Archaeological park


Information about Carranque:

Telephone: 925 544 065
Info: Parque Arqueológico de Carranque

This territory has been inhabited since Roman times, as demonstrated by one of the most representative archaeological jewels of this region of Toledo, the Villa de Materno from the 4th-5th century AD , today an archaeological park, it has spectacular mosaics that have been preserved to the present day, among other places. However, the present location of this town began during the Christian Reconquest, a town that belonged to both the Order of the Temple and the Order of St. John, marking, with the passing of the centuries, the configuration of its urban centre. A compendium of streets and squares where the popular architecture of yesteryear and its monuments, such as the 16th century parish church, blend with modernity and contemporary times so that visitors can enjoy the contrast between the past and the future.

The municipality of Carranque is watered by the river Guadarrama, a tributary of the Tagus. Its riverbed is the most distinctive and specific element of the surrounding landscape, whose vegetation is made up of poplars, poplars, blackberries, rushes, etc... The area is home to many species of birds, such as partridges, wood pigeons, turtle doves, kestrels, magpies, as well as a large number of mammals, including rabbits, hares, field mice, and so on. Flora and fauna characteristic of the riverbanks. It is in this valley that the Roman Villa of Materno, known for its spectacular scenery, was built. The land is practically flat and slopes down to the Guadarrama valley, where there is a predominance of cultivated fields, mainly cereals, vines and olive trees. Paths and trails run through the municipality, allowing both cyclists and walkers to enjoy the natural surroundings.

Tourist Information

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What to see?

Parish Church of Santa María Magdalena

Monument dating from the 16th century . It consists of three naves, the lateral ones leading to the transept and the central one being separated from it by a triumphal arch. The altarpiece is the work of Pedro Martínez de Castañeda, of the Berruguete School.

Hermitage of San Sebastián

The building consists of a single nave with a lintelled roof with large moulding and lunettes marking the tall semicircular windows.

Fountain of Carlos IV

A place where the people of the village used to go with their pitchers to fetch water, as well as being used as a washing place by the women of the village.

Carranque Archaeological Park

It is built around a Roman villa located 5.3 km from the municipality of Carranque (Toledo), in a north-westerly direction, forming part of its municipal district, bordering the Community of Madrid. Known archaeologically as the site of Santa María de Abajo de Carranque, this enclave arose in the early imperial period as a centre for the exploitation of agricultural resources in the surrounding area, and in the late Roman period it was an important centre of power in a territory yet to be defined and characterised. Its role as a centre of territorial power is shown by the construction of the important palatial building, erected at the end of the 4th or beginning of the 5th century AD Conceived as a powerful material manifestation - architectural and decorative - of its owner's power, the building became a landscape landmark of that domain. This palatial building, ruined as such from the mid-5th century AD , it became a centre of attraction for the human occupations that developed from that time onwards. Its powerful architecture and its obvious role as a reference point for territorial power determined its occupation in the Late Antique/Visigothic period and the installation of a building for Christian worship, around which a large necropolis developed. In the Paleo-Andalusian period, the site continued to be a reference point that attracted new communities to settle there, and its stone material was also the object of intense plundering by the lord of the nearby castle of Olmos. After the conquest of Toledo by Alfonso VI in 1085, this site seems to have become part of the dominions of the church of Segovia by donation of Alfonso VII. In 1136, the presence of the church of Santa María de Batres, erected years earlier on the ruins of the old late Roman palace and converted into the head of a monastery in 1152, is already recorded. This church of Santa María de Batres was still standing at the end of the 16th century, although at that time it was only a modest rural chapel. The Carranque Archaeological Park, then, treasures the remains of a Roman villa discovered, by chance, in 1983 by Samuel Iglesias. The villa's collection of mosaics makes it one of the most important collections in the Iberian Peninsula, and one of the archaeological jewels of Castilla-La Macha. They cover an area of 600 m2 and most of them recreate mythological themes: characters from the Iliad, representations of Neptune and Animona, Diana and Actaeon, Hilas and the Nymphs, Pyramus and Thisbe, busts of Minerva, Diana and Hercules, and so on. The Archaeological Park allows visitors to travel back in time and learn what life was like at a time of transition between the Ancient and Middle Ages.