Córdoba Province - Puente Genil

Hanging bougainvillea - Puente Genil © Michelle Chaplow
Hanging bougainvillea - Puente Genil

PUENTE GENIL

The town of Puente Genil owes its name to the bridge that was constructed over the Genil River in the sixteenth century. A later bridge was constructed by Hernán Ruiz. Today it has about 30,200 inhabitants.

HISTORY

The town’s origins date back to the construction of a bridge over the Genil River, a project designed by Hernan Ruiz and funded by Don Gonzalo Yañez Dovinal, Lord of Aguilar. The town, which appeared for strategic and commercial reasons and to defend and monitor an important pass running from the countryside to the south into Muslim occupied territory, faced all of the problems typically associated with a location close to the border. More>

THINGS TO SEE

 

Puente
The emblematic twin arch bridge was completed in 1583 by the famous Cordoba architect and church builder, Hernán Ruiz II. It took 29 years to complete. Today only the massive central stone pier remains of his bridge.

A sever flood 1684 destroyed the arch on the Miragenil (west) side of the bridge. The repair was carried out in 1,703 by the master builder Matías Solano. His solution was two smaller arches.

In 1728 it was necessary to replace the other original arch. This was undertaken by Juan Antonio Camacho, the master builder of the House of Medinaceli.

The bridge deck and arches remain due to extensive reforms carried out by French engineer, Leopoldo Lemoniez Renault, in 1874.

On one side of the central pier is a monument dedicated to the union of the two villages that now form Puente Genil and to the people that made such a union possible. The Bridge is also called Puente Miragenil after the village (now district) on the west side of the river. Located in Plaza de Santiago.

Mayordomía de los Duques de Medinaceli
The house has had many names over the years, the best known being the Mayordomía Ducal, residence of the butler and administrator of the House of the Duke of Medinaceli in the Villa de la Puente de Don Gonzalo. It was built in the last third of the eighteenth century, although at the beginning of the nineteenth century, works were still being carried out. Note its wide stone doorway. The ornamental stone comes from the nearby Sierra Gorda quarries. Located in Calle Don Gonzalo.

Iglesia de San Francisco del Hospital
The construction of this church was due to the establishment of the Order of the Frailes Menores in 1640. It is an example of Franciscan Convent architecture, Baroque style and pure and simple forms. Made Cultural Interest in 2013. Located on Calle Aguilar.

Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de la Concepción
The current church was built on the ruins of the earlier Ermita de San Antón. The church was not finished until 1809, in the hands of Miguel del Castillo. Located on Calle Madre de Dios.

Churches and Chapels
Puente Genil is home to many religious buildings, all unique in style and design. As well as those mentioned above are Iglesia de Santiago, Iglesia de Nuestra Señora del Carmen, Ermita del Dulce Nombre de Jesús, Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de la Purificación, Ermita de Jesús Nazareno, Ermita del Señor del Río, Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de los Desamparados, Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de la Victoria, Iglesia de San José, Iglesia de la Realeza de María and Iglesia de la Vercruz.

Museo Histórico Municipal
The Museum was created in 1982, and since 1991 has been housed in the former Convento de San Francisco la Victoria. It holds a wide collection of archaeological materials from different sites in Puente Genil such as; Los Castellares, Castillo Anzur and the Roman Villa of Fuente Álamo. One section is dedicated to archeology, and another is dedicated to ethnography, the latter makes special reference to the local industry of membrillo (quince jelly). Located on Calle Contralmirante Delgado Parejo.

Opening Times:
Weekends and Holidays, 10:00-14:00hrs
Tel: 957 60 50 34 Extention 0329

Museo de la Semana Santa
The permanent Holy Week exhibition offers visitors the chance to see handicrafts, paintings, and all the elements that make up the traditional Holy Week. Located on Calle Contralmirante Delgado Parejo.

