Southern Hills - Aguilar de la Frontera

AGUILAR DE LA FRONTERA

Aguilar de la Frontera is a charming town that can be missed if one is travelling on the A-45 motorway linking Córdoba-Antequera. It is certainly worth taking a detour, considering the interesting history, architecture and the unusual octagonal Plaza de San José. Aguilar de la Frontera has about 13, 400 inhabitants.

HISTORY

The Romans baptized the settlement with the name of Ipagro.Under the Arab dominion it was known as Bulay or Poley, and it was Omar ben Hafsun, leader of the Muladi, who used it as a base of operations. The town was re-conquered by Fernando III,and Alfonso X gave it to, Don Gonzalo Yáñez, who changed the name of the town to Aguilar in memory of his mother, the Portuguese Lady María Méndez de Aguilar. More>

THINGS TO SEE


Castillo del Poley o Bulay
The remains of the Castle are a reminder of Aguilar’s medieval past. Gonzalo Fernández de Córdoba was awarded the castle by King Enrique II for his fidelity during the succession battles against King Pedro I.

Since the mid-seventeenth century the castle was no longer needed for defense, consequently in 1860 it was converted into a Hospital. The Lisbon earthquake in 1755 caused part of the building to collapse. The fallen stones were reused for various public and private works. The remains of the castle are located on the hill to the north of the town on the extension of Calle Villa. TheTourist office is located at the castle. Free guided tours available on request.


Convento de las CarmelitasDescalzas
The Convent was founded by Rodrigo de Varo y Antequera in 1671 and is an excellent example of local Baroque architecture, decorated with impressive paintings, plasterwork and carvings, portraying the richness of the decoration through golden plasterwork, sculpted painted leaves, frames, architectural forms and Mural paintings that cover its walls and vaults. The decoration is the work of, Juan Muñoz Berlanga, who is thought to have invented a procedure by which he burnished the gold on the plaster. Located on Calle Moralejo.


Parroquia de Nuestra Señora del Carmen
The former Convent of Carmelite Friars in 1590, the current church dates from the seventeenth century. Located in Plaza del Carmen.


Museo Bodegas Toro Albalá
The Museum explains the importance of history in the culture of wine, where valuable pieces have been collected for the museum. There are two rooms, one dedicated to Art and Ethnography, and another, to Archaeology. Located on Avenida Antonio Sánchez.

Opening Times:
Visits by appointment only.
Tel: 957 66 00 46


Iglesia del Cristo de la Salud
According to tradition, the image of Cristo de la Luz protected the town from an epidemic at the beginning of the seventeenth century. In 1611, the community built a chapel featuring a venerable carving dedicated in Cristo de la Luz´s honor. The tower was later erected in 1864, located on Calle San Cristóbal.


Iglesia de la Candelaria
Built in 1575 on a site where there was already a church dating back to at least 1540. It was reformed in the year 1730, and the original, coffered ceilings were replaced by the current ones. The main chapel dates back to 1575 and the rococo chapel dates from the eighteenth century and is the work of Juan López Segura. Located on Calle Candelaria.


Parroquia de Nuestra Señora del Soterraño
The original building dates from medieval times and was replaced in 1530 by a spacious Gothic Mudejar building designed by, Hernan Ruiz the Elder. Within the church there are two Baroque chapels; El Sagrario, built in 1639 and Jesus Nazareno which dates back to 1730. According to local legend, it was during the construction works of 1530 that a holy image appeared in the underground vaults which in turn led to the current name of the church (Soterraña) Located on Calle Cuesta de Jesús.


Plaza de San José
This eight-sided plaza dates back to 1813 when it was designed by the well-known Salamanca architect, Vincente Gutierrez. The style is best described as a cross between Baroque and Neo-Classical and apparently served as the inspiration for the magnificent Plaza of Archidona.


Torre de Reloj
The clock tower was completed in 1774, under the reign of Carlos III . The Towers style is similar to the characteristics of other towers such as those of Estepa , Ecija or Antequera . Its creator, Juan Vicente Gutiérrez de Salamanca, was also responsible for the design of Plaza de San José. Located on Calle Silera.


Ermita de la Veracruz
This chapel was constructed in the middle of seventeenth century with a semi-circular arch. In the eighteenth century, the Capilla del Rosario chapel was added with beautiful plasterwork and is located in Llano de la Cruz.


Main Houses
There are some magnificent mansions in the town; some of the most impressive are situated in Calle Morelejo and Calle Carrera. The facades feature large wooden doors decorated with elaborate wrought-iron carvings.

THINGS TO SEE OUTSIDE THE VILLAGE


Peñon de Moro
Peñon de Moro is the site of an earlier castle has the wonderful panoramic views over Aguilar and the surrounding countryside.

NATURAL AREAS


Reserva Natural Laguna del Rincón
The lagoon is part of a large wetland complex, protected for their importance in the wintering and nesting of waterfowl.This small lagoon has become famous for the recovery of Malvasian ducks, when there were only less than 50 pairs in all of Europe. The lagoon has a good density of waterfowl throughout the year. More>


Reserva Natural Laguna de los Zóñar
The lagoon is another part of the same wetland complex as Reserva Natural Laguna del Rincón. It covers an area of roughly 32 hectares and its depth ranges between 7m on average and 12m maximum, although in times of extraordinary rainfall has reached 16m. The lagoon is home to a great many migratory birds throughout the year. More>

HANDICRAFTS

Aguilar de la Frontera is well known for its ceramics, locally produced wine and olive oil.

GASTRONOMY

Try the town’s local dishes such as joecas (stewed potatoes), puré de tomates y huevos (tomato purée with egg), estofado de alcachofas (artichoke stew), conejoen salsa (rabbit stew), salmorejo (tomato and garlic soup) and arroz con gallo (chicken rice).Sweet treats include pan de higo (fig bread), merengas de café (coffee meringues), rizados de almendra (almond sweets), bizcochos de Génova (sponge cakes) and roscos de San Blas (aniseed biscuits).

FESTIVALS

Festivals that are popular in Aguilar de la Frontera are Cabalgata Reyes Magos, Semana Santa, Carnaval, Romería de la Virgen de los Remediosand Feria Real. More>

NEARBY PLACES

The neighbouring villages to Aguilar de la Frontera are Monturque , Montilla and Puente Genil.

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