Carved Stone Milestones – Quintanar de la Orden, Spain - Atlas Obscura

Carved Stone Milestones

Quintanar de la Orden, Spain

These milestones have survived centuries and still mark distances although incorrectly. 


Quintanar de la Orden (Toledo) is 19 leagues from Madrid. That’s what is marked on the carved stone milestones visitors encounter as they enter the city arriving from the Spanish capital. Before kilometers, leagues were used to measure distances in many European countries.

Placing milestones to mark distances began during the Roman Republic. These, like the roads, persisted throughout the Middle Ages and in successive times until the 18th century. Similar to the Roman mileposts, milestones were used in Spain to record distances in leagues.

The league is an old unit of measurement that was frequently used in the 1800s. The league is most commonly defined as three miles (4.83 kilometers), though the length of a mile varies from place to place and depends on the era.

Nineteen leagues are just over 56 miles (91 kilometers) and although Madrid is 120 kilometers away from Quintanar de la Orden, locals celebrate that the milestones still stands

Know Before You Go

The milestones are part of the decoration of a small garden right in front of the Quintanar de la Orden library at Plaza de la Cultura.

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March 15, 2024

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