Our Village

Our village, Almonacid del Marquesado

Almonacid del Marquesado is a small village located in the Mancha Alta, a region of Cuenca, autonomous community of Castilla-La Mancha, 115 km from Madrid, 85 from the capital of the province and 14 km from the A3 highway. Its population is 469 (INE, 2012) and its municipality has an area of 47.3 square km. Its land consists of smooth terrain, transitioning from La Mancha to La Alcarria, with mountains and hills, which make this land different from the even the typical Manchegan landscape. The altitude is 895 m. There are only two small streams, both tributaries of the Cigüela river. The village has its own wellspring. Most of the village is dedicated to farming, but there are some Mediterranean forest areas where we can see pines and holm oaks.

 

Traditionally, Almonacid has subsisted from farming and cattle raising. But in recent years there are fewer herdsmen, and this activity is almost forgotten. Barley, sunflower, and olive-tree are the most common crops raised by the village farmers. Most of the families have some farm land, this activity is a complement for other jobs so, farming is not usually the live hood of Almonacid families. There are other services and industries: bars and a disco, a rural house and restaurant, grocers and other shops, a cigar store, a butcher, a fish market, greengrocers, a garage, locksmiths and blacksmiths, carpentry, a dental clinic, a veterinary clinic, a nursing home, a construction company, cranes, a textile factory, farming services companies, a bus company, banks, a mortuary, a consultant´s office and hairdressing.

 

The village has some basic services like a school, a medical office, a church, garbage collection, a library and an internet center. Also there are some associations: senior citizen, women, young people, neighbors, band and music school, agricultural cooperative, Real Madrid and Atlético de Madrid fans, farmers assembly, hunting reserve and religious brotherhoods: Stewards of Cristo de los Milagros, Diablos Brotherhood, Stewards of San Blas Brotherhood and Godmother of Candelaria Brotherhood.

 

Since the 1950s, Almonacid has been losing its population like every other village in the region. That´s why there are many old people and few births and marriages, but there are many village children who often return and build their second home here. So, most of the buildings in Almonacid are modern now.

 

San Blas and Virgen de la Candelaria are not the only celebration of Almonacid:

 

-Santísimo Cristo de los Milagros, the other village´s “patron” like San Blas, celebrated on the last August weekend.

 

-San Antón (January 17), 18 year old boys sing some popular songs at the church door.

 

-“Los peleles” (Resurrection Sunday) are straw and ragdolls which are shown off by little girls, while little boys try to remove them.

 

-Los Mayos (April 30), sung by 18 year old boys accompanied by the people at the church door. They, these young boys put “la enramá”, an almond-tree decorated with scarfs and oranges, in the main town square.

 

-San Isidro (May 15), there is a procession to the saint hermitage, where the farmers cook for all the village people.

 

-Santa Lucía (December 12), a neighborhood meeting in the street around bonfires, where people eat and drink, and the young boys jump over the bonfires.

 

The typical gastronomy of Almonacid is like the rest of the region. During “La Endiablada”,the people cook biscuits called “rosquillos” with flour, olive oil and wine, and “rosquillas”, a fried dough with eggs, soda and sugar. In winter, the typical food is “las gachas”, grits with oyster mushroom, cooked with vetch flour and pork. During Easter Week it is very common to eat potage and cod, and “torrijas” for dessert, sweet french toast. Cooking fried lamb or sheep is very common too. The “palpartas”, cooked with fried bread dough and sugar are usually eaten with chocolate. For All Saint´s day it is typical to cook almond and sugar nougat.

 

 

History

History, Amonacid del Marquesado

To find Almonacid’s first people we must start in the Bronze Age, probably the last part of this Age. We know it because there were some pottery findings around the village.

 

In the Roman period, Almonacid grew thanks to the influence of the city of Segóbriga, located about 8 km from Almonacid. From those times some remains are preserved that we can see today: a Roman road, necropolis, sigillata ceramics and, possibly, the three pipes fountain and the arca.

 

There is no Almonacid news from medieval era until XIII century, but we must consider the origin of the name of the village. It comes from the latin word monasterium, attached to the Arabic article al. Both are al-monastir, it means “the monastery” and it doesn’t have a logical explanation because we don`t have any information about a monastery in Almonacid. It is possible that this monastery could have existed before the Arabic invasion.

 

After the conquest, the region was repopulated and three other villages near Almonacid were found: Fuente de Domingo Pérez (the place where the legend explains the encounter of San Blas), Villar de Sancho Cojo and San Miguel, all them deserted during the medieval era.

 

Historical documents talk about Almonacid as a sparsely populated village, with a poor farming economy where there weren`t any nobleman and all the people had to pay taxes.

 

The Santiago church of Almonacid was built at the beginning of the XVIII century, replacing the ancient church, which had five golden altarpieces. The biggest one, was dedicated to Cristo de los Milagros. There was also a hermitage dedicated to San Sebastian in the XVIII century. All the artistic heritage, the old municipal and church archives were destroyed during the Civil War.

 

In 1805, there was a terrible hail storm which wiped out the harvest and shortly after that, a malaria epidemic killed half the population.

 

During the XIX century, it was possible to find two of the deserted villages, Fuente de Domingo Pérez and San Miguel. Also, people talked about the region because of its medicinal herbs.

 

The population of Almonacid, although it was low, grew slowly until the 1930s, when there were about 1200 people. From here, the unrelenting exodus starts, and is still going on.



For more information


GARCÍA MORATALLA, Pedro Joaquín: La tierra de Alarcón en el Señorío de Villena (siglos XIII – XV). Instituto de Estudios Albacetenses “Don Juan Manuel” de la Excma. Diputación Provincial de Albacete. Albacete 2003.


GONZALBES CRAVIOTO, Enrique: “Almonacid del Marquesado en la Antigüedad”. El patrimonio cultural como factor de desarrollo. Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha y Ayuntamiento de Almonacid del Marquesado. Cuenca, 2006.


SÁNCHEZ MARTÍNEZ, Julián: Almonacid del Marquesado: recorrido por su historia. Ediciones provinciales, nº 115. Diputación Provincial de Cuenca, 2011.


VALERO CASTELL, Blas: Miliarios romanos de Villarejo de Fuentes y Alconchel. Real Academia de la Historia, 1888.

 

Map

Links


Diputación de Cuenca 
http://www.dipucuenca.es/

Teléfonos de interes
Ayuntamiento Almonacid del Marquesado +34 969 120 900  
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