Arganda del Rey
|This article does not cite any references or sources. (January 2007)|
|Arganda del Rey|
Location in Community of Madrid
|Comarca||Comarca de Alcalá|
|• Mayor||Pablo Rodríguez Sardinero|
|• Total||79.65 km2 (30.75 sq mi)|
|Elevation||618 m (2,028 ft)|
|Time zone||CET (UTC+1)|
|• Summer (DST)||CEST (UTC+2)|
Arganda del Rey (Spanish pronunciation: [arˈɣanda ðel rei]) is a municipality in the autonomous community of Madrid in central Spain. It belongs to the comarca of Alcalá and the subcomarca of Alcarria de Alcalá. It is connected to Madrid by metro line 9, underground.
The first permanent dwelling in the area dates back to the Arab presence in the Iberian Peninsula. Nevertheless, archaeological remains from the earlier Roman era have been found, and some philologists argue that the name of the municipality comes from the Latin area canda ("white area"). In the Roman texts of Ptolemy several cities are mentioned as pre-Roman habitations (Carpetanos) with Alternia (Arganda) among them.
In the 11th century, it was the home of the king of Spain for 20 years. Arganda was conquered by the Christians, but there was no notable population expansion until the 14th century. It is possible that this expansion was due to the abandonment of Valtierra and Vilches due to an invasion of termites. The majority of historians believe that the population increase was due to the pestilence of 1348.
Until 1581, Arganda belonged to the archbishopric of Toledo. Philip II granted the title of Villa to the population, but the municipalities economic problems led to it being sold to the Duke of Lerma in 1613. The people rebelled in what is known as Arganda's Riot.
The municipality grew due to wine industry and because of the construction of a railroad that connected Arganda to Madrid in 1843. The beginning of the 20th century saw the development of a sugar plantation, which started a process of industrialization and of great demographic expansion. The Battle of Jarama took place near the town.
In the 1960s industrial growth brought another population explosion. In 1960, Arganda had 6,000 inhabitants, and this grew to 22,000 inhabitants in 1981. The majority of the expansion came from the immigration of people of Andalusian and Extremaduran origin. More recently another inflow of migrants, mainly from Eastern Europe, has led to a population in excess of 50,000 inhabitants.
- Church of San Juan Bautista, built between 1696 and 1714, mixing gothic, renaissance and baroque styles. One of the best conserved churches around the area. Its façade can be seen in Buñuel's film Viridiana as exteriors were filmed here.
- Hermitage of Valtierra, in Valtierra's former medieval village, built in Mudéjar style in the first half of the 13th century. Presently in ruins, remains include the north front wall, the south wall and part of the west wall.
- Hermitage of Vilches, a baroque building of the 17th century. Remains are 3 kilometres from the urban centre of Arganda.
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