Seville Province - Sanlúcar la Mayor

SANLÚCAR LA MAYOR

by Saskia Mier

Sanlúcar La Mayor is close to the Corredor Verde del Guadiamar, a natural passageway following the middle stretch of the River Guadiamar. It has about 13, 500 inhabitants.

HISTORY

The origin of Sanlúcar La Mayor dates back to the Neolithic era, as suggested by archaeological remains found belonging to the Copper Age and the final Bronze Age.

The Turdetani are also linked to the area; origin of the legend that, King Véspero, became a star from looking at the sky so much. The Romans named the settlement, Solucar, due to the existence of a temple dedicated to the worship of the sun. Although socially it had great importance, it came to have its own Senate (SPQS: Senatus Populusque Solucensis).

A rapid deterioration of the town took place by the Visigoths until the arrival of the Moors, who named the town, Albayda La Blanca and Alpechin, due to the residues of the oil presses.

In 1251, Sanlúcar La Mayor was conquered by Fernando Gutierrez, changing again the name to Sanlúcar, forming part of the jurisdiction of Seville until 1635.

During the Middle Ages it was also known colloquially as Sanlúcar el Alpechin. In 1635, Felipe IV made it "Cabeza del Ducado" (Grand Duchy). In favour of Don Gaspar de Gúzman, Count Duke of Olivares, the town was given title in 1639.

THINGS TO SEE

Iglesia de Santa María
The church was built in the thirteenth century with extensions dating from the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. The tower was modified at the end of the eighteenth century, in 1772, and still retains its old climbing structure. The interior images are mainly works of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Located Calle Juan Carlos I.

Iglesia de San Eustaquio
A Mudejar church located at the highest point of the historical centre of Sanlúcar la Mayor and built on an ancient Roman temple. It has images, paintings and altarpieces from the sixteenth, seventeenth, eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Located in Plaza San Eustaquio.

Iglesia de San Pedro
The church is located within the Almohad walled enclosure, and was built taking advantage of part of the old mosque from which they changed the orientation of the main doors to fit the Christian liturgy. The bell tower is separate to the previous mosque, a unique style that is the difference it has with the rest of the Moorish minarets that today are conserved in the province. The presbytery is higher than normal because it is located on a canyon vault that was accessed to the inner streets of the walled enclosure. In the interior there are remnants of Mudejar gypsum. At present, the courtyard is used to host evening concerts in the summer. Located in Plaza San Pedro.

Convento de San José
The convent, better known as Madre Carmelitas, is situated on the ancient road linking Seville and Huelva, being the main axis of commerce in the town. It was founded in 1580 by Beatriz, daughter of Don Bartolomé Rodríguez, a member of a powerful family. Being a cloistered convent, very few people have access to its interior, but one of its greatest treasures is found on the main door of the convent and not in very good state of conservation. It is the magnificent tile of the Virgen del Carmen, probably from the sixteenth century. Located on Calle Real.

Hacienda de Benazuza (Hotel)
The Hacienda dates to the tenth century and was built by the Moors before passing into the hands of many, including the Orden the Santiago. It was also a frequent house of Alfonso El Sabio. At the end of the last century, it was acquired by the family, Pablo Romero, until it was sold in 1990 for its current project in time for Expo 1992 in Seville. Today, Hacienda Benazuza is a 5 star luxury hotel equipped with a library, an eighteenth century church and a hunting ground of 3,000 hectares. Currently the restaurant is under management of Ferrán Adriá, from Restaurante "El Bulli".

Casa de la Cilla del Cabildo
An eighteenth century civil building has been restored and is perfectly conditioned for the celebration of congresses and events. Located on Calle Marquesa Viuda del Saltillo.

Muralla Almohade
These historical set of Almohad walls date to the thirteenth century, with recent actions and research on the area showing that throughout this sector there is great wealth to be rediscovered. Located on Calle Juan Antonio Mora.

NATURAL SPACES

Corredor Verde del Guadiama
A natural space equipped with an Interpretation Centre, botanical gardens (Parque Botánico de Buitrago) and several viewing points.

Opening Times:
January-June, Monday-Wednesday, 10:00-14:00hrs.
January-June, Thursday-Sunday, 10:00-14:00hrs and 17:00-20:00hrs.
July and August, Tuesday, 10:00-14:00hrs.
July and August, Wednesday-Monday, 10:00-14:00hrs and 20:00-23:00hrs.
September-December, Monday-Wednesday, 10:00-14:00hrs.
September-December, Thursday-Sunday, 10:00-14:00hrs and 17:00-20:00hrs.
Tel: 954 49 70 43 or 954 49 70 43.
Email: guadiamarea@gmail.com

COUNTRYSIDE WALKS

Sanlúcar La Mayor has some beautiful walking routes for hikers to discover. Routes include Camino Real Viejo (Old Fish Route), Ruta Corredor Verde del Guadiamar, Camino de Huévar, Camino de las Majarocas, Camino de la Dehesa, Camino de Valleciruelo and Caminos de Palmillas-Gerena-Tablantes. The routes run mainly through the western area of the municipality and flow into the Corredor Verde del Guadiama, taking advantage of the infrastructure created by the sustainable development program.

GASTRONOMY

The local cuisine is a form of socio-cultural expression, with the Aljarafe region being famous for its tapas, or at least, one of the most famous. One must not leave Sanlúcar La Mayor without trying boquerones en vinagre (anchovies in vinegar), tortillitas de baclao (cod fritters), cola de toro (oxtail), caracoles (snails), cocidos y potajes (stews), revueltos (scrambled eggs with either jamón, asparagus or artichoke), pescaito frito (fried fish) and espinacas con garbanzos (spinach with chickpeas). Traditional sweet treats include torrijas (eggy bread), pestiños and piñonate (sweet honey pastries).

FESTIVALS

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

Carnaval
Celebrated in February.

Semana Santa
Holy Week.

Feria de Mayo
Celebrated beginning of May.

Fiesta de San Pedro
Celebrated the 29 June.

Fiestas de la Virgen del Carmen
Celebrated the 16-25 July.

Fiesta de San Eustaquio
Celebrated the 20 September.

NEXT PLACES

The next villages to Sanlúcar La Mayor are Espartinas, Olivares, Benacazón and Castilleja del Campo.

 

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