Turismo Prerrománico > Phases > Visigothic > Maturity > MONASTERIO DE GUARRAZAR


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Historic environment

The Guarrazar deposit is located in the municipality of Guadamur, about 15 km. southwest of the city of Toledo. Known internationally for its impressive Visigothic treasure, for several years now, under the direction of Juan Manuel Rojas Rodríguez-Malo, several campaigns of archaeological excavations and fundamental scientific research have been carried out for the knowledge of the history of the Visigothic kingdom of Toledo.

According to the discoverers themselves, Francisco Morales and María Pérez, the discovery occurred, by chance, on August 25, 1858, when they were driving along the road to Toledo in the area of the Guarrazar fountain and saw a shiny object through some flagstones that had brought to light the torrential rains of the previous day.

MONUMENTOS ARQUITECTÓNICOS DE ESPAÑA, 1862-1864. CORONAS Y CRUCES VISIGODAS DE GUARRAZAR Departamento: Calcografía NacionalNº Inventario: E-3757 © FOT. https://www.academiacolecciones.com/estampas/inventario. php?id=E-3757In a mortar chest measuring 70 x 70 centimeters and more than 1 meter deep, they found a set of votive crowns made of gold, precious stones, pearls, mother-of-pearl, glass, etc. , in addition to crosses, chalices and other objects also made of gold and gems.

A gardener, Domingo de la Cruz, who owned a nearby garden and who had seen the couple take out the treasure, discovered another similar lot.

It is evident that, as soon as the news of the discovery spread, an intense search for pieces took place, logically causing great damage to the archaeological heritage of the area.

After various clandestine sales to jewelers, the batch of pieces found by F. Morales was sold to the French government at the beginning of 1859, and was exhibited at the National Museum of the Middle Ages, in Paris, until it was sold in 1941. He made an exchange of works among which six of the nine crowns that made up the set were delivered to Spain. These are now in the National Archaeological Museum in Madrid.

The second set of treasures was kept hidden by Domingo de la Cruz’s family for more than two years, during which time they dismantled and sold more than three quarters of the pieces. Finally, in 1861, Queen Elizabeth II was given the few pieces that remained from that lot, among which was a crown offered by King Suintila, whose unfortunate fate had not ended, since it was stolen in 1921 and never returned. to know about her

Although only ten crowns have been preserved, it has been estimated that some 23 were found. Most of the missing ones were from the lot found by Domingo de la Cruz, among which there seems to have been another crown with characteristics similar to those of Suintila and Recesvinto. , so it is assumed that it could have belonged to another king. In addition to the crowns and their respective crosses, the treasure also included chalices, at least one gold processional cross embossed with gems, pearls and mother-of-pearl, as well as other objects that were lost in sales to jewelers and have not been found. who knows what they were like, although in their statements the discoverers also mentioned a belt, a dove, etc. also made of gold.


A little more than 150 m to the north of the spring is the area that contains the highest amount of archaeological remains and the greatest monuments.

In the archaeological excavations carried out, remains of two large buildings have been located. The first of them, in the area called 1 and 2, made up of two large ships that interlock, between 12.5 and 15 meters long, and between 5 and 5.5 meters wide. These two naves form an “L”-shaped plan, with a possible courtyard between the two naves where several smaller rooms would also be built, and a porticoed space in the that converged the doors . The discovery of a cross with laurel and a cymacio establishes the possibility that these buildings belonged to a monastery from the Visigothic period. Within the different enclosures that make up the building, various types of construction remains and waste have been documented that show the evolution in the process of occupation of the dependencies after the abandonment of their inhabitants of the Visigothic kingdom, as well as the plunder, abandonment and ruin suffered between the eighth and ninth centuries.

In the second building, in area 3, a column base has been discovered in its original position, made of marble, with plan dimensions of 70 x 70 centimeters. The context of the different sedimentary and constructive stratigraphic units that cover the base shows an evolution between the Emiral period and the Late Middle Ages (and perhaps the Modern Age), where some constructions and sediments of MONUMENTOS ARQUITECTÓNICOS DE ESPAÑA. PLANTA, LÁPIDA FUNERARIA Y FRAGMENTOS ARQUITECTÓNICOS DE LA BASÍLICA DE GUARRAZAR © GRABADOS DE LA COLECCIÓN LUIS ALBA. ARCHIVO MUNICIPAL DE TOLEDO © FOT. https://historia.nationalgeographic.com.es/edicion-impresa/articulos/ tesoro-guarrazar_15954habitats that, in turn, are cut by a phase of looting of the great original building, of which there are still an abundant number of granite ashlars with remains of mortar , remains of reliefs with plant decoration, pieces of column shafts and capitals made of marble, as well as fragments of possible opus signinum flooring, calcareous tuff ashlars, etc. .

Undoubtedly, all these high-quality construction elements show that there was a large building with great constructive and ornamental wealth. The hypothesis that its excavators handle is that it may be the remains of a basilica, to which all the objects that made up the Guarrazar treasure would have belonged.

In the cleaning of another plot located further south, area 4, next to the road, it has been verified that, indeed, behind the wild vegetation was the spring of the famous Guarrazar fountain and also that a section of the old Toledo road that Amador de los Ríos mentions and that appears in the sketches of the Finding.

The source of Guarrazar, today, is a spring that is born directly from the earth and the rock and whose trickle is collected by a dam that forms a small pond.

The work carried out has brought to light the incomplete plan of a large building that seems to have at least two spaces. The most defined space would have a rectangular plan, with an approximate width of 5.3 meters and a maximum length, up to now, of 9.6 meters. The width of the walls is about 0.8 meters and the orientation of the walls presents north-south and east-west axes.

Rafael Caballero for URBS REGIA

Other interesting information

Horarios y condiciones de visita
Teléfono: 635 900 123. Reservas: reservas@guarrazar.com
Todas las visitas son guiadas.
Las visitas se organizan a partir de un mínimo de 8 Adultos.
Niños menores de 10 años no contabilizan para el total de un grupo.
Los horarios se fijarán a partir de la formalización de la reserva.
Duración de la visita: 2 Horas Aprox.

Entrada individual: 8 €
Entrada de grupo (15 a 25 personas): 7 € por persona
Entrada de grupo (26 personas o más): 6 € por persona
Desempleados: 6 € por persona
Niños hasta 10 años que asistan a visitas para adultos: Entrada gratuita



– Ficha del Inventario del Patrimonio Cultural de Castilla La Mancha.
ROJAS RODRÍGUEZ-MALO, J. M., 2015: “Guarrazar en el contexto de un importante territorio de la tardoantigüedad”, Revista de Etudios, 37-66.
ALONSO REVENGA, P. A., 1988: Historia del descubrimiento del tesoro visigodo de Guarrazar.
ID., 1999: “Cerámicas decoradas de la Taifa de Toledo en Guarrazar”, Tulaytula: Revista de la Asociación de Amigos del Toledo Islámico, n° 4, 77-85.