Roman remains have been found as a road and the Alcanzorla Bridge, here also passed the Arabs and belonged to El Real de Manzanares. It has a rich artistic heritage from the sixteenth to eighteenth centuries, in addition to its natural wealth.
Roman remains have been found in Galapagar, such as a road and the Alcanzorla Bridge, which prove the existence of settlements at that time. The Arabs were also present during the Muslim domination and in the 11th century the town is listed as a nucleus administered by the Segovian Council. Disagreements arose over the control of the lands between Madrid and Segovia and the municipality was included in El Real de Manzanares.
Galapagar obtained its own villazgo, in 1523, and was also a stop for Felipe II on his way to San Lorenzo de El Escorial. The origin of the name seems to be found in the first settlements, established in the vicinity of a lagoon where the galapagos were frequent.
The municipality is located on the slopes of the Sierra de Guadarrama, so it enjoys natural wealth and abundant water - with the Guadarrama River and numerous streams. It is worth mentioning the presence of holm oaks, pastures, junipers, rockroses and scrubland.
The main activities of the inhabitants were agriculture -mainly cereals and legumes were grown-, livestock -cows, pigs, goats and sheep, which also had the Cañada Real Segoviana and nine other livestock trails-, beekeeping -with more than a hundred beehives- and the transport of coal and firewood. The service sector also existed and acquired great relevance in the 20th century due to tourism. The different trades of the population had an influence on urban development. It is possible to see rural constructions and agricultural and livestock farms that coexist with single-family homes and recent buildings.
The artistic heritage of Galapagar offers samples of great value such as the Church of Nuestra Señora de la Asunción, from the 16th century and declared of Cultural Interest. It is a building where the tower of two bodies separated by a stone impost stands out. It has a central nave supported by rectangular pillars that form six semicircular arches and two side naves half the width of the central nave. The presbytery has a square floor plan with a Gothic ribbed vault. In the interior there is a baroque baptismal font and the roof of the nave has a wooden coffered ceiling.
Other patrimonial examples are: the Church of San Bartolomé or El Cerrillo, original from 1447 but rebuilt on several occasions; the Town Hall, from the XVIII century and reformed in the XX century, presents elements of carved stone; the Alcanzorla Bridge, is Roman and built in stone with a single eye; the Puente del Retamar, from between the XVI and XVII centuries; the Puente de Herrera, erected in the time of Felipe II to improve the road to the Monastery of San Lorenzo de El Escorial; the Puente del Molino or Viejo de la Navata, medieval; and the Puente Herreño, from the XVIII century.
More information: Galapagar Town Hall