Seville Province - La Algaba

LA ALGABA

by Saskia Mier

La Algaba offers a great highlight during its festival in September; the Feria de los Toros that has been declared of National Tourist Interest. It has about 16, 200 inhabitants.

HISTORY

Originally the Turdetan town of Bálbilis, later known as Bilbilis by the Romans. The Moors gave it the name Al-gabba, which means "the forest". Fernando III regained it in 1247 and in 1253 was awarded to Don Fadrique, son of Fernando III and brother of Alfonso X. In 1288 the town belonged to Guzmán el Bueno and was given to the infant Alfonso de la Cerda in 1306. It later passed into the hands of Enrique II, who in 1336 gave it to his servant, Gonzalo Sánchez de Campaniello.

Later it passed to the Admiral Fernán Sánchez de Tovar, then on to Juan Alonso de Guzmán and, in 1338, to Leonor (daughter of Fernán Sánchez de Tovar). It was later owned by Juan Alonso Pérez de Guzmán, who in 1371 exchanged La Algaba and El Vado de las Estacas for Niebla and its nearby villages, becoming the first Count of Niebla. In 1440, Juan de Guzmán y Torres exchanged Medina-Sidonia for La Algaba, Alaraz and El Vado de las Estacas, and built the Torres de los Guzmanes (tower) in 1446.

In 1476 the lordship of La Algaba was created. In 1656 Felipe II converted the lordship into a marquisate, and Francisco de Guzmán y Manrique, V Lord of La Algaba, became the Marquis of La Algaba. That same year, Francisco de Guzmán Guzmán entered the Order of Calatrava. The town was governed by the Order until it had its first town hall in the nineteenth century.

Since the end of the nineteenth century and throughout the twentieth century, extensive cultivation of orange trees joined with that of maize, cotton, liquorice, vegetables, olives and vines. At the beginning of the twentieth century a bridge was built on the River Guadalquivir and another on the Rivera de Huelva, improving communications.

THINGS TO SEE

Iglesia de Santa María de las Nieves
The construction of the Mudéjar church began at the end of the fourteenth century and ended during the first half of the sixteenth century. The tower was built in the fifteenth century. The church was destroyed in the 1755 Lisbon earthquake and reconstruction was carried out by architects, Pedro de San Martín, Tomás Zambrano and Pedro de Silva. Located in Plaza España.

Iglesia de Nuestro Padre Jesús Nazareno
In 1989, the Brotherhood of Our Father Jesus Nazareno built the Neo-Mudejar church where the previous convent of San Francisco once was. Located on Avenida Libertad.

Ermita de la Inmaculada Concepción
The existence of the chapel has been known since the eighteenth century, since the first documentary news dates from 1712. It was completely restored in 1929 and is in very good condition. Located in Plaza Purísima.

Torre de los Guzmanes
The tower is without a doubt the symbol of La Algaba, built by Juan de Guzmán y Torres, the first Lord of La Algaba, with the purpose of fulfilling both defensive and residential functions. Construction finished in 1446. Due to its architectural design and space, it is not useful as a liveable property, so from the sixteenth century the tower was closed. The creation of the Centro de Interpretación de la Torre de los Guzmanes (interpretation centre) "El Cielo Mudéjar de La Algaba" aims to end the secular immobility that exists around this outstanding example of Mudejar architecture. Located on Calle Torre.

Opening Times: Monday-Friday, 09:00-14:00hrs.
Price: Individual, 4.00 euro.
Group, 3.00 euro.
Children (3-14yrs), 2.00 euro.
Under 30s, 2.00 euro.
Over 65, 2.00 euro.
Rent of installations: 120 €/hour
Tel: 954032700
Email: cicma@turismolaalgaba.com

Puente Rodríguez de la Bordalla
The bridge unites the Andalusian capital of Seville with Cordoba and was built by the need to replace the old passage of boats that linked La Algaba with Seville. Flood damage caused the bridge to collapse in 1924 and 1926, eventually repaired. The works on the bridge were carried out in early 1958. Located south of La Algaba, on the SE-113.

Plaza de Toros y Auditório
Capeas (small bullfights) were celebrated in the main square until the middle of the twentieth century, made from carts and scaffolding to form a closed rectangular shape. The bullring was built in 1991 with an infirmary, chapel, outdoor enclosure and other facilities. Located on Avenida Andalucía.

NATURAL AREAS

La Algaba offers several natural areas for keen nature lovers including El Zahinar y Hoya de Agustín, Los Filtros, Bosquete de Olmos de "Alcántara", La Isleta, El Tarajal, Zona del Puente Rodríguez de la Bordalla and Zona del Riego.

COUNTRYSIDE WALKS

For those keen walkers, there are many walking routes to enjoy such as Colada Camino de Barquete, ...de Alcántara, ... de la Zarza, ... de la Aldea, ... de Guillena, ... de Alcalá, ... del Genovés, ... Callejón de las Viñas, ... del Salvador, ... de "El Aral", ... de la Dehesa o de la Rinconada, ... del Río 1, ... del Río 2, ... Viejo de Sevilla and Descansadero del Ejido Vizcaíno.

GASTRONOMY

Upon visiting La Algaba, why not try the locally grown oranges, pringaíta algabeña (spiced pork meat sandwiched between locally made bread), pan prieto (traditional local bread) and cocido (meat stew).

HANDICRAFTS

La Algaba is known for the handicraft of the wax flower, wood carving and embroidery crafts, mainly destined to ornate religious images, such as shawls and blankets.

FESTIVALS

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

Carnaval
Celebrated in February.

Semana Santa
Holy Week.

Cruces de Mayo
Celebrated in May.

Romería de la Purísima Concepción
Celebrated the first Sunday of June.

Santa Marta
Celebrated the 29 July.

Fiesta de Septiembre y Feria de los Toros
Celebrated the third week of September.

Las Candevelares
Celebrated the 7 December.

NEXT PLACES

The next villages to La Algaba are Santiponce, Alcalá del Río and the north of Seville City.

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