Cordoba Province - Fernan Nuñez

The village of Fernan Nuñez © Michelle Chaplow
The village of Fernan Nuñez

Fernan Nuñez

The town is located in an area rich in archaeological remains, from paleolithic to Roman - it is built on the site of the Roman town of Ulia. Later, in Arab times, it was part of the Uliyat Qy¡uanbaniya district, until 1240, when the Christians conquered the area. Its geographical setting is known as the Campiña Sur (Southern Flatlands).



Fernan Nuñez is named after a soldier in Fernando III's army, who seized one of the town's defensive towers when recapturing it from the Moors in the 13th century; its ruins can still be seen in the Ducal Palace (see below); look out for the plaque commemorating the first Duke's achievements. His family name was Gutierrez de los Rios, and 800 years on, the family still plays a main role in the town's life. The Duquesa de Alba is descended from the illegitimate son of a 17th-century Duchess of Fernan-Nuñez.

The town's main attraction is the impressive neoclassical Palacio Ducal, which boasts a most unusual feature. A number of canons were captured from the ship of an English admiral, Robert Blake, when he besieged Cadiz in 1657, by the 3rd Duke of Fernan Nuñez, Fleet Commander of the Andalucian Coast. These are now embedded in the tower's wall and used, rather incongruously (probably the intended effect), as waterspouts. Its terraced gardens, the Parque Llano de Fuentes, boast a 17th-century fountain called Los Caños Dorados.

Fernan Nuñez's other important monuments are the church of Santa Marina de Aguas Santas, which dates from the 18th century; the Hospital de Caridad (16th century), the Calvary shrine (18th century) and the Santa Marina statue (19th century).

Local handicrafts include bobbin lace, ceramics and miniature wood carvings, while gastronomic offerings cover such age-old traditional dishes as maimones soup (named after the 12th-century Jewish doctor-philosopher Maimonides, who was from Cordoba, and who recommended "Jewish penicillin" for its curative properties), pine-nut pastries and sopaipa, fried dough with honey.

Its main festivals are Santa Marina on 18 July, and the following month, the Feria Real and Virgen del Transito; also celebrated are the Cruces and Patios de Mayo, on 2 and 3 May, and the San Isidoro pilgrimage on 15 May.

Fernan Nuñez is located 30km from Cordoba capital. Take the A4 towards Granada, leaving at exit 408 towards Malaga. Then take the A-45, leaving on the N-331, which will take you to the town itself.

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