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Daytrips & excursions from Madrid: Chinchón

Chinchón is one of the most unique and picturesque cities in the Madrid community. The city was raised around the famous Plaza Mayor of the medieval age, mixing numerous balconies and supports, under which there are numerous restaurants and inns. At just an hour from Madrid by car (45 km/28 miles), Chinchón is a tourism point known for its gastronomy, wines and liquors.

Chinchón, Madrid
History of Chinchón

The first historical origins of Chinchón date back to the time of the Carpathians, although shortly thereafter civilizations such as the Roman, Visigoth and Arab also found home there. The town belonged to the Toledo reign during three and a half centuries, which correspond to the Arab domination in the area. Chinchón left Muslim domain in 1139 through the conquest of King Alfonso VII Alfonso VII of Castile and became part of the Segovia Council. In the 15th Century it became known as a Villa by decree of King Henry IV of Castile, which was a great sign of growth and prosperity.

In the beginning of the 17th century, Chinchón was converted into one of the most important cities of its day, as Philip V of Spain was proclaimed king of the Plaza Mayor of the Villa during the War of the Spanish Succession.

In 1845, the “Society of Harvesters”, was founded in the Villa. All the neighboors that harvest wine joined, as it was a traditional product in the region. The quality of its wines has earned it titles and prizes throughout its history, including a time when Chinchón supplied the wine of the Royal Spanish House. From the beginning of the 20th century Chinchón belonged to the Community of Madrid

The urban richness of Chinchón earned in 1974 the declaration of Historic Artistic Area, recognized under the general direction of Fine Arts.

Chinchón is faithful to its traditions and still today offers visitors a good number of popular festivals. On Easter the famous Passion of Holy Saturday takes place, a religious parade. The bullfighting season begins in July 25th with an encierro (running of the bulls) and a novillada (training bullfight). Between the 12th and the 18th of August the local patron holidays are celebrated (in honour of Our Lady of Grace and San Roque). During these festivals one can enjoy bulls, plays, parties, bullfighting, competitions, religious plays, dancing, etc. In October, the Charity Bullfighting Festival has been celebrated since 1923, and late March to early April brings the anise and wine festivals. The garlic festivals are celebrated the week after the Charity Bullfighting Festival.

Chinchón tourism information

Balconies in Plaza Mayor of Chinchón, Madrid
Street in Chinchón, Madrid
Street in Chinchón, Madrid

Plaza Mayor. Chinchón, MadridChinchón, MadridThe Plaza Mayor de Chinchón, located in the center of town, is a classic medieval plaza from the 15th century. The Plaza Mayor is considered one of the most beautiful in the world due to its structural harmony and proportions. The base of the plaza has an irregular and simple arrangement layout: all the elements are organized and hierarchical. The highest level of the plaza has houses with three galleried bases and 234 wooden balconies, called “claros”.

Numerous restaurants and inns fill the supports of the Plaza Mayor. Many of them are ancient caves formed into bodegas. The Plaza Mayor is also sometimes used as an improvised theatre area or a bullfight arena.

At the height of the plaza stands the Church of the Ascension. Constructed in the 15th century, it is characterized by its blend of styles that range from Gothic to Baroque. Inside the temple, the main highlight is Goya’s painting of the “Asunción de la Virgen”.

Next to the Plaza Mayor stands the very noticeable Clock Tower connected to the ancient Our Lady of Grace Church, which was destroyed by the War of Independence. The tower was restored in 1713, but the church stayed buried, hence the saying “Chichon has a tower without a church and a church without a tower” was created.

To complete the visit to the urban area of Chichon, one must visit the Lope de Vega Theatre, built in 1891 and related to the writer that shares the name. Other highlights include the 7th-century San Antón Hermitage, the oldest religious building in town, and the 17th-century Our Lady of Mercy Hermitage. The Ethnological Museum also has tools, instruments and suits that provide a look back into old Chinchón.

Also within town one can find the Clarisas Convent, founded in 1563. The complex is in the form of a Herreriana church and the own convent is highlighted in cloister form in two galleried bases. Near the convent stands the Casa de las Cadenas (House of the Chains), a Baroque building from the end of the 17th century that was a residence to King Philip V of Spain.

For all these visits, it is recommendable to be informed about access availability by calling 918 935 323.

While in Chinchón, it is worthwhile to visit the Condes Castle. Located at the highest point of town, this is where the Counts of Cabrera resided until 1520. The central interior patio and the vaults call special attention. Visits are restricted since it is a private property.

Gastronomy in Chinchón

The production of anis (sweet anisette liquor) is one of the most established traditions in Chinchón and goes back to the 17th century. This anise liquor is obtained from the soaking of green anise (dry fruit) in alcohol to stimulate fermentation. It can be sweetened with sugar if desired, and is then consumed as a drink or used as an ingredient in sweets and cakes.

Besides the anisette liquor and the sweets, the cooked meats of Chinchón’s restaurants and inns also bring fame to the table. Chinchón is a city with plenty of tourism; therefore it is recommended to make reservations by going directly to the locale or by telephone. Some of the most recommendable restaurants in Chinchón are:

  • Parador de Chinchón (Avenida del Generalísimo 1. Tel. 918 940 836). This is one of the most famous establishments in Chinchón. The inn (hotel and restaurant) is built over the old San Augustin Convent from the 18th century. A perfect place to enjoy traditional Castilian cooking or to drink a coffee in the Cloisters while you enjoy the views of the area.
  • La Balconada (Plaza Mayor s/n. Tel. 918 941 303). Offers typical regional dishes, Mediterranean cuisine and a wide variety of wines.
  • Asador Jardín de la Condesa (Pozo de las Nieves s/n. Tel. 918 943 315). Its kitchen specialties are the carnes rojas de lomo de buey (beef red meat) and traditional cuisine.
  • Asador El Torreón (Calle Alamillo Bajo, 25. Tel. 918 935 216). Famous for its roasted meats, cochinillo (pork) and cordero al homo de leña (lamb).
  • Mesón Cuevas del Vino (Benito Hortelano 13. Tel. 918 940 940). Known for its uniquely decorated entrance. Its specialties include: huevos a lo pobre (kind of scrambled eggs), grilled peppers and cordero asado (rosted lamb).
  • Mesón Quiñones - Cuevas del Murciélago (Calle Quiñones, 20 y Calle Cueva, 27. Tel. 918 940 532). Known for its uniquely decorated entrance. Its specialties include: huevos a lo pobre (kind of scrambled eggs), grilled peppers and cordero asado(rosted lamb).

By car: Chinchón is 45 km (18 miles) to the south of Madrid. A little less than an hour by car from capital via highway A-3. We suggest you visit GoogleMaps for more information on how to get to Chinchón by car

By bus: Buses running to Chinchón depart from the Conde de Casal Station (Metro Conde de Casal). The La Veloz Company runs the Madrid-Chinchón route. The 337 is the bus line. Buses run frequently and the price each way is 3.10€. For more information and to confirm prices and times call 914 097 602.

By train: There is no train transport available.

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