A charming town, a complicated past

By Geri L. Dreiling

Spending time outside in the sun is said to help travelers recover from jet lag. And so, after arriving in Spain on Wednesday, I went for a late evening stroll around Algete (al-het-ay) with Enrique.

About 45 minutes northeast of Madrid, Algete is somewhat similar to a far-flung suburb — but with a complicated past.  Traces of the Visigoths and remnants of Roman villages have been found in Algete.  In 720, a Moorish leader left a military company on the banks of the Jarama river and the place was called Al-Satt. In 1081, King Alphonso VI entered the area as a part of the reconquest of Spain by the Catholic rulers.

In the more recent history of the town, the Republican Army used the church during the Spanish Civil War as a logistics center. Eventually, the town was overtaken by General Franco’s National Army. Dictatorship gave way to a democracy after Franco’s death in 1975.

The town now has a population of just over 17,000. Condos and new apartment buildings have sprung up around a much older city center.

Here are some photos I took around 8 pm, and there was still about an hour of daylight remaining. 

Algete Three

Algete Four

Algete Five

Algete Two

Algete-Six-GLDESV