by Saskia Mier
El Viso is part of the Ruta de los Castillos, thanks to its links with Fortaleza Castillo de Madroñiz which received an award from the Asociación de Amigos de los Castillos.The town has about 2,500 inhabitants.
Archaeological materials belonging to the Chalcolithic period have been found, showing that there were human settlements in this area during that time. Funeraryobjects dating from the ninth to the eight centuries BC have been found, which possibly correspond to an aristocracy of warriors. The road from Córdoba to Zaragoza, cited in the Itinerary of Antoninus, passethrough El Viso, and was used by the Romans and Visigoths. In Los Santiagos, Velardes and Buciegas there are extensive and major Roman sites as well as mines used to extract copper, lead and iron.
The Madroñiz Castle,of Islamic origin, was built as a fortress during the eleventh or twelfth centuries and from 1461 was integrated into the Lordship of Santa Eufemia. According to Ricardo Córdoba de la Llave, El Viso appears in the middle of the fourteenth century, and until the end of the fifteenth centuryit was known as Casas de Don Adame and was integrated into the Señorío de Santa Eufemia, until the regime's abolition in the twentieth century.
During the first months of the Civil War in 1936, and in spite of initial hesitation by Civil Guards stationed in the town, El Viso suffered successive attacks by defence forces of the military uprising who travelled from neighbouring towns,as well as by defenders of the Republican Army.
THINGS TO SEE
Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de la Encarnación
Construction of the church began in the sixteenth century and ended in the first quarter of the seventeenth century, but since then it has been the subject of major modifications. It is highlighted bya bell tower and a coat of arms of the Mexia, gentlemen of the town attached to the County of Santa Eufemia. Located on Calle Iglesia.
Ermita de Santa Rosalía y San Isidro
The Santa Rosalíachapelwas built in 1968 and also worships San Isidro, as this Brotherhood collaborated in its construction. Built using the foundations of a previous chapel from the nineteenth century, it was turned into a powder keg during the Civil War. Located on Calle San Isidro.
Ermita de Santa Ana y Cristo de las Eras
Until the 1960s there was a chapel dedicated to Santa Ana, built in the sixteenth century. Today only a small part of it remains and it serves as access to the site of the current chapel, which presents some architectural parameters far removed from the usual ones found in the area. Located on Avenida Santa Ana.
THINGS TO SEE OUTSIDE THE VILLAGE
Castillo de Madroñiz
The Castle of Madroñiz was shared by Córdoba and Badajoz, and built by the Moors for defence purposes. It is currently reserved for the exclusive use of the owners, but was once a area frequented by hunters and lovers of relaxation who chose its rooms to spend New Year's Eve and weekends. The fortification was mainly rented to French and visitors from Extremadura. The castle was acquired in its entirety by Don Francisco Fraga Egea and was restored with the help of relatives and neighbours of Peñalsordo (Badajoz). At present the fortification and the farm in which it is locatedare registered in the name of the company Mangadas del Zujar SA. Located within the La Joya Estate.
There are quite a few archaeological sites in the area to visit; La Longuera, La Almagrera, Los Santiagos, Los Valverdes, Buciegas, Setecientas, Casa de la Bóvedas and Convento de A. Alberto del Monte.
Visitors are truly spoilt for choice when it comes to walking and cycling routes in the area. It is almost impossible to cover all of them in one visit, but there is a route for everyone, no matter what level. Walking routes are: Circular de la Colada, Sierra de la Barca, Vereda de Belalcázar al Cordel, Ruta Cañada Real de la Mesta, Camino de Los Paralejos, Sierra Santa Eufemia, La Fuente del Hoyo, El Manadero, Castillo de Gahete and Molinos del Cuzna, among many others. Cycling routes include: Castillo de los Sotomayor, Ruta Tres Ermitas, Minas El Chaparro and Dehesa Boyal. For keen mountain bikers, there are also endless other routes available.
Local crafts produced in El Viso are faux items, tin objects and utensils, as well as leather goods.
When visiting El Viso try the typical dishes of migas (fried bread), cochifrito (stewed pork) and caldereta de cordero (lamb stew). Sweet treats include hojuelas, perrunas, roscos, buñuelos and hornazos (pastries usually dipped in sugar or honey).
Cabalgata Reyes Magos
Three Kings procession celebrated on the evening of 5 January.
Celebrated in February.
Día de Andalucía
Celebrated on 28 February.
Celebrated on 19 March.
Romería de Pascua
Celebrated the first day of Pentecost.
Feria de Santa Ana
Celebrated during the last week of July.
Celebrated on 4 September.
Celebrated on 15 September.