Guadalajara, Spain

Guadalajara, Spain

Spanish city

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native_name = Guadalajara
spanish_name = Guadalajara
nickname =
city_motto =
city_motto_means =

image_flag_size = 115px
image_coat_of_arms = Escudo ciudad Guadalajara, Guadalajara, Castilla-La Mancha, España (original).pngimage_coat_of_arms_size = 90px

image_city_map_size = 256px
image_city_map_caption = Location of Guadalajara
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founded =
native_language = Spanish
community = Castile-La Mancha
community_link = Castile-La Mancha
province = Guadalajara
province_link = Guadalajara (province)
comarca =
comarca_link =
divisions =
neighborhoods =
mayor = Antonio Román Jasaneda
political_party = PP
political_party_link = People's Party (Spain)
area = 235,51
altitude = 708
population = 75.493
date-population = 2007
population-ranking =
density = 282,22
date-density = 2007
website = []
postal_code =
area_code =

Guadalajara (Spanish pronunciation IPA| [ɡwað̞alaˈxaɾa] ) is a city and municipality in the autonomous community of Castile-La 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).


Pre-Arab settlements

It is known that in the area there was a Roman town called Arriaca, 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 Antonina, where it was described as being in the hands of the Carpetani (It. Ant. pp. 436, 438) when encounted by the Romans. The city, as Caracca (Greek: polytonic|Κάραιεκα, Ptol. ii. 6. § 57; Geog. Rav. iv. 44) or Caraca (Ukert, i. 2. p. 429), was incorporated into the Roman province of Hispania Tarraconensis. The city was on the high road from Emerita (modern Mérida) to Caesaraugusta (modern Zaragoza), 22 M. P. northeast of Complutum (modern Alcalá de Henares).qwejr meade fnhfmudbutt

Arabic foundation

The town of Guadalajara was founded by the Arab people in the 8th century. They named it Wadi-al-Hajara (واد الحجارة or وادي الحجارة), 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 VII. In 1219, the king Fernando III gave a new fuero to the city (the one know as "Fuero Largo" 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 Mendoza, also known as Marqués de Santillana (1398-1458), and Pedro González de Mendoza (1428-1495), Great Cardinal of Spain and adviser of the Catholic Monarchs. 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 Cortes.

During the War of the Spanish Succession, 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.

Contemporary times

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 Army led by General Hugo and the 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 development.

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. 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 mayoralty.

Main sights

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.


The Mexican city of Guadalajara, Jalisco, was founded by Nuño Beltrán de Guzmán, a native of the Spanish 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 botanist
* José Ortiz-Echagüe, militar engineer and photographer
* Jose de Creeft, famous sculptor born in Guadalajara

Twin towns

Guadalajara is twinned with numerous towns and cities.

They include:
*flagicon|MEX Guadalajara, Mexico
*flagicon|COL Guadalajara, Colombia
*flagicon|ITA Livorno, Italy
*flagicon|SVK Nitra, Slovakia
*flagicon|UK Nuneaton and Bedworth, United Kingdom
*flagicon|ITA Parma, Italy
*flagicon|FRA Roanne, France

ee also

*Battle of Guadalajara
*Guadalajara (province)

External links

* [ Guadalajara, the great unknown]
* [ Photos of Guadalajara]
* [ Municipal Government]
* [ Interactive Page of Guadalajara]
* [ Provincial Delegation]
* [ Forum Alcarria]



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