Guadalajara ( ) is a city
and municipality in the autonomous community of
Mancha, Spain, and in the
natural region of La Alcarria.
It is the
capital of the province of Guadalajara. It is located roughly 60 km northeast of
Madrid on the Henares River,
and has a population of 75,493 (2006).
It is known that in the area there was a Roman town called
, possibly founded by a pre-Roman culture.
But there is no archeological proof of it, only reference to it in
certain texts such as the Ruta
, where it was described as being in the hands of
when encountered by the
. The city, as
, was incorporated into the Roman province
of Hispania Tarraconensis
was on the high road from Emerita (modern Mérida) to Caesaraugusta (modern Zaragoza), 22
M. P. northeast of Complutum (modern Alcalá de
The town of Guadalajara was founded by the Moors
in the 8th century. They named it Wadi-al-Hajara
), meaning "Valley of Stones"; in
theory the literal translation of the Iberian name (Arriaca),
meaning "Stony River".
The history of the town during the Muslim
period was significant. They built monuments including the Moorish
Bridge over the River Henares, the ruins of the old Alcazar
(Arabic for "castle"), and the former
Cathedral of St. Mary, which was by then a mosque.
Christian conquest and Middle Ages
In 1085, Guadalajara was taken by the Christian forces of Alfonso VI
(king of Leon and Castile).
The chronicles say that the Christian army was led by Alvar Fanez de Minaya
, one of the
lieutenants (and according to the legend, nephew) of El Cid
. From 1085 until the Battle of Las
Navas de Tolosa in 1212, the city suffered wars against the
Almoravid and the Almohad Empires. In spite of the wars,
the new Christian population could definitely settle down in the
area thanks to the repopulation with people from the North
(Castilians from the mountains and
Merindades, Basques and Navarreses mainly) who received their first fuero in 1133 from Alfonso
In 1219, the king Fernando
gave a new fuero to the city (the one know as Fuero
or Big Fuero).During the reign of Alfonso X of Castile
, the protection of
the king allowed the city to develop its economy by protecting
merchants and allowing markets.
During the 14th century, the Mendoza family was prominent in
Guadalajara. This family included Íñigo López de
, also known as Marqués de Santillana (1398-1458), and
Pedro González de
(1428-1495), Great Cardinal of Spain and adviser of the
. The Mendoza
family held the title of Dukes and Duchesses of El Infantado from
1475. In 1460, King Henry IV
gave Guadalajara the title of 'City' and other privileges like the
During the War of the
, Guadalajara was sacked. King Philip V
ordered the establishment of
the Real Fábrica de Paños (Royal Factory of Clothes) which was
situated in the Alcazar till the early 19th Century.
In this period, the Mendoza Family ordered the building of El
Palacio del Infantado as their main residence. It was completed in
the early 1480s and it is considered by many the oldest surviving
building built in a pure Renissance style outside Italy.
The 19th century started with two major setbacks: the damages
caused by the Peninsular War
(1808-1814) and the closing of the Real Fábrica de Paños in 1822.
In 1808, Guadalajara was taken by the French
led by General Hugo
city was destroyed.
In 1840 Guadalajara was established as capital of the province with
the same name by the Plan de Burgos. The Academy of Military
Engineers was brought to the city. The development during the
second half of the 19th Century till the first quarter of the 20th
century was slow and centred on the developing of the
administration without any special interest on industrial
After the Spanish Civil War
(1936-1939), that led to great damage to the city, Guadalajara was
included in 1959 in the development plans, increasing specially the
industry that was brought from the Descongestion of Madrid's
Industrial Estates. Since then, Guadalajara has been one of the
cities in Spain with greatest relative growith.
Nowadays, Guadalajara is involved in urban development plans that
are quickly increasing the population of the city. New districts
like Aguas Vivas (Live Waters) have recently been inaugurated.
Church of Asunción.
Ciudad Valdeluz will give 30,000 inhabitants more to Guadalajara,
creating a whole brand new city around the AVE
Station (Spanish High-Speed Trains).
The recent town-plannings have dramatically increased the cost of
the new houses, changing in the last 10 years of being one of the
cheapest provinces in Spain for house-buying to be the 3rd province
in Spain with most expensive square meter.
Since the 2003 local election, the Town Hall is controlled by a
coalition made up of Social Democratic Party (PSOE
) members and also one IU town councilor. J. Alique
(PSOE) has held the post of Mayor since then. Following the 2007
local elections Antonio Román (Popular Party
) replaced Alique in the
The bridge across the Henares river is Arab but built on Roman
foundations. It has several historic buildings such as the Palacio del Infantado
, as well as many
churches, such as the church
of San Ginés
. Although Guadalajara is the biggest city in its
diocese, the cathedral is located in the nearby town of Sigüenza.
However, in Guadalajara, there is a "co-cathedral": the church of
Saint Mary, in Mudejar style. Very close to this church, is placed
the chapel known as "Capilla de Luis de Lucena", which has several
fresco paintings on its walls and ceiling.
Mexican city of Guadalajara, Jalisco, was founded by Nuño Beltrán de
Guzmán, a native of the Spanish Guadalajara.
A street of Guadalajara.
The Coat of Arms of Guadalajara represents Alvar Fanez de Minaya
entering in the town at night during the conquest.
Distinguished people from or related to the town were:
- Alvar Fanez de Minaya,
"Conqueror of Guadalajara for the Christianity".
- Nuño Beltrán
de Guzmán, founder of Guadalajara in Mexico.
- Antonio Buero Vallejo,
20th century writer.
- María Diega Desmaissières y Sevillano, Countess of Vega del
Pozo and Duchess of Sevillano.
- Francisco Fernández Iparraguirre, pharmacist, linguist and
- José Ortiz-Echagüe, militar engineer and photographer
- Jose de Creeft, famous sculptor
born in Guadalajara
Principal avenue of the Concordia
Twin towns — Sister cities
Guadalajara, Spain is twinned
File:Palacio del Infantado.pav.jpg|Facade of Palacio del
Infantado.File:Guadalajara Panteon1.jpg|Panteón de la Duquesa de
Sevillano.File:SanNicolásElRealGuadalajara.JPG|San Nicolás El Real
Church.File:Iglesia de San Ginés3.jpg|San Ginés Church
San Gil, Guadalajara.jpg|San Gil Church, apse
File:Ayuntamiento Guadalajara.jpg|Ayuntamiento of
Guadalajara.File:Mercado Guadalajara2.jpg|Ancient market in
Guadalajara.File:Calle Mayor, Guadalajara.pav.jpg|Calle Mayor,