by Saskia Mier
One of La Granjuela's most attractive offerings to visitors is its food, in particular its speciality of suckling pig. Unfortunately, the village was largely destroyed during the Civil War, so almost no historical buildings remain. The village now has around 470 inhabitants.
Archaeological sites indicate that the area of La Granjuela has been inhabited in some form since the Neolithic period. There are also vestiges of Iberian and Roman colonization. Despite these early settlements, La Granjuela finds its municipal origins in fairly modern history. It remains the most agricultural municipality in the region, with numerous cereal farms and small family orchards.
La Granjuela was formerly part of the Cinco Aldeas ('Five Villages'), along with Valsequillo, Los Blázquez, Esparragosa and Los Prados, until its emancipation as an independent village in 1842. The small town was amongst those most damaged by the Spanish Civil War of 1936-39, being almost completely destroyed. It was later rebuilt with articulated streets formed by low-rise whitewashed houses.
THINGS TO SEE
Iglesia de Nuestra Señora del Valle
The church was built in 1950 by architects of the Commissioner of Devastated Regions after the Civil War. Its distinct tower, arranged obliquely, is very similar in style to the Cordovan churches of San Andrés and San Lorenzo. The main altar of the church is topped with a polychrome wooden carving of Nuestra Señora de la O, better known as the Virgen del Valle; this piece is the work of a Castilian workshop from the early nineteenth century. Anyone in the area in June should look out for new-born storks in the nests set high up on the white tower. The church is located on Plaza Mayor.
The surrounding area of La Granjuela is ideal for combining sports and nature. Visitors can enjoy hectares of meadows, olive groves and farmland. You might even spot steppe birds that spend the winter in this area during their migratory movements, or spectacular flocks of cranes and bustards that gather around the Peña la Zorra lagoon at sunset during November.
One of the most iconic and renowned dishes of La Granjuela is its lechón (suckling pig), ideally accompanied with a beer or glass of wine.
Cabalgata Reyes Magos
Three Kings procession celebrated on the evening of 5 January
Celebrated the 2 February
Celebrated in February
Holy Week (dates vary each year)
Romería de San Isidro
Celebrated the 15 May
Feria de La Tapa y la Artesanía
Food and crafts fair celebrated the last weekend of July
Feria de Nuestra Señora del Valle
Celebrated the first weekend of August
Fiesta de la Virgen del Valle
Celebrated the 2 September