La Isabela settlement

Ruins of an old spa, which then became a psychiatric hospital. These ruins were submerged, but are now above water again.


La Isabela was an old spa, then a psychiatric hospital, and it was submerged when the Buendía dam was built in 1952. The ruins have now been completely exposed. Many areas are now completely out of the water and you can walk among the ruins. Its beautiful surroundings make it an interesting site to visit. There were mineral water springs here whose waters had medicinal properties, and they were already being used by people in remote antiquity.

“La Isabela” (1826-1955), also known as the Real Sitio de la Isabela, was a spa town located on the banks of the Guadiela River, near the towns of Cañaveruelas, in the province of Cuenca and Sacedón, in the province of Guadalajara.

Nearby we can find the ruins of the Roman city of Ercavica, which may be the same place that was known as Contrebia.

In the 18th century, due to the vicissitudes of time, wars and other accidents, the guest quarters and the palace were ruined and destroyed, but their fame lived on and people continued to come to the site to take advantage of the health benefits of its hot springs. As a result three different elements are found together here; a spa, a palace, a Royal Site and a New Town with the name “La Isabela” in memory of Isabel of Braganza who was the second wife of Fernando VII, and who was behind the establishment of the “Real Sitio” and the “New Town”. Each one of these three elements has an independent origin, but they are bound together by time and they developed differently.

The political realities of the reign of Isabel II also had an impact on La Isabela, causing economic difficulties for doing any repairs that might be needed, and low footfall at the Spa at that time. Despite economic problems, “La Isabela” continued to function thanks to its hot springs, as the entire bourgeoisie of the time used to go there in search of health and well-being. As time went by the spa stopped being used and the Monarchs begin to move to the northern part of Spain.

The village disappeared under the waters of the Buendía reservoir, and in the 20th century it was forgotten and erased from the map.

The ruins have now been exposed, because of the low water levels in the reservoir.


17 minutes from Sacedón.

It is at the end of the road to La Isabela, in an area called Cerro Colorado.

La Isabela starts on the Sacedón to Buendia road CM-2000, 6 km from Sacedón.

Address: Pantano de Buendia.

Links of interest

Other places in the area

¡Make the best use of your visit!

Monsalud Monastery

One of the clearest and most beautiful examples of the presence of the Cistercian order in the Iberian Peninsula.

Roman Bridge

Built in 1461, it crosses the Tagus River and connects the municipal districts of Auñón and Sacedón.

La Isabela Settlement

Ruins of an old spa, which then became a psychiatric hospital. These ruins were submerged, but are now above water again.

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