The Water Front Line
Madrid was one of the spaces of the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939) from the beginning of the fighting.
General Mola, head of the Northern Front, launched several military troops from Pamplona and Burgos for the Somosierra port, which was the main obstacle on the way to the capital.
To defend this crossing, the Republic mobilized contingents of militia, guards and carabineers. On July 25, 1936 the troops sent by Mola were able to conquer the port, but were detained in Buitrago by government troops aided by air reinforcements. It was this point in the war that the front line was defined in this area of the mountain and remained so throughout the war.
The need to defend the reservoirs of El Villar and Puentes Viejas, vital for supplying water to Madrid, ensured that this front was kept in constant tension. The conflict resulted in the prolific development of open field fortification that dramatically transformed the landscape, piercing the hills with miles of trenches, troop building shelters, observatories, and machine gun nests.
These structures attest to Madrid recent history and the valour of those who fought. Their story is told through this route.