Córdoba Province - Montoro

MONTORO

Montoro has been named an area of Historical and Artistic Interest, and has a privileged location at the heart of the Parque Natural Cardeña-Montoro. The town has around 9500 inhabitants.

 

 

HISTORY

Archaeological remains discovered in Montoro attest to human settlements in the area dating back to prehistoric times. It has been suggested that the area was also a foundation for the Greek colonizers, who may have named it Aypora or Eipora. During the Roman era it was an important city, called Epora, which was featured as one of the few federated cities of Betica.

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After the Visigothic and Muslim periods, the town was conquered by the Christian King Fernando III El Santo in either 1238 or 1240 according to differing historical records. Montoro belonged to the Council of Córdoba until the middle of the seventeenth century, when it passed into the hands of the Marquis of El Carpio, Luis Méndez de Haro y Sotomayor. It remained in his possession until the nineteenth century when Señorios were abolished.

The town was given the title of "Loyal, Noble and Patriotic City", for the courageous actions of its inhabitants during the Napoleonic invasion.

THINGS TO SEE

Iglesia del Carmen
The Baroque church was built during the eighteenth century and was originally part of the convent of the same name. It is located on Plaza del Charco.

Iglesia de San Bartolomé
This church is one of the most significant works of Gothic Renaissance architecture in the province of Córdoba. Its construction began in the late fifteenth century and continued throughout the sixteenth century, including work by Hernán Ruiz. The church is situated on Plaza de España.

Iglesia de San Juan de Letrán
In 1551, Pope Julius III issued an order for Isabel Rodriguez de Alixeda to found the Iglesia de San Juan de Letrán. A fragment of one of the arms of San Lorenzo was brought from Rome by the founder to be placed inside the church, which can be visited on Plaza San Juan de Letrán.

Iglesia de Santa María de la Mota
This church was built in the thirteenth century on the castle grounds of La Mota, and is located on Calle Mota.

Ermita de Santa Ana
This chapel was built on the threshold between the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, and stands out for its double portico with stone arches and columns. It suffered significant damage during the Civil War, but was later restored. It can be visited on Calle Calvario.
 
Casa de los Palcos
This seventeenth-century building has viewing boxes that were once used to watch performances held in the square below. The balconies were accessed via two separate staircases, one for women and one for men. The building can be seen on Plaza de España.

Puerta de la Torre Mocha
This doorway was used to link the interior of the walled enclosure with the Guadalquivir River through the Vaguada de la Paloma. It is of Roman origin, but underwent medieval alteration, and can be found today on Calle Santos Isasa.

Iglesia de San Sebastián
This church was built at the end of the sixteenth century, but now features an interesting lateral façade in the Modernist style, from which rises an eighteenth century Baroque belfry. This fascinating amalgamation of styles is located on Calle Gral. Castaños.

Iglesia de Santiago
Originally dating to 1730, an important restoration was carried out on this church in the eighteenth century. It currently houses the Museo de la Semana Santa (Museum of Holy Week), and is located on Calle Santiago.

Museo de la Semana Santa
The Museum of Holy Week was declared a National Tourist Interest of Andalusia in 1998, and exhibits artefacts, artworks and documentation regarding Holy Week and its celebration in the Montoro. The museum is located in Iglesia de Santiago on Calle Santiago.

Opening Times:
Saturday, Sunday and Holidays, 10:30-14:00hrs.
Tel: 957 16 00 89

Plaza de Toros
The regulation for the bullring was published in 1884, with the object of "reconstructing the bullring outside the walls of this city", which indicates that there had formerly been another square on the same site. The square was destroyed during the Civil War and rebuilt in the fifties. It has a capacity of 3500 spectators, and is located on Calle Plano de la Feria.

Casa de las Conchas
The construction of this extraordinary building was initiated by its owner, Don Francisco del Rio Cuenca, in 1960. The exterior and interior are lined with more than 45 million shells from rivers and seas across the planet. The house can be seen on Calle Criado.

Puente de las Doncellas o de las Donadas
This bridge crosses the Guadalquivir River, connecting the main nucleus of Montoro with the El Retamar neighbourhood. Its construction began in 1498, planned by Enrique Egas, and it remains one of the most beautiful bridges in the province of Córdoba. During its construction, the King granted the people of the town the privilege of not having to shelter or supply food to troops. Local women donated their jewellery and accessories to cover the cost of the bridge's construction, hence its being named Puente de las Donadas ('Bridge of the Donated').

Ermita de la Virgen de la Gracia
This chapel was built in the eighteenth century on the foundations of a former one. It is located on Calle Virgen de Gracia.

Hospital de Jesús Nazareno
The hospital's history dates back to the seventeenth century, although works on the building continued until 1778, and were carried out by Francisco Hurtado Izquierdo. Today the building is a care home located on Calle Salazar.

Oficina de Turismo
The Tourism Office occupies a former inn. The building is catalogued under the Special Protection Plan for Artistic Historic Sites and the Montoro Catalogue with the 'B' degree of protection. As well as the Tourism Office, the building houses an exhibition and sale of handicrafts, and is situated on Calle Corredera.

