Nowadays it is difficult to imagine Brunete as it was during the 30s, a peaceful village where almost its 1500 inhabitants were farmers. The Battle of Brunete decimated its population, which in 1940 was of only 335. It destroyed the town, which was fully rebuilt in the mid 40s.
THE MAIN SQUARE
The MAIN SQUARE, declared in 2016 Property of Cultural Interest by the Community of Madrid, is the epicenter of the Old Quarter, from which all the main streets start off. It is also the gathering place for its folk. It was built in Herrera style, square-shaped, and opened by two great stone staircases. The configuration of the square caters to the outlines dictated in the 16th century in the Leyes de Indias (Laws of the Indies) for the overseas urbanizations. The colonnade is formed by 60 granite columns, granite that comes from the same quarry as the stones of the Monasterio del Escorial and Plaza de Oriente in Madrid. The final touch to its particular beauty is given both by the stone fountain, topped with lanterns and a metallic sun, placed in the middle and the small gardens that give access to it.
From the Main Square’s lower stone staircase, in the direction of the Jardinillos (Small gardens), two streets start. Both start off at a roundabout where the monument RAICES (Roots) stand, which remembers, through traditional farming equipment and evocation to the land and hunting animals, the town’s farming past and present. To its left, the Boadilla del Monte stroll begins, where we can find the park of Our Lady of the Assumption, topped by the BANDSTAND, place dedicated to cultural and local activities.
From the top stone staircase, one can access the parish church of NUESTRA SEÑORA DE LA ASUNCIÓN (Our Lady of the Assumption), beautifully melted into the architectonical compound. It was originally built in the 16th century, and restored in 1772. It would stay so until 1836, when a terrible fire destroyed it. It was again restored in 1858. During the 19th century the original tower of circular roof collapsed. The present tower has a slate roof, very much alike to the Herrera style. Inside we can find the main altar, dedicated to Our Lady of the Assumption, where we can see some Sacred Hearts with the heads of the apostles Peter and James (Santiago). The last one, as a remembrance of the Battle of Brunete, which took place on St. James's Day. When walking its naves, we find an altar dedicated to the Holy Christ of the Patrocinio, patron saint of the town since the 18th century.
ERMITA DE SAN SEBASTIÁN
Going back to the Park of Luis Martín Granizo, with the monument Raices as a starting point, the street Real de San Sebastian is born. It is the core of the town’s commerce and goes on until the ERMITA DE SAN SEBASTIAN (Hermitage of St. Sebastian). Such stands where the former hermitage from 1649 was before being completely destroyed during the Civil War. It was rebuilt in 1985 on a stone plinth with stone and brick pillars. Inside we can find a woodcarving of a wounded St. Sebastian and a copy of the banner that was used to lead the procession.
Starting from the Raices monument, straight ahead, we find -where once there was a small lake- the Municipal Park Luis Martín Granizo and its FUENTE DE LOS MORALES, a fountain that remembers Brunete’s rich agricultural past, its numerous underground aquifers where many locals used to get water from. This fountain has two pipes with lion’s heads and it’s decorated with four columns with granite embellishments. Brunete has many fountains full of magic and history. Another fountain is the FUENTE DE CAÑO NUEVO located at about 1km from the centre, on the right side of the M-513 road to Boadilla del Monte. It is almost one century old, although it is thought that the well from which it draws its water could be much older. It was built with only one pipe and from big, carved granite blocks. On the other hand, there is the FUENTE DE PABLO (Paul’s Fountain) It is south of the town, at about 3 kilometers. There is no data about the fountain’s date, however, experts consider it to be some centuries old. Made of red bricks, it is easy to see the different modifications it has undergone throughout the years.
ARCHITECTURAL ENSEMBLE OF THE CITY CENTRE
The first stone of the OLD QUARTER’s reconstruction, carried out by the Council for Devastated Regions, can be seen in Paz Street. The quarter was reshaped into straight streets. The streets that are best preserved are Esperanza, Mártires or de la Iglesia.