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Episodes 2015; 38(2): 106-113

Published online June 1, 2015


Copyright © International Union of Geological Sciences.

Alpedrete granite (Spain). A nomination for the “Global Heritage Stone Resource” designation

D. M. Freire-Lista1,2*, R. Fort1,2, M. J. Varas-Muriel1,3

1Instituto de Geociencias IGEO (CSIC, UCM) Spanish Research Council CSIC – Complutense University of Madrid UCM. Madrid, Spain. *E-mail: d.freire@igeo.ucm-csic.es, rafael.fort@csic.es
2CEI Campus Moncloa, UCM-UPM and CSIC, Madrid, Spain
3School of Geology. Complutense University of Madrid UCM. 28040 Madrid, Spain. E-mail: mjvaras@geo.ucm.es

Correspondence to:*E-mail: d.freire@igeo.ucm-csic.es, rafael.fort@csic.es

Received: September 12, 2014; Revised: November 1, 2014; Accepted: November 1, 2014

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0) which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Alpedrete granite is a monzogranite quarried in the Sierra de Guadarrana (Spanish Central System) foothills in and around Alpedrete, in the province of Madrid, Spain. Used as a building material since the Neolithic, it is one of the most representative of heritage granites of Madrid.
Alpedrete and the surrounding region are characterised by a quarrying culture that has been maintained for centuries. The area is strewn with historic quarries, along with the one presently in operation. Traditional stone cutters who produce hand-finished granite ashlars are still to be found, while others use more modern techniques to achieve new types of products.
Representative monuments including Royal Palace of Marid, Alcalá Gate and the National Library owe their good conservation state largely to the petrophysical properties and durability of Alpedrete granite. In addition to its use in a substantial number of heritage buildings in Madrid, this stone is also found in most of the city’s housing, urban furniture and cobble-stoned streets and nearly all the rural architecture in the Alpedrete area.
This paper discusses the petrological and petrophysical properties of Alpedrete granite, as well as its durability, historic use and quarries, in support of its nomination for the “Global Heritage Stone Resource” designation.