by Saskia Mier
Manzanilla is situated east of the Comarca El Condado surrounded by agricultural land, mainly vine, all to which goes to producing local wines from the Condado. It has about 2300 inhabitants.
There is no record or clear evidence of the original settlement of Manzanilla. Coins have been found in a nearby Roman villa called Ostur, in Cerro del Castillo, and there are also visible remains of foundations and stones belonging to this historical period.
After the conquest of Alfonso X in 1253, Manzanilla becomes part of the council of Seville as royal land. Subsequently, some of the territory becomes part of Donadío de Huégar, which belonged to the Marquis of Alcalá de la Alameda.
Huégar experienced remarkable progress and economic strength thanks to its vineyards that the Marquis of Alcalá Alameda rented to neighbours Manzanilla, Escacena, Chucena and Alcalá, therefore causing an economic boom for Manzanilla and its wine production. In 1833, Manzanilla joined the province of Huelva and became dependent on the judicial district of La Palma del Condado.
THINGS TO SEE
Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de la Purificación
The church dates back to the sixteenth, seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, designed by a variety of architects, such as Pedro de Silva, Antonio Matias de Figueroa and Lucas Cintora. The first references to the Mudejar church date back to 1555. Affected by the 1755 Lisbon earthquake, its reconstruction took on the current Barroque style. Located in Plaza de España.
Ermita de San Roque
The original function of the chapel was for protection,specifically against plague epidemics.
Construction dates to the eighteenth century. Located on Calle San Roque.
Ermita del Niño Jesus
Construction of the chapel began in the sixteenth century and has since undergone numerous reforms with more still to come.Located on Calle Santo Cristo.
The town hall forms part of the Palace of Osorno and was built on the Ermita de la Soledad in 1708. It was used as the town hall as from 1929 and in 1994, it was reformed according to the project of Francisco Jose Lopez Amate. Located in Plaza de Andalucía.
Mercado de Abastos
Originally used as a granary and inn, the current market was built in 1929. Located in Plaza de Andalucía.
Plaza de Andalucía
The main square forms the nerve centre of Manzanilla, surrounded by plants and flower beds. The highlight is a central pavilion called Morabito, made of brick and ceramic. Located in Plaza de Andalucía.
Bodego del Diezmo
The deteriorated Bodego del Diezmo belongs to Casa Rectoral. The entrances from the street show the faint remains of the mills that once functioned. Located on Calle Santa María.
Casa de los Osorno
This eighteenth century manor house was the main house of Brigadier and had its own chapel dedicated to the Virgen de la Soledad. Located on Calle Félix Osorno.
Casa del Telar
Casa del Telar is included within the architectural complex that belonged to the family Osorno. The name derives from a previous sewing workshop where women gathered to make embroidery and sewing pieces. This workshop finished halfway through the twentieth century.Located on Calle Doctor Fleming.
Casa Rectoral consists of a house and granary. The manor house is a beautiful example of architectural and agricultural style dating to 1787.Located on Calle Rafael de la Haba.
THINGS TO SEE OUTSIDE THE VILLAGE
Santuario de Nuestra Señora del Valle
The origin dates to the fifteenth century. The first chapel was expanded and enlarged in the eighteenth century by Don Gonzalo de Osorno. In 1992 restoration was completed on the entire building. Located on Avenida del Valle, 1km south-east of Manzanilla.
Dehesa del Castillo
Dehesa del Castillo is a large property mainly dedicated to agricultural and farming. The landscape is now Mediterranean pasture, but previously grew cereal crops, sunflowers and cotton. The property has its own bullring reflecting on the predominant breeding of bulls. Located on Camino Alameda, 5kms from Manzanilla.
There are two main walking routes available in the area. One, Manzanilla-Chucena, is 20kms in length and has duration of 2½ hours. The route travels south to Arroyo del Algarbe, and up towards Chucena, round to Manzanilla. The other, Villalba del Alcor-Manzanilla, is 6.2kms in length and has duration of 1 hour. The route starts in Villalba del Alcor and travels south and eventually north to Manzanilla.
The gastronomy of Manzanilla includes dishes such as calderetas (soupstews), estofados de carne de cerdo o de ternera con verduras y patatas (meatstews), conejo campero (rabbit), la pescada en blanco con patatas y gurumelos (fish in wine, potatoes and wild ceps) and tortillitas de bacalao (cod fritters).The most significant product of Manzanilla is the local dry sherry, hence being called Manzanilla,which is the name given to the tipple. There is also a great fruit production in Manzanilla and many sweet dishes are made using the local produce, such as rice pudding with banana cake, jams and many pastries filled with fruit compotes.
Traditional handicrafts include embroidery and all needlework. Due to such a popular tradition of sewing, there are many workshops producing flamenco dresses and other costumes. Carriage making is also well known in Manzanilla.
Cruz del Camino del Puerto
Celebrated in May with a pilgrimage.
Cruz del Camino del Campo
Celebrated in May with women dressed in traditional Spanish shawls with a pilgrimage on the next day.
Real Feria del Valle
Celebrated the 18-21 June in honour of Nuestra Señora del Valle.
Fiestas de San Roque
Celebrated the 15 and 16 August with processions.
Manzanilla is located 54kms from Huelva. To get there, take the H-31 leaving Huelva, onto the A-49 towards Seville. Take Exit 53 and 3rd exit at the roundabout. Continue on the HU-4102, at junction take a right turn onto the A-472 and 2nd exit at the roundabout. Continue on the A-472, passing La Palma del Condado and Villalba del Alcor, until you reach Manzanilla.