Oreja

Abandoned: 1959

Visited: 2012

Oreja, Madrid, Spain

This place I visited on my Spanish trip has a very rich history. The village was built in Roman times and named Aureliae, the Latin name for Oreja. Centuries later, the Muslims built a castle here. It was a military castle to protect the Kingdom of Toledo. Its strategic position allowed them to control the Tagus river. The Christians captured the castle in 1085, but not for long. In 1113 the King of Sevilla and the King of Córdoba and all the other Muslim rulers in the south had gathered a large army of cavalry, infantry and archers. They proceeded to the territory of Toledo and began to attack the castle at Oreja. They massacred the Christians there and took many prisoners.

1171

The Siege of Oreja by the forces of Alfonso VII, Emperor of Spain, lasted from April to October 1139, when the Muslim garrison surrendered. The towers of the castle were destroyed during the siege. In 1171 the castle is rebuilt. The town flourished because of the good economy. It was a town of farmers and merchant with many olive trees, vineyards and grain fields. In 1827 the village housed 45 people living in 10 houses. There was also a parish and later they built a school in Oreja.

Today Oreja is a ghost town. On a steep hill in the middle of nowhere you can see the ruins of the old castle. Only one tower is left, the other parts are in ruins. The town itself is on the left bank of the Tagus river. It is only one street with two rows of houses and a newer chapel. Despite its historical value, the town has been transformed into a garbage belt.

Photos Oreja

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