by Saskia Mier
Pedro Abad offers visitors a unique experience during the village's idiosyncratic Semana Santa and Romería de Santiago el Menor celebrations. It has around 2800 inhabitants.
In Imperial Rome, the village was part of Sacili Martialium, as mentioned by the historian Pliny. Among the archaeological remains unearthed in the area is a dedication to Júpiter Óptimum Máximum and two portraits, possibly of Claudius's wife, Agrippina Minor.
The village's eventual namesake, Galician Pedro Abad de Meneses, was born in Campobecerros, and, as parish priest in Santa María de la Mama, he was convinced to participate in the conquest of Córdoba during the Moorish times by King Fernando III El Santo. The image that Pedro Abad brought with him, and the existence of a fountain on a well-travelled road nearby in the thirteenth century, would give the town its full name; Fuente de Per Abad.
The transcription of a manuscript which appeared in the Ermita de Santísimo Cristo de los Desamparados de Pedro Abad suggests that at the end of 1235, the Monarch created a camp which later turned into a hospital, where Pedro Abad installed himself to offer spiritual help. Fernando III El Santo ordered the construction of a chapel and housing for those who wanted to inhabit the area.
Around 1530, Pedro Abad was became a village under the Council of Cordova. In 1564, the village was incorporated into the Marquisate of El Carpio, remaining under seigneurial jurisdiction. Later, the population was sold to Don Luis Méndez de Haro.
THINGS TO SEE
Iglesia de la Asunción
This church was constructed at the beginning of the fourteenth century by order of Fernando Gutiérrez de los Ríos. In the sixteenth century, the main body of the chapel was built and covered, and in the eighteenth century, the ceiling was decorated with arched vaults and Rococo-style plasterwork. It was here that the Santa Rafaela María was baptized. The baptismal chapel was restored in the 1980s, and can be seen in its present state on Plaza de Andalucía.
The Basharat mosque was built in the 1980s as a place of Islamic worship centuries after the end of the Christian reconquest[SP1] in 1492. The work cost 30,000,000 pesetas (€180,000) and was directed by the architect José Luis Lope y López de Rego. It was promoted by Karam Ilahi Zafar, a Muslim missionary. In 1980, the Jalif Hazrat Jalifatul Masih III placed the first stone of the building. His successor, Khalifatul Masih IV, inaugurated the Mosque just two years later in 1982. Beside him was the Supreme Imam of the Ahmadiyyah Hazrat Mirza Tahir Ahmad Community. The event was attended by 3,000 faithfuls, mostly British, as well as notable personalities including the former president of the UN General Assembly, Mohammad Zafrullah and Abdus Salam, Nobel Prize winner in Physics. The mosque contains a remarkable library of Islamic texts written in various languages and dialects, and is a major centre of the Muslim community in Spain. Its members celebrate the Jalsa Salana (Annual Assembly) in Pedro Abad. The mosque is located on Carretera Pedro Abad Adamuz.
Iglesia de Santa Rafaela María
This church was built next to the birthplace of Santa Rafaela María del Sagrado Corazón de Jesús, and is the most beautiful and fascinating religious construction produced during the twentieth century in the Alto Guadalquivir region. It was built in 1950 by the architect Don Francisco Lencina López. The church has an altarpiece of various coloured marbles, presided over by a beautiful ivory crucifix. Under the altar of the church is the crypt where the relatives of Santa Rafaela María are buried. The striking church can be visited on Calle Santa Rafaela María.
Ermita del Santísimo Cristo de los Desamparados
A large semicircular arch, originally a millstone, sits over the entrance to this chapel and reads the indications of a devotee of the Holy Christ, placing the construction of the main chapel in the seventeenth century. Later, in 1721 and again in 1960, the temple was rebuilt. Its exterior brick tower was built in 1909, and today proves an essential idiosyncrasy of Pedro Abad's skyline. Visitors should not come to Pedro Abad without visiting the chapel courtyard, the highlight of which is a medieval well in which life and death are reflected. The well sits within a beautiful, peaceful space surrounded by chained columns and stone benches. The main altarpiece of the chapel itself is of neo-baroque style and features paintings of the Archangel San Miguel, and King Fernando III, works by the painter Don Rodrigo Prieto Rojas. The image of Santísimo Cristo de los Desamparados de Pedro Abad was made by Don Jacinto Higuera in 1939. This icon is particularly unique in that it is only processed through the village once every 100 years, and is currently waiting for the year 2035 for its next processional exit. The chapel and its beautiful courtyard are located on Calle Jesus.
