by Saskia Mier
Visitors to Los Blázquez have to try the town's exquisite cerdo ibérico (Iberian pork), in particular the chorizo. The small municipality has around 730 inhabitants.
Remains found in the area suggest that Los Blázquez finds its origins in the Paleolithic era, although archaeologists have failed to pinpoint these remains to a specific phase of Paleolithic history. Remains from the Chalcolithic era are much more in evidence, in sites such as Morisca and Piedras Gordas. The current settlement of Los Blázquez emerged at the end of the fifteenth century when, according to Ramírez de las Casas-Deza, a group of neighbours from Fuente Obejuna settled down in a single farmhouse that would serve as a starting point for the town's development.
During the twelfth century and the first half of the thirteenth century, the important town of Tolote emerged on this site, the remains of which form today's Castle of Los Blázquez or Maldegollado. When Fernando III recovered this territory in the middle of the thirteenth century, new Christian settlers attempted to occupy the area. From the end of the thirteenth century, there is no mention of this village in the region's documentation; it seems that the Christian repopulation of the area was unsuccessful, and that at the beginning of the fourteenth century the population had all but disappeared.
During the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, Los Blázquez appears to have been very sparsely populated. The first written record of the town's existence was carried out in 1549 by Bishop Leopoldo de Austria, in which he notes that the chaplain or parish priest of Santa María de la O had to visit the farmhouses of Las Navas, Valsequillo, Lucía Fernández and Los Blázquez.
In 1817, Los Blázquez became a part of the Cinco Aldeas ('Five Villages'; Valsequillo, Esparragosa, La Granjuela, Los Prados and Los Blázquez), a union that lasted until 1842 when Los Blázquez, as well as Valsequillo and La Granjuela, acquired the title of villa. At the outbreak of the Civil War, Los Blázquez, like almost all of this region of Córdoba, remained loyal to the government of the Republic, and despite the town's small size it played a key role in the events of the war.
On November 12, 1936, Republican forces from Extremadura tried to recover Los Blázquez, defended by Lieutenant Federico Gómez Hidalgo, Military Commander. In April 1937 the town was successfully recovered by Republican troops.
THINGS TO SEE
Iglesia de Nuestra Señora del Rosario
The town's former church was destroyed during the Civil War, and this current construction was built during the fifties by Daniel Sánchez Puch and José Rebollo Dicenta. It includes a substantial tower (30m high by about 16m²) of red brick topped with an ornate plasterwork belfry. The tower's style includes eighteenth-century and typically Cordovan motifs, such as the geometric plaques hanging from the balconies. The church is located on Plaza de la Constitución.
This exhibition was curated in order to research, protect and publicize the heritage of the local community; its central themes are everyday life throughout Los Blázquez's history, and the different trades developed in the town over the years. Inaugurated in 2011, the museum can be found on Avenida Andalucia.
Tel: 957 57 80 57.
The Town Hall was built in 1966. It has two floors: the ground floor has five arches along its frontispiece, and the upper floor has an iron railed balcony. The building is minimal, whitewashed with some yellow plasterwork, and is located on Plaza de la Constitución.
La Cruz de los Caídos
Modern in style, this stone cross is dedicated to the people who died in Los Blázquez during the Civil War. It disappeared as a result of vandalism on the night of February 9, 1988, and was later found at the bottom of a well. The cross which visitors can now see on Plaza de la Constitución is therefore not the original.
THINGS TO SEE OUTSIDE THE VILLAGE
Ermita de San Isidro
This chapel was built in the typical style of the Andalusian region in honour of San Isidro Labrador in 1967, by order of the priest Antonio Aguilar de la Fuente. It was designed by Ángel Cáceres and Miguel Gallardo. The chapel is situated on the hill of Las Quiruelas, 1km from the Castle of Maldegollado.
Puesto de Observación de la Guerra Civil
The observation post of the Civil War is a square reinforced concrete structure built on top of a high rockface south of Los Blázquez, off the CO-8404. The strong construction has maintained a perfect state of conservation, and naturally affords wonderful views of the surrounding area.
Castillo de Maldegollado
Los Blázquez was preceded by the medieval town of Tolote, which was inhabited between the eleventh and thirteenth centuries. The remains of this town are now known as Castillo de Maldegollado, and can be found approximately 2km south of Los Blázquez.
The Valle del Guadiato is ideal for visitors looking to explore tranquil natural environments, and has an abundance of thrushes for keen birdwatchers. Los Blázquez itself offers various parks such as Parque de la Avenida de Andalucia, Parque del Paseo de la Victoria and Parque de los Patos.
When visiting Los Blázquez, try their typical dishes including migas artesanales acompañadas de torreznos y chorizos (fried bread with pork and chorizo), morcilla lustre o morcilla de sangre (black pudding), gazpacho, garbanzos del pueblo (chickpea stew), perdiz (partridge), conejo (rabbit), liebre (hare) and jabalí (wild boar). Sweet treats include pestiños, roscos, perrunillas (pastries), magdalenas (muffins) and brazo de gitano (swiss roll).
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)
Cruces de Mayo
Celebrated in May
Romería de San Isidro
Celebrated the 15 May
Celebrated the last two weeks of July
Virgen de la Salud
Celebrated the 15 August
Feria y Fiestas en Honor a la Patrona la Virgen del Rosario
Celebrated the second week of August