by Saskia Mier
Fuente Palmera has two unique and legendary traditions that take place in December called ls danza de los locos (the mad people's dance) and la danza del oso (the dance of the bear). It has about 10,800 inhabitants.
The Guadalquivir River has historically constituted a great natural corridor for the most important communication route that linked Andalusia with La Meseta. In 1950 and 1954, prehistoric vases were found in tombs from the early part of the Metal Age in Finca El Bramadero, a farm just two kilometres from Fuente Palmera. One of these vases appeared in a magnificent state of conservation accompanied by a metallic dagger, which today is exhibited in the Provincial Archaeological Museum of Córdoba.
Vestiges and graves confirming settlements during the Ancient Age and found in the core of Fuente Palmera have been covered with thick slabs of mud. During this time there were strong rural settlements verified by the remains of villae in the farmhouses of Casa Blanca, Soto del Rey, Santa Magdalena, Molino de San José, etc. The main economic activities developed were those derived from olive cultivation. Remains of a necropolis and materials have been found in such good condition that they indicate some of these sites lasted at least until the Visigothic period.
Some remains of human activity (coins and utensils) during the Middle Age can be seen in the lands of La Colonia de Fuente Palmera.The current town of Fuente Palmera was founded in 1768, under the reign of Carlos III, established in an existing palm grove.
THINGS TO SEE
The Town Hall was built next to the pósito (grain warehouse) and church and was a large mansion belonging to the Civil Command, reformed several times; the first was completed in 1984.
The Mayor, Francisco Pérez de Mena y Trujillo, installed the tower clock and in 1996 the clock was changed and the tower was reformed. Located in Plaza Real.
The former Real Pósito de Labradores and Diezmos (communal grain store) dates back to the eighteenth century. Today it is one of the most beautiful architectural buildings in the town and one of the oldest, having been well preserved. Located in Plaza Real.
Throughout history, the colonial houses of Fuente Palmera have taken inspiration from one designed by Simón Dernauxin 1768. It was a house originally designed for an agricultural society, consisting of a corridor with two rooms, one of which was the home and the other a chamber to store grain.
A colonial house originally used as the home of the Parish Priest. It has undergone several works improvements and restoration work. Located in Plaza Real.
Molino del Rey
A mill was built next to the Town Hall, possibly in the initial years of colonisation, after the promulgation of the Royal Order of 25 January 1815, written by Polo de Alcocer, agreeing to plantations of olive groves, today disappeared. Located in Plaza Real.
Parroquia de la Purísima Concepción
The chapel was built in 1768, pertaining to the Bishopric of Seville until 1959, later dependent on the diocese of Córdoba. Located in Plaza Real.
THINGS TO SEE OUTSIDE THE VILLAGE
Fuentes de la Colonia
Many water sources dating to Carlos III have been recuperated in the town, originally used as watering holes for animals. They are scattered in various locations around Fuente Palmera, La Herrería, La Peñalosa and Villalón.
Paraje Los Arroyones
This natural park consists of small mountainous elevations populated with millenary oaks and surrounded by Arroyo de los Picachos, with native flora and fauna. It is equipped with outdoor cooking facilities, an educational classroom, drinking water and various structures for both child and adult use. It hosts the annual San Isidro Pilgrimage, as well as other musical events, youth parties, camping associations, etc. Located north of Fuente Palmera, off the CO-4313.
Try the traditional local dishes of gazpacho blanco de habas (white gazpacho made with broad beans), migas (fried bread with cured sausage), socorrías (fried pancakes usually served with sugar and chocolate), sopaipas (fried tortes served with chocolate or jam) and gachas dulces (a sweet bread pudding).
A local craft still considerably produced in the town is metalwork.
Cabalgata Reyes Magos
Three Kings procession celebrated on the evening of 5 January.
Día de la Candelaria
Celebrated 2 February.
Celebrated in February.
Miércoles de Ceniza y Domingo de Piñata
Celebrated just after Carnaval.
Cultural week celebrated in April.
Día del Trabajo
Celebrated 1 May.
Romería de San Isidro Labrador
Celebrated 15 May.
Feria de Innovaciones Agrícolas, Ganaderas y Industriales (FINAGA)
Agricultural fair celebrated 9-11 May.
Aniversario de la Fundación de la Colonia
Celebrated 5 July.
Celebrated 18-21 August.
Festividad de Nuestra Señora del Pilar
Celebrated 12 October.
Festividad de Nuestra Señora Purísima Concepción
Celebrated 8 December.
Día de los Santos Inocentes
Celebrated 28 December with two dance traditions; la danza de los locos and la danza del oso.