Consuegra


Mills

Mills and Castle of La Muela

Information about Consuegra:

Telephone: 925 593 118
Web: https://consuegra.es/
Info: • Av. Castilla la Mancha S/N Tel. 925 593 118
- Windmill "El Bolero" Tel. 925 475 731
Tourist guide
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Email: ofturismo@aytoconsuegra.es

Consuegra is one of the oldest municipalities in the region with a continuous settlement, the comings and goings of a multitude of civilisations have left their mark on history up to the present day. The Calderico hill has served as a nucleus of settlement for nomadic populations since the times of prehistoric transhumance, with remains that have survived to the present day and which began with a Celtiberian castrum in the 6th or 5th centuries BC. The arrival of the Romans brought with it one of the greatest changes, constituting on the plain the base of the Roman Consabura, endowed with characteristic elements of classical town planning such as bridges, roads, baths, forum, circus, dam etc... Along with the Visigothic period, the Caliphate period is another of the great unknowns of this locality. During the Kingdom of Castile, the town was once again considered an important strategic area in which important episodes of war took place at the end of the 11th century. During the reigns of Alfonso VI, VII and VIII (11th-12th centuries), the town and its castle were one of the nerve centres of frontier movements. Consuegra will pass into the hands of the Order of St. John of Jerusalem during its greatest period of splendour, which we can see reflected in its castle or walking through the streets and alleys of the historic centre.

One of the most relevant characteristics of the municipality of Consuegra is its diversity, which gives it a very interesting landscape potential, located in two different natural areas. In Consuegra you can appreciate the steppe plains typical of La Mancha, together with the Mediterranean undergrowth typical of the Toledo mountains. The great tourist attraction, symbol of Consuegra and La Mancha, is undoubtedly the Calderico hill crowned by the windmills, drawing an absolutely unique picture. There are few images as astonishing and graphic as contemplating one of the largest and best preserved mill complexes in Spain.

Visitors should not miss this amazing town, especially at certain times of the year, as it has several festivals of special tourist interest that leave no one indifferent and are the perfect complement to a tourist getaway. In the month of August, medieval Consuegra takes place, a historical recreation of the medieval battle that took place on 15th August 1097 between the troops of the Castilian army and the Almoravid troops in which the son of Cid lost his life. On these days the city is transformed and the visitor is transported back in time to enjoy all the activities that take place around the great festival. Another well-known festival, declared to be of Regional Tourist Interest, is La Rosa del Azafrán, which is held every year on the last full weekend of October, trying to coincide with the harvesting of the flower. The main function is to publicise and promote the cultural essence of La Mancha through gastronomy, crafts, history and popular traditions.

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What to see?

Molinos Cerro Calderico complex

Perched on the top of the hill to take better advantage of the air currents provided by the elevations, these twelve giants have watched over the future of Consuegra and its people from on high. Some of them, dating back to the 16th century, have been absolutely vital and essential for the development of the region, as the absence of constant water currents prevented the establishment of river mills. Of the thirteen mills that originally existed, twelve have been recovered, which are the ones that can be enjoyed today in the town. Each one with its own name, many are dedicated to Manchegan themes, while others evoke chapters of Don Quixote. Its history is also the commitment of a people committed to recovering its past through its heritage.


Castle

Although the origins of this castle date back to a Muslim fortress from the Caliphate period (10th century), the appearance that we can see today in its structure is due to the impressive work of military architecture that the knights of the Order of St. John of Jerusalem put in place, after Alfonso VIII ceded the old fortification and the district of Consuegra to the order. They were in charge of this fortress, whose important innovations in its layout, such as the imposing central core with four semi-circular towers in the centre of each side of the square that makes up the castle, give it a vigorous and impregnable appearance. In addition to this, there are other defensive elements such as the artillery walls, the antemurallas or bragas, the loopholes, the merlones and up to four access gates. Inside, it has an interesting water supply system, the priory prison, as well as the chapel, the archive room and perhaps the most important room: the chapter house. The castle, like all monuments and buildings, underwent transformations, reforms and restorations, the uses were adapted to the needs and socio-political changes of the time. It lived its splendour during the 13th and 15th centuries and, although it continued to be inhabited, it suffered a gradual but inexorable process of abandonment until its definitive decline with the disentailment of Mendizábal in the 19th century. Finally, after the will and perseverance of the inhabitants of Consuegra, the castle was gradually restored to its former splendour.

