by Saskia Mier
Valsequillo is a small village whose Plaza de la Constitución is a testament to the rich local history, with post-Civil War monuments, the Town Hall and the Iglesia de la Inmaculada Concepción. The village has around 360 inhabitants.
Although remains of prehistoric cultures are not abundant in Valsequillo, the few that have been discovered correspond to the Epipaleolithic and Chalcolithic periods. The site of Patudas II has proved to be an area first populated by humans as a tool manufacturing workshop. The settlement of Cerro de Castillejo dates to the Calcolithic period, and is a point where Valsequillo, La Granjuela and Los Blázquez all meet.
Valsequillo became an integrated territory of the ancient city of Mellaria, one of the three Ibero-Roman cities, along with Solia and Baedro. Throughout this mountain sector, numerous remains have been unearthed that imply a strong former mining activity, something backed up by Roman written sources.
The current settlement of Valsequillo dates back to the sixteenth century. During the Islamic period it was occupied by the fourteenth and fifteenth century "Castillo de Aljozar". The surrounding forest swere used to obtain firewood, charcoal, bark, honey and hunting prey (rabbits, foxes, bears, etc) whose skins would later be used in the leather industry of Córdoba.
During the late fifteenth century there were no churches or priests in the area to administer sacraments for those who had fled Fuente Obejuna, meaning that many had to travel to receive the sacraments. In 1569, the local chapels were finally erected, placing the baptismal font in Valsequillo in that same year. Valsequillo, Esparragosa, Los Blázquez, Los Prados and La Granjuela, separated from Fuente Obejuna in 1817 to form a town with its own Town Hall based in Valsequillo. This new settlement was called Cinco Aldeas.
The economy was characterized by rural trades, due to the enormous weight of the agricultural sector, while artisanal and mercantile activities were practically nonexistent.
THINGS TO SEE
The Town Hall was constructed in 1949, and is located on Plaza de la Constitución.
Parroquia de la Inmaculada Concepción
The chapel was built in the 1950s by Devastated Regions, an organisation who aimed to rebuild Spanish infrastructure in the wake of the Civil War. The designs for the building were drawn up by architects Daniel Sánchez Puch and Ángel Marchena. The tower is topped with octagonal bells and decorated with blue tiles; the general Neo-baroque exterior of the chapel is characteristic of the regionalist architecture of Sánchez Puch. The building can be seen on Plaza de la Constitución.
THINGS TO SEE OUTSIDE THE VILLAGE
Castillo de Aljózar
The Castle of Aljózar was built during the Moorish occupation. Although visitors can observe some canvases and two excavated rooms, the castle is in a ruinous state, and has almost disappeared into the surrounding landscape. Its few remains can be found in the Sierra del Torozo, northwest of Valsequillo.
Valsequillo is a quiet rural town where you can breathe in pure and fresh air; it's the perfect place to spend a few days away from the city and take walks through the countryside, particularly through the enclosed dehesas of holm oaks. The area offers a variety of great walking routes such as Cordel de la Mesta (GR-39), Camino Mozárabe, Sierra Trapera, Arroyo Tolote and Peñas Altas.
When visiting Valsequillo, try a few of their traditional local dishes such as, lechoncito frito con pimientos y patatas (suckling pig with chips and peppers), bacalao rebozado (battered cod), callos de ternera con pan frito (beef tripe with fried bread), pinchos morunos(meat skewers), rabo de toro (oxtail), chuletas de cordero lechal (lamb chops) and cabrito (roast goat).
Cabalgata Reyes Magos
Three Kings procession celebrated on the evening of 5 January.
Celebrated the 2 February.
Celebrated in February.
Día de Andalucía
Celebrated the 28 February.
Celebrated on Resurrection Sunday.
Holy Week (dates vary each year).
Cruces de Mayo
Celebrated in May.
Romería en Honor a Nuestra Señora la Virgen de Fátima
Celebrated the second Sunday of May.
Celebrated in August.
Feria de Agosto y La Matinée
Celebrated in August.
Tómbola del Cristo
Celebrated the Sunday before San Mateo.
Celebrated the 24 December.