thousand years ago? And that important armies passed through here, like Napoleon’s troops? And that there was a well-known and popular spa, which was attended by important personalities, since the mid-nineteenth century?

Discover the most important historical facts of El Molar, in each era:

From the origins to the Middle Ages

The origin of El Molar is not known exactly, as there are few archaeological sites detected in the municipality. However, it is very likely that the absence of historical evidence, prior to the Middle Ages, is due to the lack of prospection, since there are signs and references that point to at least the passage of Hannibal through these lands, as documented. the existence of several watchtowers of its network of communications that, later, were reconstructed at the time of the Arab domination.

The first settlers of the area, almost certainly, must have been of Celtiberian origin, as a burial found in the Reds of a man in a fetal position inside a vase surrounded by his grave goods testifies to this.

There is more information about medieval times. Among other constructions, there is reference of an old watchtower, located between El Molar and San Agustín del Guadalix, next to the old road of France, today unfortunately disappeared.

In the eighth century had formed four villages in what today covers the municipality. These were Aristón, Casas Viejas, Valdelarría, and the so-called Mola or Molar, all of them very possibly founded by Segovian pastors. In the XII century, Mola stands out due to its strategic location between a crossroads and flanked by four hills.

The Middle Mark and the Reconquest

The region in which El Molar is located was, during the ninth century, a border of special relevance. Up to here came the limits of the Middle Mark, an extensive territory, with capital in Toledo, which had its peak during the Caliphate of Cordoba.

Consequently, both in El Molar and in other nearby municipalities (El Vellón, Venturada, Torrelaguna, El Berrueco, Torremocha del Jarama and Talamanca del Jarama) important watchtowers were erected, with a clear defensive function. Today, the remains of these constructions of Muslim origin, which are more than a thousand years old, still remain.

Antigua atalaya de El Molar
Antigua atalaya de El Molar

Our territory was also witness to the Reconquest carried out by Alfonso VI de León, during the expansion phase of his kingdom that took place between 1072 and 1086. In addition to the occupation of Toledo (in 1085), he carried out the capture of other cities, such as the then city of Maŷriṭ (Madrid). The incorporation of the territory located between the Central System and the Tagus River, where El Molar is located, served as the base of operations for the Leon crown, and from here they could undertake a greater harassment against the taifas of Cordoba, Seville, Badajoz and Granada.

After the Reconquest and the subsequent Christian repopulation, El Molar became part of Talamanca and with it the Archbishopric of Toledo. Since then a new toponymic nomenclature has been accepted, derived from its geographical situation, as is the case of Valdepiélagos, Valdetorres, which derive from Valle or El Molar, which derives from Mola.

Indicate that in our municipality there are also remains of the Mudejar occupation, which are documented in the count made by the Count of Salazar of the Castilian Moriscos as they passed through Burgos.

Centuries XVI, XVII, XVIII

El Molar depended on Talamanca until the year 1564, date in which Felipe II granted the Villa Title to the residents of El Molar by paying the crown a fixed amount for each neighbor for the concession of it. However, a short time later the king sold the municipality back to Don Antonio de Equino y Zubiarre.

During this period, the molareños had to dedicate themselves to the agriculture of cereals and to the cattle ranch. At this time El Molar had a medieval urban network, with an important Arab influence: in the center stood the Church, next to which were the dependencies of the lords of the place.

The location of El Molar, next to the old road of France, has been key in numerous historical events that marked the future of the population. Thus, it is known that in 1710 the English armies of the Archduke of Charles of Austria devastated the town on its march to Madrid.

According to the Catastro del Marqués de la Ensenada, in 1753 El Molar belonged to the dominion of Veroiz, integrated in the province of Guadalajara. The urban helmet was integrated by the main place, forming great apples little built. Some of those houses still exist. The so-called Cuevas del Vino, which were then used as wineries, are also preserved. In 1770 King Carlos III granted the Villa de El Molar the title of Noble and Illustrious Villa.

Centuries XIX and XX

The War of Independence also caused havoc in our town, especially in July 1808, when the Napoleonic troops crossed our territory on the way to the capital, in their attempt to conquer the Iberian Peninsula. It was also located here, years later, in 1823, a barracks of General Zayas to face the French army of “The one hundred thousand sons of San Luis”.

During the 19th century, the municipality hardly changed. It is believed that some 1,150 people lived with an economy of cereals, legumes and sheep. The industry was scarce, it counted on a flour mill, a tejería and a arriería.

The strategic location of our town, next to one of the main communication routes of the country (road from Madrid to France), marked the economic development. The commercial activity consisted of three cloth stores, some wine and food stalls, as well as the export and import of skins, footwear and other items that the population lacks. At the end of the 19th century El Molar was one of the main commercial centers of the region, and even our town came to supply the inhabitants of other nearby towns.

The Spa of the Fuente del Toro

Since the mid-nineteenth century and until the Civil War, our town was known for hosting one of the most popular spas of this era, the Balneario de la Fuente del Toro. It is thought that since the beginning of the 17th century, there was knowledge of the properties of water that emerged from a spring located on a hill near El Molar.

They went to drink the waters of the Fuente del Toro, which was what was called the spring kings, aristocrats, politicians, financiers, literati and people of the common people, thanks to its healing properties.

The Spa was built in 1846 and during the second half of the nineteenth century its greatest splendor. Even the nobles of the time attended, and characters of the stature of the Infanta Isabel (known as La Chata), daughter of Isabel II. During the first third of the 20th century our municipality continues to receive the visit of great personalities, who come to the Spa in search of healing waters.

Balneario de El Molar
Guia del Bañista en El Molar

To know how the Spa was, you can consult the “Guide of the bather of El Molar (Fuente del Toro)”, a document of the year 1897, in which you will find many curiosities about the facilities of the spa and the healing properties of the waters of the Fuente del Toro, known throughout the Madrid region.

Source: Digital Library of the Community of Madrid (www.bibliotecavirtualmadrid.org).

During the Civil War (1936-1939), our municipality suffered significant damage, ending with the history of the spa. The subsequent work of reconstruction and repopulation of the municipality were converted, again, to El Molar in a municipality full of charm.

Agriculture still has a certain importance, with a clear protagonism of our vineyards and El Molar wine. Our Villa has managed to adapt to the demands of the time and the current times. Today our traditions, culture, parties have their own identity and constitute events of great tourist interest.