by Saskia Mier
Villarrasa is situated within the Comarca El Condado and thrives on it agricultural production of olives, vines and fruit. It has about 2100 inhabitants.
The first sign of human life found in Villarrasa dates back to the Chalcolithic period as seen at the site of "La Alquería", consisting of a grave in a covered gallery.
The Roman presence in the area is evident with "El Cortijo", where remains have been found such as a marble column preserved in the Provincial Archaeological Museum.
During the Moorish reign, the territory belonged to the Cora de Niebla.
When the Conde de Niebla was created in 1369, Villarrasa was within the jurisdiction of Niebla.
Villarrasa is one of the villages who started the first independent movement against the capital and privileges of Niebla at the beginning of the seventeenth century. In 1813, Villarrasa gained its village title.
THINGS TO SEE
Ermita de Nuestra Señora de los Remedios
The chapel has undergone several modifications; however its current structure is of Baroque style. Located on Calle Virgen de los Remedios.
Capilla de la Santa Cruz del Campo
The chapel has a Gothic-Renaissance style from 1981, replacing the previous one on land donated in 1889 by Doña Gertrudis Rivera y Pérez. Located on Calle Cruz.
Capilla de la Santa Cruz de Arriba
The Baroque chapel was built in 1988, the third to be built on this site. It was blessed on 26 May 1991. Located on Calle Alférez García Mateo.
Iglesia de San Vicente Mártir
The church was originally Moorish and Baroque but was rebuilt after the Civil War due to the poor conditions. The current Neo-Mudejar style building was reopened for worship in 1954. Located on Calle Iglesia.
Ermita de San Roque
The chapel was built in 1655 by order of the Town Hall in honour of the saint of epidemic diseases. Located in Plaza del Rocío.
Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de las Angustias (BIC)
The church began its construction in the sixteenth century and during later centuries the rest of the work was completed, incorporating Renaissance and Baroque elements. It has recently been restored by the Consejería de Cultura de la Junta de Andalucía. Located in Plaza de las Angustias.
Traditionally a leather tannery, and according to tradition was where Virgen de Los Remedios, the patroness of Villarrasa, appeared in 1503. Located on Calle Aparición.
The Town Hall was inaugurated in 1999, highlighting the most typical elements of the architecture of El Condado. Located in Plaza de España.
THINGS TO SEE OUTSIDE THE VILLAGE
A bridge built in 1935 over the Río Tinto. On the south side (nearest to Villarrasa), the landscape consists of gentle hills of cereal crops, olive trees and a farm (La Zorrera) dedicated to breeding bulls. On the north side, the landscape is replaced by eucalyptus, pines and scrub, very much seen in El Andevalo. Located north west of Villarrasa.
This beautiful resting place was given to the inhabitants of Villarrasa by King Fernando VII for their participation in the War of Independence and in particular the intervention during the Battle of Bailen in 1808 that marked the final withdrawal of French troops. An area filled with olive trees and a rich network of streams feeding into the Rio Tinto. Located north of Villarrasa.
Huerto del Hambre
The route is 10kms in length and has duration of 3-4 hours walking or 2½ hours by bicycle. The route begins in Villarrasa and travels northwards, eventually terminating in Huerto del Hambre, a natural spot ideal for viewing flora and fauna.
Villarrasa offers a variety of dishes all made from local produce such as caldereta de cordero (lamb stew), espinacas con garbanzos (spinach with chickpeas), potaje de garbanzos (chickpea stew), cabrillas con tomate (snails in tomato), habas cochas (broad beans), gazpacho, espárragos de la tierra guisados (stewed esparragus) and tostón con sardinas (oiled toasted bread with sardines). Sweet treats include roscos fritos, buñuelos, empanadillas, rosas de miel and torrijas con vino y miel. All dishes can be accompanied by local wines.
Local crafts specific to Villarrasa inlcude esparto for making shoes, chairs, mats etc as well as leather work. Today leather work has become popular for producing many pieces for the ever growing equine industry.
Romeria de San Vicente
The pilgrimage is celebrated the weekend after the 22 January.
Cruces de Mayo
Celebrated in May with various processions.
Romeria de San Isidro Labrador
The pilgrimage is celebrated during the middle of May.
Romeria El Rocio
The Brotherhoods travel to Aldea El Rocio on one the biggest pilgrimages in May.
Feria de Nuestra Señora de los Remedios
Celebrated as from the 15 August for a week.
Día de la Patrona
Celebrated on 18 December in honour of the patroness.
Fiesta de la Juventud
A large festival celebrated around the 25 July.
Villarrasa is located 39kms from Huelva. To get there, take the H-31 leaving Huelva and onto the A-49 towards Seville. Take Exit 53 and 2nd Exit at the roundabout. Continue on the HU-4102 until you reach Villarrasa.