by Saskia Mier
Hornachuelos is located on the Ruta de los Castillos, highlighted by the remains of its Arab fortress. The town is a destination that is especially appropriate for rural tourism devotees, with the Sierra de Hornachuelos Natural Park offering magnificent enclaves for game hunting, hiking, cycling or horse riding. It has about 4,500 inhabitants.
The exact origins of Hornachuelos are unknown, although it is known there were prehistoric settlements, as indicated by the municipality's archaeological sites. The remains of numerous Roman villas indicate strong rural plantations, mainly dedicated to the production and commercialisation of olive oil.
During the Moorish era, the traveller known as Al-Idrisi identified Hornachuelos as a village, Furnuyulush, leaving written testimony of it. The area was populated by the Moorish tribes Qays and Kalb, as well as the Berber Hawwara. It was later conquered in 1240 by Fernando III, together with Moratalla, and both were placed under the jurisdiction of the Council of Córdoba.
During the first half of the seventeenth century, village status was granted to Don Lope de Hoces, and it eventually became a county in 1640, in favour of Don Antonio Alonso de Hoces. In 1868 it was elevated to Duchy in favour of Don José Ramón de Hoces and González de Canales. In the transition from Old to New Regime, it was consolidated as an area with a predominance of large properties.
THINGS TO SEE
Iglesia de Santa María de las Flores
The current church was built in the early sixteenth century over a previous Gothic church, some of whose remains were discovered in a restoration during 1974. It is considered a construction of great interest in relation to the history of religious architecture in Córdoba, which is why it is catalogued as an Asset of Cultural Interest. Located on Calle La Palmera.
The strategic defensive fortification was built in the ideal place and, along with remains of the enclosure walls, it was constructedduring the eighth or ninth centuries. Today, the castle and walls are in quite a ruinous state. Located in Plaza de las Armas.
The Town Hall was built during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries and reformed in 1985. Located in the Plaza de la Constitución.
Ermita del Salvador
A small chapel built in the eighteenth century. Located on Calle Antonio Machado.
THINGS TO SEE OUTSIDE THE VILLAGE
Monasterio Cisterciense Santa María de las Escalonias
The monastery is a Cistercian community founded in 1986 by the Monastery of La Oliva (Navarra). The community is made up of about 15 monks, being the only male monastic community in Andalusia, after the Cartuja de Jerez closed. The farmhouse is part of what was the Marquisate of the Escalonias. Today, the buildings are largely restored, and adapted to the new demands of monastic life. Located south of Hornachuelos, off the A-3151.
Monasterio de Santa María de los Ángeles
The monastery was a former Convent and later diocesan seminary founded in the fifteenth century. The building has been considerably transformed to accommodate its later uses. Already in the twentieth century, it was a seminary of the Diocese of Córdoba, but later abandoned in 1971.The monastery has been shrouded in mystery. In addition to an old legend according to which fire would rain down if it was reformed, there are testimonies of "apparitions" in the monastery and its surroundings. Iker Jiménez (a journalist specialising in the paranormal) ultra-sounded and recorded a program, managing to capture psychophonies. Located in the Sierra de Hornachuelos.
Yacimiento Paleontológico de los Nublos
The archaeological site has anapproximate width of 75 metres, with a great concentration of marine mammal fossils - making it a reference point for the study of fossil cetaceans of the upper Miocene (Tortonian). Studies carried out have provided an insightinto thefossil remains of marine cetaceans and invertebrates, as well as different ichnofossils. Located in the Cañada Real Soriana.
Parque Natural Sierra de Hornachuelos
The Natural Park belongs to the Sierra Morena massif, with an area of 60,032 hectares including part of the municipalities of Almodóvar del Río, Hornachuelos, Posadas, Villaviciosa de Córdoba and Córdoba. Its soft-relief mountains are colonised by oak forests, and the endangered lynx stands out among its rich fauna, all representing a natural enclave of great importance where it is possible to admire still well-preserved Andalusian mountain landscapes.
Traditional dishes to try when visiting Hornachuelos include mainly game meat as hunting is very popular in the area. Expect to see on the menuvenado (venison), jabali (wild boar) and conejo (wild rabbit). The local honey is a must to try, named mil flores (a thousand flowers) as this is what the bees feed on in the area.
Horno Alfarero de Zamora
This pottery kiln has great ethnographic and cultural value. Due to the state of deterioration in which it was found, it was moved and restored for its conservation. The kiln was originally used in the production of roofing tiles between the 1940s and 1960s, serving as economic support for many towns in the province of Córdoba which, after the Civil War, struggled with subsistence agriculture. It has been documented that the group of workers consisted of the potter, five assistants and about 10 children between nine and 15 years of age. It was hard work, from sunrise to sunset, the work of "men", working barefoot and for no more than 10 pesetas (5p) a week. The mud used for the manufacture of ceramic pieces was obtained in the Almarja. Typical clays in the Hornachuelos area are very white due to their high lime content. Located on Route Las Erillas.
Cabalgata Reyes Magos
Three Kings procession celebrated on the evening of 5 January.
Celebrated in February.
Romería de San Abundio
Celebrated the last Sunday of April.
Velada de San Abundio
Celebrated 11 July.
Celebrated in the middle of July.
Velada y Romería de Nuestra Señora Reina de los Ángeles
Celebrated 2 August.