Huelva Province - Los Marines

Ntra Sra de Gracia © Michelle Chaplow
Ntra Sra de Gracia.

LOS MARINES

Los Marines is located in the Sierra de Aracena and Picos de Aroche, 6.6 km west of Aracena, towards Portugal. It has around 350 inhabitants.

HISTORY

There is archaeological evidence of early occupiers - Roman houses and the possible site of a Moorish tower have been discovered.

The village owes its name to a visit made by King Felipe II to Los Marines, when a villager asked him if he was so powerful,why he could not bring the sea to the village. King Felipe II replied, "I will not bring the sea, but seamen you shall be," and after that all young men carried out military service in the Huelva navy.

Los Marines as it is today was founded in the 14th century by settlers from the Valle del Sil (valley of the river Sil in Galicia), guided by the Marin brothers.

Over time, the stately mansions built up the village of Los Marines and in the 16th century had a church under the protection of the Virgen de Gracia.

Until the mid-17th century, the land belonged to Aracena as part the Kingdom of Seville, and in 1640 was passed as a donation made by Felipe IV to the Conde Duque de Olivares, Don Gaspar de Guzman, to pay for services rendered in the battle of Fuenterrabía.

In 1768, Los Marines obtained the title of village, granted by Rey Carlos III. In the early 19th century,inhabitants suffered looting by French invaders and in May 1810 a French division entered Los Marines,causing enormous devastation and pillaging.Two epidemics of cholera caused a decrease in population during the 19th century, but soon recovered and the territory became limited, resulting in migration mainly to populations around Seville and the Rio Tinto mines at the beginning of the 20th century.

 

Sculpture to a child with a promise of a future vote © Michelle Chaplow
Sculpture to a child with a promise of a future vote.  

THINGS TO SEE

Iglesia Parroquial de Nuestra Señora de Gracia
The Renaissance church dates back to the 16th century but shows neoclassical reformations. Restoration was carried out in the 18th century due to the effects of the Lisbon earthquake in 1755. Located on Calle Iglesia, off Plaza Carlos III.

Lavadero
The communal washing basin is beautifully conserved and was restored in 1999. Also, in the same square as the lavadero, there is a bronze figure of a lady with basket called Apañaora de castañas (chestnut picker) by sculptor Alberto Germán Franco Romero. Located at the corner of Calle Fuente and Calle Isaac Peral.

Fuentecilla
The fountain still provides fresh, cold water that originally supplied inhabitants of Los Marines. The water was collected in buckets or barrels of mud, however with the arrival of mains water it lost its importance although not its functionality, as it is still a watering hole for cattle. Located on Calle Fuentecilla.

Cercao Pérez
This is a picturesque square designed on different levels. The highest part has a fountain and the floor is made of albero (yellow sand).Each level has flower beds cared for by the residents, with geraniums, rosemary, oleanders and other ornamental plants

Paseo de la Sierra
Los Marines has a built exhibition of ceramic murals representing each of the towns in the Sierra. Located on Calle Isaac Peral. We have placed photos of these murals in a slideshow to introduce the Aracena section

Painted tiles - Los Marines ©Michelle Chaplow
Painted tiles - Los Marines

COUNTRYSIDE WALKS

Aracena-Los Marines-Linares de la Sierra-Aracena
The total distance is just over 16 km- a largely easy route though with some unevenness. The panoramic view is varied, with scenic landscapes, including shaded viewpoints athigh altitudes. From Los Marines the route is called Alto de El Chorrito that continues to Linares and back to Aracena.

GASTRONOMY

Popular dishes of Los Marines include migas (fried bread with pork), sopa de matanza (pork soup), potaje de castañas (chestnut stew) and picadillo de invierno (winter salad).

HANDICRAFTS

Due to the abundance of olive trees in the area, basket weaving is a popular craft.

 

 

FESTIVALS

Fiesta del Chopo
Celebrated on the eve of Corpus Christi, a poplar tree is brought in to the village square and on the morning of San Juan, is replaced with a pine tree.

Romeria de la Virgen de Gracia
Pilgrimage celebrated on the last Sunday in May.

Fiesta de la Virgen de Gracia
Celebrated on 8 September. The first Sunday after this date is El Voto, traditionally a day of thanking the Virgin for liberating the village of cholera in 1864 and is celebrated with a firework display.

Fiesta del Mosto and Feria Bionatural y Artesanal de la Sierra
Celebrated at the end of November or beginning of December, the Fiesta del Mosto (first pressing of grapes before making white wine) started out as a tasting but it is now celebrated during the Feria Bionatural y Artesanal de la Sierra, a fair dedicated to organic produce of the Sierra. 

Las Candelas
Celebrated on 7 December, the fragrant Fiesta de La Candelas sees branches of rosemary are burned in the main square.

LOCATION

Los Marines is 116 km north-east of Huelva city. To get there, take the A-49, leave at Valverde del Camino/Trigueros (N-435). Then take the A-461 and the N-433 - Los Marines is just past Aracena.

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