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Jarama (Spanish pronunciation: [xaˈɾama]) is a river in central Spain. It flows north to south, and passes east of Madrid where the El Atazar Dam is built on a tributary, the Lozoya River. It flows into the river Tagus in Aranjuez. The Manzanares is a tributary of the Jarama.

Jarama Titulcia.jpg
Jarama River in Titulcia
StateGuadalajara, Madrid
RegionIberian Peninsula
Physical characteristics
SourcePeña Cebollera
 ⁃ locationSierra de Ayllón
 ⁃ coordinates41°9′58″N 3°32′18″W / 41.16611°N 3.53833°W / 41.16611; -3.53833
 ⁃ elevation2,119 m (6,952 ft)
 ⁃ location
near Aranjuez
 ⁃ coordinates
40°1′51″N 3°38′59″W / 40.03083°N 3.64972°W / 40.03083; -3.64972Coordinates: 40°1′51″N 3°38′59″W / 40.03083°N 3.64972°W / 40.03083; -3.64972
 ⁃ elevation
494 m (1,621 ft)
Length194 km (121 mi)
Basin size5,047 km2 (1,949 sq mi)
 ⁃ average31.7 m3/s (1,120 cu ft/s)
Basin features
River systemTagus
 ⁃ leftHenares, Tajuña
 ⁃ rightLozoya, Guadalix, Manzanares


Spanish Civil WarEdit


During the Spanish Civil War at Paracuellos del Jarama, 1000 (other sources give the number of 4000) civilian prisoners were killed by the Republican Militia guards during the Battle of Madrid (November 8–9, 1936). It is disputed whether Santiago Carrillo, the Communist leader in Madrid, ordered these executions or not, albeit they were committed under his authority.[1][2] He denied his involvement in several interviews.[3]


The Jarama was also the scene of fierce fighting in 1937. Nationalist forces crossed the river in an attempt to cut the main road from Madrid to the Republican capital at Valencia. Nationalist forces led by Spanish Legionnaires and Moroccan soldiers (Regulares) of the Army of Africa were confronted by forces from the Republic including the 15th International Brigade. The 15th Brigade contained both the British Battalion of Volunteers and American volunteers in the Abraham Lincoln Brigade. Despite heavy casualties (over 270 British out of 600) the Nationalists were stopped short of their objective. A period of trench warfare followed before the front stabilised. The battle cost both sides a combined total of up to 45,000 casualties.

The song Jarama Valley, with lyrics referencing the battle, became popular among the Republican battalions.

In fictionEdit

El Jarama is a 1955 novel by Rafael Sánchez Ferlosio about a group of working-class youngsters from Madrid meeting for a picnic by the river on a summer day. Its realistic dialog renovated Spanish novels, and it won the Premio Nadal (Nadal Prize) in 1955.

Other meaningsEdit

The Circuito Permanente Del Jarama (commonly referred to only as "Jarama") is the main motor racetrack of Madrid. Before the construction of the safer Montmeló, Montjuïc and Jerez racetracks, it hosted nine Formula One Championship races and several motorbike prizes.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Ian Gibson, "Paracuellos. Cómo fue". 1983, Plaza y Janés. Barcelona.
  2. ^ Vidal, Cesar, "Paracuellos-Katyn: Un ensayo sobre el genocidio de la izquierda". 2005, Libroslibres ISBN 84-96088-32-4
  3. ^ Entrevista con Santiago Carrillo. November 24, 2000.

External linksEdit