Iglesia de Santa María de la Mota
This church is the oldest religious building in Montoro and one of the most interesting medieval monuments of the province. It was built in 1240 on the site of a former Mosque. In the seventeenth century it underwent structural reforms, and today it houses the Municipal Archaeological Museum. The church is located on Plaza Santa María de la Mota.

Museo Arqueológico Municipal
The museum opened on February 28, 1992, and is divided into four sections; Mineralogy, Palaeontology, Archaeology and Ethnology. The pieces are presented as components of a time sequence demonstrating our planet's history: the stage in which there is no life on Earth, (Minerals and Rocks), the appearance of life on the planet and its development in different geological eras (Palaeontology), the first cultures (Prehistory), and those that continue throughout history (Iberian, Roman, Visigoth, Medieval-Christian and Arab culture) until reaching modern times with a small collection of objects commonly used until recently (Ethnology). The exhibition is located within the Iglesia de Santa María de la Mota.

Opening Times:
Saturday, Sunday and Holidays, 10:30-14:00hrs.
Tel: 957 16 00 89

Edificio de las Tercias (Museo del Aceite)
Built in 1784 by Francisco Luis de Mora as a warehouse for the produce of ecclesiastical tithes, this building today houses the Olive Oil Museum. Visitors can learn first-hand about the process of obtaining and marketing this liquid gold that brings so much wealth to the town. The building and its museum are situated on Calle Sor Josefa Artola.

Opening Times for the Museum:
Saturday, Sunday and Holidays, 10:30-14:00hrs.
Tel: 957 16 00 89

Museo Antonio Rodríguez Luna
The building which houses this museum was built in 1778 and is dedicated to the painter Antonio Rodriguez Luna, who was born in Montoro in 1910 and exiled for forty-six years to Mexico because of the Spanish Civil War. He donated twelve paintings to his town, including his well known piece, "Furious Bull". These can be seen today in the museum, on Plaza del Charco.

Opening Times for the Museum:
Saturday, Sunday and Holidays, 10:30-14:00hrs.
Tel: 957 16 00 89

NATURAL AREAS

Parque Natural Cardeña-Montoro
The Parque Natural Cardeña-Montoro is located in the north eastern corner of the province of Córdoba (bordering Jaén and Ciudad Real) and consists of 38,449 hectares covering two municipalities; Cardeña and Montoro. The survival of various ecosystems in this area, its sustainably achieved economic development and its role in recreation and environmental education, were decisive factors leading in its declaration as a Natural Park in 1989. It is also equipped with a Visitors Centre, and can be found off the CO-5101.

Opening Times:
Wednesday and Thursday, 10:00-14:00hrs.
Friday-Sunday, 10:00-14:00hrs and 16:00-18:00hrs.
Tel: 685 95 71 87

COUNTRYSIDE WALKS

Anyone keen on exploring the hiking routes the town has to offer should head to the Parque Natural Cardeña-Montoro. Here you can venture on a variety of routes such as; Cardeña - Aldea del Cerezo, Aldea Cerezo - Azuel, Aldea del Cerezo - Venta del Charco and Camino de Vuelcacarretas. Other routes surrounding the town are; Valle del Yeguas, Colada del Arenosillo, Valle del Corcomé and Cardeña - Montoro.

HANDICRAFTS

Traditional crafts produced in Montoro include stonework, woodwork, 'esparto', saddlery and forgery. Many of these can still be viewed or purchased in the same building as the Tourism Office as mentioned above.

GASTRONOMY

When visiting Montoro try their traditional dishes such as ajo sopeao (tomato, pepper, onion and garlic pisto), tortilla de faisanes (bean omelette), arroz con zorzales (rice with wild thrush), perdices en salsa (partridge in sauce), conejo al ajillo (garlic rabbit) and papas en coña con sopeao (stewed potatoes). Sweet treats include tortas de manteca, soplanos and mazapanes de La Logroñesa (marzipan shapes).

FESTIVALS

Cabalgata Reyes Magos
Three Kings procession celebrated on the evening of 5 January

La Candelaria
Celebrated the 2 February

Carnaval
Celebrated in February

Semana Santa
Holy Week (dates vary each year)

Romería de las Veleras en Honor a Nuestra Señora de la Fuensanta
Celebrated the last Sunday of April

Cruces de Mayo
Celebrated in May

Feria del Olivo
A food fair celebrated the first two weeks of May

Fiestas en Honor a Nuestra Señora del Carmen
Celebrated the 16 July

Verbena del Carmen y de Santa Ana
Celebrated in July

Fiestas Patronales en Honor a San Bartolomé
Celebrated the 24 August

Feria en Honor a la Virgen del Rosario
Celebrated the 7-12 October

NEARBY VILLAGES                         

The neighbouring villages to Montoro are Adamuz, Pedro Abad and Villa del Río.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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