Opening Times:
Weekends and Holidays, 12:00-14:00hrs

THINGS TO SEE OUTSIDE THE VILLAGE

Castillo Anzur
During the Moorish period, these area was dependent on the city of Bulay or Poley, the current Aguilar de la Frontera. Until 930 it was part of Cora de Cabra. The Castle known as, ar-Ranisul, was inhabited by the Moors, where in the twelfth century and under Almoravid rule, its defenses were reinforced, and its rampart tower was built. Its Gothic features are clear exponent of the later works of the late Middle Ages. The castle was listed as of Cultural Interest in 1985. Located east of Puente Genil, off the CO-764.

Plaza de Toros
The first bullring of Puente Genil was built in 1865 and was made of wood. It had a capacity for over 4, 000 people and was located in the southern part of the Molino del Duque, on the outskirts of the town, on the land of Rafael Molina Lagartijo. The current bullring’s construction began in 1916 and was inaugurated in 1919 with a bullfight consisting of Luis Guzmán “Zapaterito” and the amateur bullfighters, Luis Muñoz “Marchenero” and Bernardo Muñoz “Carnicerito” .

COUNTRYSIDE WALKS

Vía Verde del Aceite
The Vía Verde route is more than 100kms in length running by the Cordovan towns of Puente Genil, Lucena, Cabra, Doña Mencía, Zuheros and Luque following towards the Jiennense term of Linares. It is an old train track that transported oil from the Cordovan towns to the north, now adapted for use by cyclists and walkers. A part of this Railway path was renamed as Vía Verde de la Subbética, since it is near the Sierras Subbéticas Natural Park. Today, at some of the rest stops there are coffee shops for people who travel along this route.

NATURAL AREAS

Embalse de Cordobilla
The Embalse de Cordobilla Natural Area was the third and last reservoir built to retain water from the Genil River. Now virtually covered by land, it is near other highly important natural areas nearby, such as the Laguna de Zonar Nature Reserve (one of six small lagoons) and the Malpasillo Resevoir Nature Area. It is a huge part of the survival of many species of protected birds, which nest and hibernate in these areas.

Laguna de Tíscar
Thanks to the variety of soil types in the area, the wetlands in the south of the province of Córdoba provide a uniquely suitable habitat for a large number of bird and plant species. The Nature Reserve includes permanent lakes as well as seasonal ones; all declared protected areas because of their importance as winter migration and nesting areas for waterfowl. More>

TRAIN STATION

Puente Genil has two train stations. The futuristic looking one is 5km west of the town called Puente Genil-Herrera, on the Málaga-Córdoba AVE high speed train route. Buy AVE train tickets online.

The old station in the centre of the town is on the Bobadilla-Córdoba railway line, which was closed in June 2013 as passenger trains were stopped, the line is open to freight. More about new Puente Genil-Herrera railway station.

HANDICRAFTS

Holy Week has a huge influence on crafts produced in the town. For this festival, tin is sculpted into spears, swords and helmets, as well as embroidery for garments. In addition to this, ceramic and goldsmith work is also carried out.

GASTRONOMY

Local dishes served in Puente Genil are flamenquines (pork rolls filled with ham and cheese), ensalada de San Marcos (typical salad of the town), lomo adobado (marinated pork loin), lomo con almendras (pork loin with almonds) and cordero con salsa de membrillo (lamb with quince sauce). Sweet treats include dulce de membrillo (quince jam), roscos de huevo o fritos (egg biscuits), pestiños (honey pastries) and magdalenas (sponge cakes).

FESTIVALS

The important festivals in Puente Genil are the Three Kings procession, Día de la Candelaria, Día de Andalucía, Carnavel, Semana Santa, Festividad de San Marcos, Semana Santa Chica, Cruces de Mayo, Fiestas de la Virgen de los Desamparados, Rock and River Blues Festival, Feria Real and Festival de Cante Grande Fosforito. More>

NEARBY PLACES

The neighbouring villages to Puente Genil are Lucena, Casariche, Santaella and Herrera.

 

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