The municipality of Horcajuelo de la Sierra, formerly known as El Orajuelo, It is located to the North of the province of Madrid, in the southern foothills of the Ayllón massif, belonging to Somosierra. Its surface is of 24,4 square kilometers and its average altitude, 1.145 m., reaching at its northern end the 2.030 m. to descend at the southern end to the 1.050 m.
The physical environment that serves as a settlement is hard, rugged topographically, with poor and stony soil and abundance of small streams enabling huerta and intensive pasture areas.
Granite peaks is growing scrub. Located there is a large area of mountains with pine forest and some of jara. More ECSC village there are abandoned plots which were farmland. You can also find woodlands, pastures with hedges of holm oaks and some crops on terraces.
The village sits at the pointed edge of a hill at whose foot, of steep slopes, la Garita and large Brooks are. This location comes from the toponym "Horcajuelo": jib or village between two rivers.
What to visit
The Chapel of our Lady of Sorrows It is located in the immediate vicinity of the population, some 500 meters approx.. However, There is the possibility of reaching her following a path of a 1,5 kilometers to part of the streets in Horcajuelo de la Sierra and offers some interesting panoramic of the municipality.
The forge It is one of the most complete in the area. It retains the bellows for stoking the fire, the anvil, the battery of the tuning iron, sharpening wheel, tongs, Welders, hammers and tools to shape nails.
The Ethnological Museum It reproduces an ancient typical rural dwelling in the area, It also has a small exhibition of traditional costumes. Comes with forge and a Museum of painting. Visiting hours: Winter: Wednesday 16:00 h. and 17:00 h.; Saturdays 12:00 h., 13:00 h., 16:00 h. and 17:00 h.; Sundays and public holidays 12:00 h. and 13:00 h. Summer: Wednesday 18:00 h. and 19:00 h.; Saturdays 12:00 h., 13:00 h., 18:00 h. and 19:00 h.; Sundays and public holidays 12:00 h. and 13:00 h.
Parish Church of San Nicolás de Bari, is a Baroque construction, with a Gothic chapel from the 15th century. There is a sculpture of San Roque of the century XVI-XVII and a baroque painting of St. Jerome.
Are no data on the Foundation of Horcajuelo. Possibly, as other many mountain villages, It was during the age mean a temporary settlement of shepherds of Buitrago, for the exploitation of pastureland.
The slow repopulation of the land of Buitrago after the reconquest did not Horcajuelo up to, possibly, the 13th century, time in which had become stable village. Like all villages in the area it belonged first to the community of Villa and land of Buitrago, and from 1368 to the lordship of Buitrago, the Mendoza family (Since the 15th century, Dukes of Infantado).
bed and breakfast the first buildings of the population rose at the point sharper Hill. During the 16th, 17TH and 18th century, Horcajuelo followed belonging to the Manor of the Duke of Infantado and how such paying significant rents and ruling by common General Ordinances. The population went from 53 neighbors in the year 1554, to 33 in 1655 and a 25 in 1670.
In 1797 the population had risen to 75 neighbors, None of them settled in house field or farmstead. The main economic resource was farming sheep which established the regime of exploitation of crops: "rodeos" subjected to the regime of year and time, and the thirds, sown every three years. In turning to the people the allotments and the linares were, along with the communal ejido dedicated to pastures. The Dehesa Boyal communal was reserved for the pigs and work animals. Hives are also exploited.
In the 19th century there was a complete modification of the political organization, Economic and territorial country, that played a role in a way intense in Horcajuelo and all the villages in the area living conditions: end of the Seigniorial regime, disappearance of the Mesta, Civil and ecclesiastical confiscations, new provincial division.
In 1833, Horcajuelo became an independent municipality of the province of Madrid, integrated in the Judicial District of Torrelaguna. At the end of the century the population had 125 neighbors. The municipality maintained a primary education school and lived in it a doctor. The economy was based on Agriculture and animal husbandry: plots of irrigated land with vegetables, vegetables and fruits; lands of rainfed cereal; hay meadows; hills of oak and low matte; livestock sheep, vaccine and goats.
Although during the Civil War the front line stood at Somosierra, Horcajuelo was luckier than other towns in the area and did not suffer great damage.
Since the Decade of the 60 of the 20th century the municipality experienced a process of accelerated depopulation and ageing, due to the emigration of its younger inhabitants.
Second home developments have not developed and the town has retained its environmental quality and traditional architectural characteristics. In 1980 It was declared a core of Rural interest and new buildings have respected the typologies and autochthonous materials. This has made that Horcajuelo de la Sierra has been a sustainable tourism development, where are restaurants and cottages that are integrated with the environment.
The end of the traditional economy and emigration made Horcajuelo pass have 396 inhabitants in 1900, to 67 in 1991. Until the Decade of the 80, with the Declaration of the Sierra Norte as "Special region", This situation does not begin to change, and starting from 1988, is it definitely reversed thanks to the growing tourist demand for traditional culture and nature. Currently Horcajuelo de la Sierra is one of the best exponents of the Comunidad de Madrid's integration and urban conservation.