History of Puentes Viejas

History of Puentes Viejas

The place name of this municipality takes its name from the Puentes Viejas reservoir, located in the middle of the Lozoya River, so-called, as they say: "because in the past there were two pontoons in place to cross from one shore to the other".

The municipal term is formed by the union of three towns and one of their annexes, these are: Mangirón and its annex Cinco Villas, Paredes de Buitrago and Serrada de la Fuente.

The municipality was born by Decree Law, on July 24, 1975, taking place the integration of the four entities that form it in mid-1976. Each nucleus or neighborhood that makes up this municipality coincides in terms of its boundaries and denomination of yesteryear, establishing itself as municipal headquarters the nucleus of Mangirón.

Ancestors and Evolution of the towns

The history of all the nuclei that make up this municipal entity is already linked from the Middle Ages to the Community of Tierra and Villa de Buitrago; dominated since the 14th century by the House of the Family of Los Mendoza, Duques del Infantado.

This pasture community linked to grazing was structured in Sexmos or Cuartos that depended on Guadalajara; there were Horcajo, El Rincon, Braojos, Garganta; to which Mangirón belonged, that of Las Adegañas; to which Cinco Villas belonged and that of La Jara; to which Paredes de Buitrago and Serrada de la Fuente belonged.

This status will be maintained until the abolition of the seigneurial regime in 1833, after which a new territorial division is created with new jurisdictional entities such as Mangirón, which receives as an annex Cinco Villas, Paredes de Buitrago and Serrada de la Fuente that ceases to be annexed by Berzosa , breaking with it the historical ties with Guadalajara, ascribing now to Madrid.

The demographic evolution of the different nuclei that form Puentes Viejas is more or less similar; the population listings of Mangirón, Paredes ... indicate a remarkable decrease between the s. XVI and XVII, recovering in the middle of the Ashby, later in the s. XIX only Mangirón will experience a remarkable rise due to the construction of the dams of El Villar and Puentes Viejas, reaching up to 481 inhabitants.

The population was mostly grazing, especially sheep; since the agriculture was very poor, with a modest production of dry wheat and rye supplemented with vegetables and fruit trees.

There were several communal dehesas in Mangirón, Paredes or Serrada next to the different gullies that bordered or crossed the different nuclei, that still exist today, that allowed the transit of the cattle to the pastures and their commercialization

In addition to this, it is also worth mentioning the felling and harvesting of wood to obtain charcoal.

This remained so until the twentieth century when the abandonment of the field occurred; both of livestock and agriculture, and people began to go to Madrid.

Currently the population of the nuclei is dedicated to construction, cattle, are employed in the Canal de Isabel II or work in the service sector.

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