The town of Guadalupe originated and grew up around the Real Monasterio, taking its name from the river where the image of the Virgin appeared. But Guadalupe, declared a Historical-Artistic Site in 1943, is more than the magnificence of the monastery. In this small town situated in the heart of the Geopark surrounded by exuberant landscape we find a place which has retained the charm of its popular architecture. Losing yourself in the alleyways of Guadalupe takes us back to a past in which Sephardic influences were mixed with those of a distinguished group of pilgrims from all sorts of places, and the stamp of royalty and the nobility from the Middle Ages to the present.
One of the attractions of this mountain town is its interesting historical centre, which has remained practically unaltered since the 14th to 16th centuries. Aspects to be emphasised are its colonnades, its balconies, and its small plazas.
The humility of the materials and the solidity of its most traditional architecture contrasts with the sumptuousness of the Real Monasterio. It is in this that much of its charm of Guadalupe lies. Where this dichotomy can most clearly be appreciated is in the Plaza de Santa María, the epicentre of the locality, which extends before the monastic enclosure. In its centre stands the fountain which according to tradition was the font of the first American Indian who had arrived in Europe brought by Columbus.
The streets off the plaza lead us to the old Jewish quarter, the personality of which is shown by its wooden colonnades, rows of old balconies full of flowers, and intricate narrow alleyways. The houses are of two storeys with a hallway and are built with beams of chestnut wood as this tree is abundant locally. The fountain known as the Fuente de los Tres Chorros dominates the plaza of the same name and it is here that some of the best preserved streets come together.