by Saskia Mier
The distinct geographical setting of of Palenciana, set almost precisely on the border between the provinces of Córdoba and Málaga, means that the village is surrounded by a curious mixture of almond trees and the plains of the famous Llanos de Antequera. It has around 1,500 inhabitants.
Ceramics found on surrounding sites indicate human presence in the area as early as the Bronze Age. Roman remains have also been found in the vicinity of Cerro de los Toros, south of the road that connects Palenciana with El Tejar and, most importantly, in Cerro del Pozuelo, where fragments of urns and gravestones have been found.
THINGS TO SEE
Parroquia de San Miguel
A church existed here from at least the seventeenth century but was officially registered in 1714. Although the original building was enlarged during that year, it was found necessary to build a new church in 1774. This was inaugurated by the Lord and V Marqués de Benamejí, Juan Bautista Bernuy Fernández de Henestrosa. The church is situated on Calle Arroyo looing on to Plaza Nuestra Snra del Carmen. It is noteworthy as is one of the only churches in Andalucia that was not damaged in the civil war and the ceiling and other elements are original.
Ermita de San Lucas
The chapel was built in the late 1980s by popular demand, having been promoted by José Espadas. The arched porches that surround the chapel, in particular, attract attention, and are undoubtedly inspired by those that characterise many chapels in the north of the province of Córdoba. The chapel is located on Travesia Calle Rio.
Casas Del Siglo XIX en La Plaza del Carmen
Throughout the streets of Palenciana, visitors will see the traditional architecture of the village in its houses, which mainly date to the nineteenth century. Two houses (No.6 and No.12) particularly stand out in the central square known as Nuestra Señora del Carmen, which forms a small urban complex together with the facade of the Parroquia de San Miguel.
THINGS TO SEE OUTSIDE THE VILLAGE
Fuente de los Ciélagos
The water source of Ciélagos is famous for its mineral-medicinal waters. It is said to contain carbonic acid and be good for curing herpes. The water is used for domestic purposes in local farmhouses (washing, swimming pool, etc.) and for watering gardens, orchards and vegetables. The source is located about 2 km southeast of the town.
Cerro de los Toros
Only accounts provided by Bernier allow us to know of the existence, in the Cerro de los Toros, of burnished ceramics that correspond to the Bronze Age. An initial survey carried out some years ago by a team from the University of Córdoba showed thatmost of the ceramics that appear on the surface date more specifically to the Precolonial Final Bronze Age. The lack of pottery indicates the possible abandonment of this habitat during the Orientalizing period, perhaps due to a process of human concentration in the nearby town of El Hacho, in Benamejí.
Forgery, a traditional craft in Palenciana, is still practised by residents today.
Palenciana, being a relatively new municipality, does not benefit from the rich and varied cuisine which can be found in older nearby towns such as Benamejí and Cuevas Bajas. However visitors can still enjoy some exquisite dishes, made using local ingredients, such as porracrúa (similar to salmorejo but includes a fried green pepper in the recipe), roña (a cured sausage made from meat stew and served with a soup), cocido (pork stew) and porra de espárragos (asparagus soup). Sweet treats include tortilla de Navidad (sweet pastry typically made for Christmas), borrachuelo, rosquillos and hornazos.
Festivals in palenciana
Festivals that are popular in palenciana are Cabalgata Reyes Magos, Semana Santa, Carnaval, Día de San Marcos, Romería de San Isidro, and Feria del Carmen. More>