Seville Province - Aznalcóllar

AZNALCÓLLAR

by Saskia Mier

Aznalcóllar was previously known as 'Iptucci' by the Romans who used this area extensively for mining pyrite. It has about 6100 inhabitants.

HISTORY

Aznalcóllar is of Celtic origin within the territory of the ancient city of Tejada. It was later conquered from the Turdetani by the Carthaginians in 237 B.C. and exploited the local mines.

The Romans later took over the area of Aznalcóllar and used the land for agricultural exploitation.

The Barbaras also exploited the mines after the Romans, but olive production was the most popular. The empire was invaded by Franks, Visigoths, Suevians, Vandals, Alans, Burgundians, Heruli, Ostrogoths, African Berbers and Parthians of Persia.

The Visigoths settled near where the Monastery of the Tardón would be today, working the mines. They confronted the Moors in 844, but were defeated. Its current name comes from the Arabic 'hanz-al-kollar', meaning walled enclosure.

The Almohads owned Tejada and all the surrounding area between 1146 and 1147. The exact date of its conquest by the master Santiago is unknown, however it is suggested to of been in 1247, if we consider that he later conquered Albaida del Aljarafe in 1246, and Gerena the following spring. In 1594, Aznalcóllar was part of the Kingdom of Seville in the Axarafe.

During the eighteenth century, the Portuguese took advantage to harass settlements west of the Kingdom of Seville, including Aznalcóllar.

On 25 April 1998, the Doñana Disaster also known as the Aznalcóllar Disaster occurred. The mineral waste retaining wall at the Swedish-owned pyrite mine Los Frailes burst, causing the most harmful environmental and socio-economic disaster in Andalusia. Approximately 4-5 million cubic metres of mine tailings, containing dangerous levels of several heavy metals, quickly leaked into the River Agrio and River Guadiamar, travelling 40kms in distance and. Due to the immense damage caused the regional government decided in May 1998 to finance a comprehensive, multidisciplinary research initiative with the objective of eradicating or at least minimising all of the negative social, economic and environmental impacts. The cleanup operation took 3 years and almost 2,000 birds, chicks, eggs, and nests were killed or destroyed and more than 25,000 kilos of dead fish were collected in the aftermath. The concession to mine again in Aznalcóllar was awarded in 2015 by the Junta de Andalucía.

THINGS TO SEE

Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de la Consolcación
The church was built over the ruins of an original gothic Mudejar church during the eighteenth century. Looting and fires in 1936 destroyed many works of this church which have not yet been restored to this day. Located in Plaza Fuente Clara.

Cerro del Castillo
The remains of the castle originate to the Bronze Age and reached great splendour in the Roman and Islamic era. From here you can see the entire Aljarafe area and the surrounding countryside to the south. Some wall paintings discovered in the archaeological excavation of 1995 can still be seen today. Located on Calle Cementerio.

Zawiya
The chapel of the cemetery was part of the old Mudejar church of Aznalcóllar, possibly built in the fourteenth century. The chapel was demolished in 1782, and only a part of its ruins still stand today. It has been restored on several occasions, due to dampness caused by water seepage and multiple cracks in the main entrance. Located on Calle Madrileno.

Capilla de la Cruz de Arriba
The small chapel was inaugurated in 1927. Its interior contains the works of Don Manuel Guzmán BejaranoRossi and Castillo Lastrucci. Located in Plazuela Cruz de Arriba. 

Capilla de la Cruz de Abajo
The chapel was built in the 1950's holding a painting by Don Juan Manfredi. The twentieth century cross was remodelled in 1973. Located in Plaza del Alamillo.

THINGS TO SEE OUTSIDE THE VILLAGE

Torreón de la Dehesilla
Torreón de la Dehesilla is a 7m high tower that stands on an elevation, perfectly visible from Cerro del Castillo. It formed part of an extensive defensive system of the Almohad period. The Torreón de la Dehesilla is located 4km to the south of Aznalcóllar, next to Cortijo El Negro and Cortijo Garci Bravo.

Molino del Arroyo de los Frailes
A mill belonged to the Convento de Nuestra Señora del Buen Suceso, founded by Count Duque de Olivares. The state of its remains gives an idea of ​​its characteristics and function.

Analysis of these archaeological remains took place in 2012 and suggested the mill was abandoned in the late eighteenth or early nineteenth century. The mill is located on the right bank of Arroyo de los Frailes, belonging to the Paisaje Protegido Corredor Verde del Guadiamar.

Convento de Nuestra Señora del Buen Suceso
The monastery, now disappeared with the construction of the mines, was founded in 1634 by Don Gaspar de GuzmánDuke of Olivares. This archaeological site, dating from the seventeenth century, was excavated in the 1990's. It had a convent, orchard and a mill.

Puente del Ferrocarril
This viaduct (bridge) was constructed by the Compañía Gaditana de Minas on Arroyo de los Frailes and is one of the few that are currently preserved from the total number of bridges created for the railroad. The line ran between the La Caridad mine in Aznalcóllar and Muelle de los Gordales in San Juan de Aznalfarache, with a length of 33,610 km and passed through CamasValencinaSantiponceSalterasOlivares and Sanlucar la Mayor transporting mining materials. This route for the Via Verde Italica

Restos del Acueducto Romano de Itálica
The remains of the aqueduct that carried water to the city of Itálica, built in the second century A.D. covering more than 35km. Located on the A-477 towards Gerena.

GOLF

For the golfers among us there is one quaint 9 hole course in Aznalcázar only 20 minutes drive from the beautiful Seville called Las Minas Golf. For more information on Golf courses, clubs and resorts please visit our Golf home.

NATURAL AREAS

Aznalcóllar has a wonderful variety of natural areas for keen nature lovers including Corredor Verde del Guadiamar, Arroyo de los Frailes, Complejo Serrano de Interés Ambiental Madroñalejo, Dehesa del Palmar, Embalse del  Agrio, Dehesa del Perro, Dehesa de "Caña Honda", Dehesa del Campillo, Charcofrío, Vía Verde de Itálica, Carretera Paisajística Aznalcóllar- El Madroño and Carretera Paisajística El Castillo de las Guardas Aznalcóllar.

GASTRONOMY

When visiting Aznalcóllar, it is worth trying one of the many traditional dishes such as migas (fried bread), puchero en colorao (port stew), cocido de calabazas (pumpkin stew), puchero en amarillo (chicken stew), papas en paseo (stewed potatoes with egg), repápalos (meatballs) as well as game meats; perdiz (partridge), venado (venison), jabalí (boar) and liebre (hare). Sweet treats include pestiños (honey pastries), torrijas (eggy bread) and poleá (semolina made with aniseed liqueur).

FESTIVALS

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

Carnaval
Celebrated in March-April.

Semana Santa
Holy Week.

Feria
Celebrated the last week of July.

Fiesta Patronales Nuestra Señora de Fuente Clara
Celebrated the first weekend of September.

Cruz de Abajo
Celebrated 15 August.

NEXT PLACES

The next villages to Aznalcóllar are GerenaSanlucar la Mayor and Castillo de las Guardas.

 

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