If there is anything that characterizes San Martín de Montalbán, is its historical legacy and its wide range of architectural and cultural enclaves. Located just 45 kilometers from the capital of Toledo, offers us sample of the track that the passage of the centuries and civilizations have left in many corners of the region. To reach the municipality in Toledo we take the CM-401 Highway and about 40 kilometres bind with the CM-4009 to reach San Martin.
Visitors can tour the inside of the streets of San Martín de Montalbán to be reunited with the legacy of a tradition marked by the innate touch of history. No doubt a point of departure for all the routes possible to perform in the town is the Plaza del Ayuntamiento. It will discover an environment simple and quiet, typically castellanomanchego, where in addition to see the building of the consistory, observe the small window of Melque, a faithful recreation of the spans of the Hermitage which gives name, created from stones of Santa María de Melque successive reconstructions have been reporting with the passage of the years.
After the stop at the town hall we find the Church Parroquial de San Andrés, built at the beginning of the 17TH century. It was designed by Jorge Manuel Theotocópulus, son of El Greco. Abroad presents octagonal in shape, while the interior maintains the plant form of Romanesque vaults, perhaps under the influence of the former Temple. In interior decoration are the mural paintings by Boris Lugovskoy of late 20th century, the work of great beauty and peculiar shapes, unusual for this area.
Walking through the streets, we can find the Casa Palacete, a private property that over the years, has served to complement the historical beautification. It is a well protected since the beginning of the 20th century, with a careful architecture of the period, highlighting their forging structures. Similarly, we find large number of old façades, with a marked architectural style of the region.
In the town, North of the town centre in the direction of La Puebla de Montalbán, we can see two of the most important assets of all Castile - La Mancha, Montalban Castle and the Church of Santa María de Melque.
Everything seems to indicate that Castillo de Montalbán, irrespective of its Muslim origin, had take importance to devise a line of forts with the fn to defend the river Tagus, as border from the taking of the city of Toledo by Alfonso VI in 1085. The fortress belonged to the military order of Alcántara, Montegaudio and fnalmente of the Temple.
In this superb fortress, which rises over an impressive Gorge created by the river Torcón, it looks even its adarve and the magnificent flanking towers of pentagonal. In the same way, you can admire countless machicolations and arrow slits, a magnificent Tower of homage and other outbuildings and walled enclosures.
Santa María de Melque is the best preserved Visigothic Temple of the Iberian Peninsula and Western Europe. It was built in the 8th century and although her rigging and construction techniques employed are a clear influence late Roman, his plant, in the form of a Greek cross, and the few decorative details, remind us of other constructions of Byzantine origin.
It is built from granite blocks arranged in rows of irregular shape, its walls are smooth, topped by a cornice and horseshoe arches are represented in windows and doors. Form inside four barrel vaults earthwork high-rise, topped with horseshoe arches of seven meters that give way to a spectacular Dome, base of the central dome.
Melque is without a doubt the best example that has come down to us, being able to contemplate a Visigothic monument, perfectly conditioned with suitable lighting, as well as the possibility to visit the interpretation centre in one of the farm houses surrounding the municipality (1 April-30 September: 10:00-14:00 and 16:00-20:00, 1 October to 31 March: 10:00 to 14:00 and 15:00-18:00) Closed on Mondays).
In the terms of architectural touches of the past, the municipality of San Martin has several of the most interesting historical remains of the region. Of them stands the bridge of the basket, best preserved vestige of what was a Roman road, close to the natural environment of the Cantuergana, are recognized the remains of a water mill from the 1600S and dam watered channels near the castle is a Dolmen, eminently funerary monument and finally, remains of tombs carved in the granite rock similar to those found in the Necropolis of Malamoneda.
San Martín de Montalbán, is framed in a privileged natural environment; close to the Montes de Toledo and the Natural Park of Cabañeros, the town enjoys green landscapes that surround the town centre, at the same time that its proximity brings closer it to different routes and destinations in which raw material the enjoyment of nature.
It is certainly the hunt and its multiple forms of be prepared which better defines the good eating that he characterizes the region. Deer, Hare, wild boar and of course the Partridge, contribute flavor to a cuisine that combines history and modernity without forgetting one iota the essence of its past. The municipality will accompany welcomed this offer, a tough but soft, typical of the century-old vines of Montalban wine.