Roman dam

The Roman dam of Consuegra dates from the 3rd century and is the best example of the city's importance in Roman times. The scarcity of water is the most important factor that has shaped the geography, landscapes, customs and, in part, the idiosyncrasy of La Mancha. This absence of major water flows, even in the past, meant that the people of the time had to invest huge amounts of resources to build an engineering feat of the calibre of a dam, taking advantage of the already low gradient that characterises the southern plateau. With a large part of its retaining walls in good condition, its type of construction stands out. In addition to a very powerful foundation, a series of buttresses reinforced the walls at the points where the water could exert greater pressure and thus prevent the dammed resource from overflowing. An interesting structure still remains in the form of a small vaulted passageway, perpendicular to the retaining wall, which could have served as a spillway in the event of the dam's capacity being exceeded by the dam's reservoir.

Town hall

Built in 1670, its construction, with a typical Toledan style, is formed with a double row of brick and stone boxes, (this type of construction reveals the fusion of elements of Christian tradition, stone, together with the Arab ones, brick), a sundial is preserved in the upper part and attached to it are the arch and the clock tower, whose chime mechanism can be seen on display inside the town hall, elements added later but which make the whole unique.

Prioral Palace Casa la Tercia

Of the old palace, only the tower that served as an archive and entrance to the palace complex remains today. In the courtyard you can still see the remains of bases and columns, as well as two Roman statues in good condition. The loss of the defensive value of the fortress and the clear discomfort that life in a medieval castle must have entailed led the San Juan authorities to build a more comfortable and better located building in the centre of the town from which to exercise administration and control of the territory. This palace, which can be dated to the mid-16th century, occupied practically two blocks, and included silos, cellars, an accountancy and payment office, a prison and archive in the tower, a parade ground and a church. It was built on the site of the ancient baths of the Roman city, which is why remains of this period can still be seen there today. Later, a church was added to the complex, of which the apse is still preserved. This apse represents the only surviving remains of the original mosque of the town (later transformed into a church).

Colegio del cristo

On the remains of the old palace was built the "Cristo de la Vera Cruz" school, 19th century, in the Mudejar-Toledan style, which is currently reused as a centre for cultural activities.

Church of the Santísimo Cristo de la Vera Cruz

This church is of an extraordinary architectural singularity, custody of the patron saint of the town, has a large entrance atrium and a dome crowned by a lantern recognisable from practically any point of the town, being a reference of the local skyline. Built in the 18th century, its façade combines two architectural styles. On the one hand, the side naves are made up of stone coffered ceilings with brick walls in rows, a Castilian-Mudejar style that is repeated in other buildings in Consuegra. The most striking feature is its white marble façade, in late baroque style with neoclassical elements, with steps that bridge the difference in level with the atrium and a magnificent door flanked by two richly decorated Solomonic columns, the lintel shows the shroud of Christ and the façade is raised by a marble cushion that is topped by the slender belfry of the bell tower softened with two scrolls on its sides. In addition to the building itself, this institution has a museum which houses the collections stored by the Junta de Gobierno del Santísimo Cristo de la Vera Cruz from the construction of the chapel to the present day.

