by Saskia Mier
Santa Eufemiaforms part of the Ruta de los Castillos, thanks to its medieval fortress at Miramontes. It is home to about 790 inhabitants.
The origins of Santa Eufemia date to the third millennium AC, during the Chalcolithic period and the final Bronze Age. After the Romanisation of the Bética, Santa Eufemia become an important enclave in the area, appearing as a natural route for cinnabar extracted in the nearby Almadén mines. Santa Eufemia was a strategic communication gate between Valle de Alcudia and Los Pedroches, standing as a strong Roman settlement and mining centre within the Soliense region.
During the Middle Ages, Santa Eufemia appeared for the first time among the privileges granted by Alfonso VII The Emperor. All documents of the Imperial Chancellery of Alfonso VII end with the formula, "...1155, year in which our Lord the Emperor took Saint Eufemia". These quotes refer to a campaign that the King carried out in the eastern part of Los Pedroches as part of a vast plan to conquer Andalucian lands; in 1155 he conquered all the northernprovince of Córdoba, including Santa Eufemia.
With the definitive conquest of Córdobaby Fernando III, Santa Eufemia was added to the jurisdiction of the Cordovan Councilin 1242. Half a century later the Council donated the town and its Castle to Don Fernando Díaz, Mayor of Córdoba. This donation was confirmed by King Sancho IV and Santa Eufemia thus became the first and oldest Señorío del Norte in Córdoba province.
Don Fernando Díaz was succeeded by his son,Gómez Fernández, who, like his father, occupied the position of Mayor of Córdoba, as well as his granddaughter Beatriz Fernández and great-grandson Pedro Carrillo, with whom theSeñorío resided at the end of the fourteenth century. Enrique III, confirmed the Mayorazgo of Santa Eufemia in 1394. TheCarrillomandate in the Señorío de Santa Eufemia is marked by continuous disputes and litigation with the Villas de Los Pedroches.
During the second half of the sixteenth century, and the following centuries, the County of Santa Eufemia was governed by a saga of the Mejia Family. These were the years of greatest social and political conflict in the County. During the Modern Age, Santa Eufemia continued to be part of the Countyuntil the dissolution of the Señoríos in 1937.
THINGS TO SEE
Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de la Encarnación
The stone and red brick church dates to the first half of the fourteenth century, with the bell tower being added later in the late fifteenth century. Located on Calle Real.
The walled enclosure of the town is the work of the then Lord of Santa Eufemia, Gonzalo Mejía II. Although the reasons are unknown, it is suggested they were related to dangerous ongoing confrontations he faced at this time, especially one related to his uprising against the city of Córdoba, taking by assault the Castle of Pedroche. The walls were built by the mason Juan de Aragón in 1474. Today, only very deteriorated pieces of the walled canvas remain, along with some towers and the Puerta de Córdoba, popularly known as Puerta de la Villa.
THINGS TO SEE OUTSIDE THE VILLAGE
Ermita de Santa Eufemia
Situated within the El Donadío farm, the chapel is dedicated to thepatron saint of the town, and built according to tradition in the area whereAlfonso VII's troops camped before they conquered the town. Located five kilometres east of Santa Eufemia, off the A-3200.
Ermita de la Virgen de las Cruces
The small Mudejar chapel is built on the ruins of an earlier construction from the fourteenth century.Its current appearance dates from 1898, the year in which the Marquesa de Torrecilla yielded to the then Mayor of Santa Eufemia, Miguel Guillermo Romero, and to the parish priest Martín Caballero Atalaya a piece of land in "El Cubillo". Located in the Valdefuentes area, off the A-3200.
Castillo de Miramontes
The Castle is of Arab construction, built on the ruins of a pre-Roman fort and linked ever since to the town's history. Construction was carried out during the Almoravid and Almohad period, when the cora of "Fahs al-Ballut" acquired an eminently military character.It was destroyed in 1478, most likely by order of the Catholic Monarchs as a reprimand for the excesses of the then Gonzalo Messía Carrillo II. Located north-west of Santa Eufemia, off the C0-9027.
Castillo de Vioque
An Iberian fortress dating to between the first and second centuries AD, built on a hill crowned by good natural defences with a double enclosure and high construction quality, which suggests an advanced chronology.This first enclosure is of lower construction quality, perhaps constituting the primitive fortification to which, already in full Romanisation, the powerful inner bastion was added. There is ample space between both enclosures to protect cattle in case of enemy attack. Today, it is a ruin. Located about eight kilometres north-east of Santa Eufemia, on the banks of the Guadalmez River.
For those keen on exploring the surroundings of Santa Eufemia, there are two very good hiking routes: Ruta de la Sierra de Santa Eufemia I, travelling north of the village, and Ruta de la Sierra de Santa Eufemia II, travelling north-west.
Almost all of the local natural areas can be accessed via the hiking routes mentioned above. Explore the various areas the village has to offer for nature lovers, such as: Peñón Horcón, Paraje La Ramira, Cerro Pescuezo, Umbría La Nava, Paraje Los Negrillos, Sierra La Barca, Los Accesos, Río Cigüeñuela, Río Guadalmez, Paraje Los Lanchares and Sierra de Santa Eufemia.
When visiting Santa Eufemia, try their local dishes such asasadillo (tomato and red pepper salad), relleno (eggs with jamón, saffron and offal), revuelto de espinacas y criadillas (scrambled eggs with spinach), achicorias (marinated chicory), cachorreñas (cod with tomato), potaje de garbanzos (chickpea stew), rabos de borrega (lambs tail stew), ajo cano (rabbit) and albóndigas (meatballs). Sweet treats include castañas (chestnuts in syrup) and mantecados (pastries).
Cabalgata Reyes Magos
Three Kings procession celebrated on the evening of 5 January.
Celebrated 2 and 3 February.
Celebrated in February.
Fiesta de Santa Eufemia y Romería La Santa
Celebrated on Resurrection Sunday.
Romería de la Virgen de la Cruces
Celebrated on 1 May.
Romería de San Isidro
Celebrated on 15 May.
Feria y Fiestas en Honor a San Pedro Apsotol
Celebrated 29 June to 1 July.
Virgen del Pilar
Celebrated on 12 October.
Fiestas del Emigrante
Celebrated on 15 August.