4-The Cemetery and the Ermita de la Paz (Hermitage of the Peace)

The Cemetery

The cemetery is not just a lovely place to visit because of its history but also for the impressive views of the town and the sierra. Far away from the noise of the town, the only sounds in this peaceful spot are those of the birds, the hens and maybe even a braying donkey in one of the nearby farms.

Vistas desde el cementerio de Valdemorillo
Entrada principal del Cementerio de Valdemorillo

The Story of the Cemetery

This cemetery was built alongside the Ermita de Nuestra Señora de la Paz (Hermitage of Our Lady of the Peace) in 1800 when it was moved from its previous location on the north side of the church.

The decision to move the cemetery came about as a result of the Royal Decree by Carlos III in 1787 that prohibited burials on church grounds, apart from certain exceptions. This was due to the unpleasant smell of the dead during periods of high mortality, and as a result, cemeteries began to be built outside towns in Spain for public health reasons.

The cemetery is a true work of art, sponsored by brothers Rubio and Martín de Santos, who were respectively private secretary and doctor to the Court of Queen Doña María Cristina de Borbón, mother of Isabel II.

Before you enter the cemetery, your eyes will immediately be drawn to the impressive main gates, which date back to 1872.

Historic Graves

Once inside the cemetery, the first tombs that stand out are those of the very brothers who sponsored the cemetery's construction, one dating back to 1855 and the other to 1863.

The two tombs were created using top-quality marble brought specially from France.

These majestic and imposing memorials are the first to welcome all visitors as they enter.

You will pass them amongst the cypress trees with the singing of the birds in the background.

Ermita de la Paz (Hermitage of the Peace)

Climbing some steps, we reach the hermitage, which is believed to predate the cemetery and is situated at the highest point of the cemetery.

To the left of the building, you will find some of the most illustrious tombs in the cemetery.

For example, here, you will find the tomb of the Falcó family, who founded the school and the town's first ceramics factory, and against the wall of the hermitage are the tombs of the Gamonal family.

In front of the hermitage is one of the oldest known graves in the cemetery. Although we do not know exactly who is buried here, we do know that he must have been a cleric because he is buried with his head towards the hermitage and not 'foot first' like everyone else.

Inside the Hermitage

The inside of the hermitage is pleasant and austere, and the only embellishments are the arch of the vaulted ceiling and the grey stone that stands out against the white-washed walls.

Next to the alter is a sculpture of the Virgin of the Peace, who cares for the hermitage and ensures eternal rest in this lovely cemetery.

Graves of Interest

Amongst the more notable tombs in the cemetery, there are also many graves decorated with old ceramics and inscriptions. These serve as beautiful examples of the products manufactured at the Falcó factory and are clearly high-quality embellishments as their intense colours have not faded over time.

Another interesting part of the cemetery is the brick section that was reserved for protestant burials, including that of Otto Funke.

Enjoy a peaceful walk amongst these beautiful tombs and take in the views of the surrounding area.

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