Church of San Juan Bautista

The oldest surviving church in the town was erected in 1567 with a clear hospitable stamp, not only because of its dedication to San Juan but also because of its impressive size. With hardly any decoration, it is the perfect example of the San Juanist ideology, still marked by its military character, it is more like a church-fortress than a temple dedicated to worship. It is perhaps the largest church in the vicinity, as can be seen in its prominent verticality, the workmanship of its materials and the sense of uprightness and wholeness. Its layout is of great simplicity, with a Latin cross plan, its style is Castilian-Mudejar and the bell tower located at the foot of the church is remarkable, as well as the dome located in the transept. In some of its walls you can see the materials from other older buildings or temples. Inside there is a monumental shell that crowns an impressive painting of San Juan Bautista located in the apse, the doors of the choir and the sacristy are in the classical style, and from the inside you can appreciate its sturdiness and height, as well as its dome crowned with the white eight-pointed star on a red background, a symbol that visitors will find everywhere in Consuegra, as it is the insignia of the order and represents the eight beatitudes. It is set in a very attractive location, on one of the banks of the Amarguillo riverbed, surrounded by green and landscaped areas, as well as beautiful walks on both sides of the river. The square to which it gives its name has a fountain and a statue dedicated to the Knights Hospitaller by a local sculptor.

Discalced Carmelite Convent

Founded on the basis of the will of D. Fernando Álvarez de Toledo, third Duke of Alba. The church has a single nave and powerful supporting abutments in the style of classic Carmelite buildings, and above the entrance portico there is a coat of arms of the order and another of the house of Austria. Missives of Saint Teresa of Jesus are kept in the Convent.

Corridors building. Municipal Museum

Opposite the town hall is the building known as "los corredores", a 17th century building, which is one of the most outstanding buildings in the city, with a beautiful balcony, carved with cherubs, and with exposed wooden arcades, which is an example of the architecture of La Mancha, it was an alhóndiga, silo and town hall. Today it houses the Municipal Archaeological Museum.

Municipal Archaeological Museum

Delving into history through the objects bequeathed to us by past generations is an excellent exercise in understanding our present, as it awakens a fascination with other cultures and civilisations that brought countless advances we take for granted today. With pieces ranging from the Neolithic to the 19th century, the museum breaks with the traditional chronological organisation to offer in its showcases a vision more focused on universal themes such as trade, beliefs, the organisation of societies, hierarchies or war.

Plaza de España

Consuegra town centre, a square with unique and historic buildings. The typical architecture of La Mancha coexists harmoniously with other structures in the Castilian-Mudejar style. A meeting point for all the people of Consabur, it is also the cultural and leisure centre, an essential stop for any visitor. The heart of the city's life, it was the site of the ancient Roman forum, and today the main events and activities are still held here. A stroll through the surrounding streets will reveal a wide range of small shops, patisseries, shoe shops, clothes shops, bars and restaurants where you can mingle with the locals.

The Alfar

A building that reflects the purest popular tradition of La Mancha. It was used as a pottery workshop until the mid-1970s, as a result of the long experience of pottery making in the area, as Consuegra had up to five workshops. This is a monument of a different nature, as it represents the history of the humble and working classes of Consuegra. Through its architecture we can enter into the ways of life of past times. It has a large courtyard in which we highlight two pottery kilns of different typologies; one Roman and the other Arab. It was into these kilns, which were baked in the ground, that the clay pieces were placed in order to fire them, harden them and obtain the finished product for sale. The courtyard, in addition to the pottery kilns, has other decorative and ornamental elements such as columns, bases or stelae with inscriptions (a Way of the Cross can be seen in good condition). In addition to the aforementioned archaeological remains, it has old farming implements and a small exhibition of handicrafts. To this we must add the flavour that the site gives off, as the pottery also tells us about the world of craftsmanship, houses, materials and food from La Mancha.

Former convent of the Franciscan Fathers

Founded in the 17th century, it has undergone important transformations through various donations. The building has the classic typical convent composition, consisting of two cloisters and a church, the cloister can still be visited freely. It is currently used as a residence for the elderly, as well as a multi-purpose space for exhibitions or activities of various kinds. In the back courtyard there is a waterwheel of a very old type.