Monumento a Santa Rafaela María
This monument was inaugurated on March 23, 1963. It is a beautiful statue in gray granite of Santa Rafaela María, located on Calle Santa Rafaela María.
Convento de las Esclavas del Sagrado Corazón de Jesús
The Convent, dating to 1844, was the birthplace of Santa Rafaela María, and has an oratory visited by people from all over Spain. A beautiful bronze sculpture made by Don Rafael Orti presides over the oratory, creating a magnificent space of meditation and inner peace. Inside the Convent is also the museum of Santa Rafaela María. The site is located on Calle Santa Rafaela María.
This building dates to 1785, and consists of a beautiful heraldic shield and simple façade. It currently houses the Center for Contemporary Art, which exhibits the pictorial and sculptural works of Don Luis Cañadas, Don Ramón de Vargas and Don Venancio Blanco, and is situated on Calle Alcalde Francisco José Nieto.
Centro Multicultural, Etnográfico y Oficina de Turismo
This building was constructed in 1927 and occupies the facilities of the former Mercado de Abastos (closed marketplace). It now exhibits works by Ramón de Vargas, and is also home to the Tourism Office, Municipal Library and a multipurpose room (used for exhibitions, conferences, theatrical performances, etc.). The centre is located on Calle Francisco Alcántara.
Museo de Pintura y Escultura y Reloj
This building houses the most important bibliographical collection of the Alto Guadalquivir region. Its architectural highlight is a beautiful clock, made in Sigüenza in 1927, which despite its age is fully functional and is one of the few existing clocks of this age in Spain. It was previously the Town Hall, but in 2011 was inaugurated as an art and sculpture museum, with works by Don Rodrigo Prieto and Don Augusto Dueñas. The museum can be found on Calle Santa Rafaela María.
THINGS TO SEE OUTSIDE THE VILLAGE
Central Hidroeléctrica "El Salto"
This is one of the most prominent hydro-electric power stations in Andalusia, built on blocks of pressed concrete over the Guadalquivir River. It is formed by two cores, the dam and the power station. Its power system integrates the double function of dam and bridge in a single set, and its visual highlight is a magnificent portico with a horseshoe arch and polygonal turret inspired by Islamic military architecture. The centre is located north of Pedro Abad, off the CO-3107.
Ruta Calzadas Romanas
During the Roman era, Pedro Abad was located on the Via Augusta[SP2] , thus becoming a place of rest for travelers. This walking route, a section of the old Roman road,is 10km long and can be done either on foot or by bike, passing from Pedro Abad to Sacili Martialium, "El Salto", and back.
The most typical dishes of Pedro Abad are cachorreñas (soup made with bread, garlic and vinegar), coles con almejas (cabbage with clams), estofado de matanza (pork stew), sopa de ajo (garlic and bread soup), salmorejo (cold garlic and tomato soup), flamenquines (pork rolls stuffed with cheese and ham), rabo de toro (oxtail), revuelto de verdure (scrambled eggs with vegetables), caracoles en caldo y salsa (snails in sauce) and picadillo de naranja con bacalao (orange and cod salad). Sweet treats include roscos de vino (aniseed biscuits), perrunas (lard cakes made traditionally at Christmas), bizcochadas (sponge cakes) and mantas (sponge cake traditionally decorated to celebrate the birth of a child, pink for a girl and blue for a boy).
Cabalgata Reyes Magos
Three Kings procession celebrated on the evening of 5 January.
Día de la Candelaría
Celebrated the 2 February.
Celebrated in February.
Holy Week (dates vary each year).
La Quema de los Judas
Celebrated Easter Saturday.
Romería de Santiago el Menor
Celebrated the 1 May.
Cruces de Mayo
Celebrated the second weekend of May.
Fiesta de San Isidro Labrador
Celebrated the 15 May.
Fiesta de Santa Rafaela María
Celebrated the 18 May.
Procesión María Auxiliadora
Celebrated at the end of May.
Festival de La Copla
Celebrated at the end of August.
Encuentro de Batucadas
Celebrated the beginning of September.
Fiestas en Honor al Santísimo Cristo de los Desamparados
Celebrated the 14-17 September.
Fiesta de la Virgen del Rosario
Celebrated the 7 October.
Celebrated in November.