Geoparque Mundial UNESCO

Nº24 – Valdelacasa Anticline

Geoparque Villuercas > Nº24 – Valdelacasa Anticline


The Valdelacasa anticline extends over the provinces of Cáceres, Toledo, and Ciudad Real and is part of the district known as “La Jara” to the east of the orographical massif of Las Villuercas, which lies between the Sierra de Altamira or Sierra de los Puertos and the quartzite relief of the Sierra de la Estrella and Sierra de Sevilleja.

It can be reached from any of the roads that cross it from north to south such as the N-502 or south from the town of Puente del Arzobispo along the EX-387, from other minor roads that cross it from east to west such as the CC-20 via the Puerto de Arrebatacapas which we recommend as a vantage point, or from the EX-102 via the Puerto de San Vicente.


The visitor can appreciate the interesting geomorphologic features of the area such as the great Precambrian peneplain that has developed on shales and granites, the pedreras of the Sierra de Altamira, the granite boulders, the enclosed nature of the river which is a tributary of the River Tajo on the extensive peneplain that characterises the district of La Jara, and the residual relief of the quartzite sierras that border it to the east: Sierra de la Estrella, Sierra Aguda, Sierra de la Nava, and Sierra de Sevilleja.

This area also features the Ediacaran–Cambrian transition; indeed it is here that the sedimentary succession of the terminal Proterozoic and its transition to the initial Palaeozoic was described. It shows a continuous fossil record of the Ediacaran-Cambrian-Ordovician transition, which is of great paleontological importance as it includes contains some of the oldest fossils in the Iberian Peninsula. These include remains of algae, trace fossils of early metazoans (vendotaenids) and the first mineralised metazoans with a calcareous skeleton, Cloudina sp.

In the shaley terrain of La Jara with its abundant rich pastures numerous “verracos” have been found: these are zoomorphic sculptures from the Iron Age (4th century B.C.) fashioned by the livestock-rearing Vettonian people. There are magnificent examples in Villar del Pedroso and Valdelacasa that can be observed in their landscaped plazas.


The Valdelacasa anticline retains Precambian materials (+ 600 m.y.) in its core that consist of shales and greywackes with intrusions of granitic materials. This means that one can frequently find berrocales (landscapes characterised by granitic rocks and boulders) which on occasion fashion figures of great landscape and geological value such as those studied in Geosites 42 and 43 (the Desfiladero del Pedroso and Berrocal de Peraleda-Cancho Castillo respectively).

On its flanks can be seen more recent materials from the Ediacaran and Cambrian eras (+ 540 m.y.) until we reach the Armorican quartzites of the Lower Ordovician (some 480 m.y. ago) of the Palaeozoic era that outcrop on the crests of the Sierra de Altamira.

This megastructure is approximately one hundred kilometres long by several kilometres wide and runs NW-SE. On its western edge it is bordered by the outcrops of the Lower Palaeozoic rocks that constitute the Guadarranque syncline. To the north, east, and south its limits are less clear as outcrops of Palaeozoic rocks with rugged relief alternate with sedimentary material from the Cenozoic (rañas).