Seville Province - Coria del Río

CORIA DEL RÍO

by Saskia Mier

Coria del Río was written by the River Guadalquivir, bringing the Phoenicians, Tartessians, Romans and Arabs to the town. It has about 30, 400 inhabitants.

HISTORY

The first settlers occupied the Cerro de San Juan towards 2600 A.C. There are also remains of the late Bronze Age and the Iberian period. From the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries B.C, it was called Caura, meaning 'high place'. The area was populated by the Phoenicians, whom created a port in this part of the river with a commercial factory.

During the Roman period, it was a very important area for of minting coins. After the Muslim invasion of Hispania in 711 it was renamed Qawra. In 844, the town was invaded by the Vikings, settling north, in Tablada, until they were defeated.

After the Christian Re-conquest of the Guadalquivir valley in the thirteenth century, King Alfonso X El Sabio decided to repopulate with a hundred and fifty families of Catalans. From the fifteenth century onwards the town became prosperous when Seville gained the status of the Port of the Indies at the beginning of the sixteenth century. In 1594 it formed part of the Kingdom of Seville in Alxarafe and in the seventeenth century became property of Count-Duke of Olivares.

In the seventeenth century, the expedition of the Japanese diplomat and samurai, Hasekura Tsunenaga, to Europe arrived to the village. Hasekura and other members of the expedition continued their journey to Madrid and Rome, although some remained in the village waiting for them to return. Many decided to stay in Coria del Río, leaving offspring.

In the eighteenth century, the village passed into the hands of Count of Altamira, until the dominions were abolished in the nineteenth century.

THINGS TO SEE

Iglesia de Santa María de la Estrella
The church was built according to the Mudejar Gothic style, by the "Master of 1356", Professor Diego Angulo. Due to the floods or fires, the church has been restored several times. At the end of the sixteenth century and beginning of the seventeenth century, the church was enlarged and in the eighteenth century the bell tower was constructed. It has eventually turned into a building with Gothic-Mudejar elements, Renaissance and Baroque. Located on Calle Iglesia.

Ermita de Vera Cruz
The church was built in the fifteenth century, undergoing various reforms in the seventeenth, eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. In November 1972, it was catalogued in the Andalusian Institute of Historical Heritage of the Ministry of Culture of the Junta de Andalucía. Located on Calle San Juan.

Museo de la Autonomía de Andalucía
Coria del Río was the last residence of Blas Infante, the Andalucista politician, writer and historian, known as the father of Andalusian nationalism. The museum is dedicated to the education, conservation and investigation of Andalucía. Located on Avenida de Blas Infante.

Opening Times:
Tuesday-Friday, 10:00-14:00hrs and 17:00-20:00hrs.
Saturdays, Sundays and Holidays, 10:00-14:00hrs
Closed on 7 December and the entire month of August.
Price: Free entrance.
Tel: 955 65 69 90.

Casa Alegre (Casa de Blas Infante)
Blas Infante designed and built his own house in 1931 and lived here until his detention in 1936. It is open to visitors by pre-reservation. Visitors can see the original structure which has been restored. All the visits are guided and begin with an audiovisual presentation in the Museo de la Autonomía de Andalucía. The group then crosses the gardens to visit the house which has twelve different themed spaces.  

Opening Times:
Tuesday-Friday, 10:00-14:00hrs and 17:00-20:00hrs.
Saturdays, Sundays and Holidays, 10:00-14:00hrs
Closed on 7 December and the entire month of August.
Tel: 955 65 69 90.

Monumento a Hasekura Rokuemon Tsunenaga
The statue is dedicated to Hasekura Rokuemon Tsunenaga, a Japonese diplomat and samurai, who in the early seventeenth century was sent leading a delegation to Europe. An embassy was set up here and several samurai stayed on in the town. Located on Paseo Carlos de Mesa.

La Barca
The small taxi boat crosses the Guadalquivir towards Dos Hermanas. The boat plays an important role in the procession of the Virgen del Carmen on 16 July and the annual pilgrimage to El Rocio, as about twenty Brotherhoods cross here with their horses and carriages. Located on Calle Jesús y María.

GASTRONOMY

The gastronomy of Coria del Río is all about using local produce to produce traditional and popular dishes. The fishing draws in fresh fish and shrimp from the River Guadalquivir.

One must try the tortitas de camaron (shrimp fritters), sopeao (similar to gazpacho), caldereta de huevas de sábalo (stewed roe), albur frito (fried mullet) and caldereta de pescado (fish stew).

HANDICRAFTS

Handicrafts include saddlery, esparto or wicker, embroidery and regional garments.

FESTIVALS

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

Carnaval
Celebrated in February.

Día de Andalucía
Celebrated the 28 February.

Semana Santa
Holy Week.

Fiesta del Albur
Mullet festival celebrated at the beginning of May.

Procesión de la Virgen del Carmen
Celebrated the 16 July.

Fiesta de Nuestra Señora de la Estrella
Celebrated the 31 August to 8 September.

Feria
Celebrated within the last two weeks of September.

Romería de Nuestra Señora del Rosario y de San Lucas Evangelista
Celebrated the second Saturday and Sunday of October.

NEXT PLACES

The next villages to Coria del Río are Gelves, La Puebla del Río and Palomares del Río.

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