by Saskier Mier
Aldeaquemda is a mountain village located in the middle of the Sierra Morena. It is an ideal destination for tourists who love the countryside, and has about 480 inhabitants.
Although the town was formally founded in 1768, its early occupation dates back to prehistory, attested by the discovery of some quartzite tools in terraces of the Guarrizas River and by the abundant samples of rock art found throughout the area. Similarly, handmade ceramics from the Copper and Bronze Ages have been unearthed, although no settlements from these eras have been identified due to the rough terrain and abundant vegetation. More>
THINGS TO SEE
Centro de Interpretación Pablo de Olavide
The Pablo de Olavide Interpretation Centre is a space for hosting cultural activities, as well as a Museum and the local Tourist Office. It was inaugurated on October 31, 2017. The Interpretation and Eco-Museum Centre shows, through different panels and audiovisual technologies, the valuable cultural heritage of rock art existing in this municipality (declared a “World Heritage Site” by UNESCO in 1998), the natural heritage of the Natural Park of La Cimbarra Waterfall and others, and the historical heritage associated with the colonisation of Carlos III in the eighteenth century. Located on Calle Blas Infante.
Saturday and Sunday, 11:00-14:00hrs.
Tel: 680 104 199.
Iglesia de la Purísima Concepción
The colonial-style church dates from the second half of the eighteenth century and has a rectangular floor plan and a single nave covered with a half-barrel vault with lunettes. In the centre of the nave is a niche on each side, framed by a portico formed of two Doric columns on a pedestal with an entablature and a triangular pediment. There is a choir located at the foot of the church. The exterior features a simple brick façade with a semicircular door and two oculi at the top, finished off with a belfry. Attached to either side of the church are two houses, one corresponding to the old house of the Priest, and the other to the Post Commander.
Arte Rupestre del Arco Mediterráneo Español
This collection of prehistoric schematic and Levantine-style paintings is scattered over crags and rock shelters. These sites are unique because of their themes, and are the most important in Andalusia, considered invaluable open-air museums. The paintings, mainly on rock shelters, were studied at the beginning of the twentieth century by Abate Brehuil and Manuel Cabré, who cataloged most of the paintings in the area. The site is Declared an Asset of Cultural Interest in Spain, and in 1998, UNESCO declared “Arte Rupestre del Arco Mediterráneo Español” a World Heritage Site, including the 19 sites in Aldeaquemada.
Casa del Cura
The Priest house is currently undergoing restoration after an extensive period of neglect. It once housed the ‘tele-club’, one of many social centres opened throughout Spain with the arrival of the first televisions. When television became an article of common use, the ‘tele-club’ moved to the Pósito de Diezmo, and later, inevitably, disappeared. Located in Plaza Constitución.
Casa del Comandante
The House of the Commander fulfilled the function of Town Hall for many years and even that of a corral, where bulls and wild cows were locked up during the San Miguel festival. Today it is the Retirement Home, renovated and recently inaugurated. Located on Calle Miguel Hernandez.
Pósito de Diezmo y Labradores (Ayuntamiento)
This eighteenth-century building is typical of the colonies and foundations of Carlos III, built in brick, rectangular in shape, with two floors and a gabled roof where it has a discreet attic brick structure that houses the clock. It has undergone numerous uses over time as a jail, retirement home, butcher shop and tele-club. It was used as a grain store for cereals harvested by farmers in times of famine, and its side doors were used as a market place for products not available in other colonies. This lead to the building being formally used as the site of the town’s Thursday market until a few years ago. Today, it houses the Town Hall. Located in Plaza Constitución.
IN THE COUNTRYSIDE
Cascada La Cimbarra
The waterfall has carved a beautiful spot into the spectacularly steep relief, where the Guarrizas River follows its course with a series of waterfalls, this being its most beautiful and spectacular. There is an exposed vertical face, formed by rocky strata that are very resistant to erosion. This rock is known as Armorican Quartzite, and can also be seen in other places in the surrounding area, such as in the Despeñaperros Natural Park or the Natural Monument of Órganos. Remains of fossils can sometimes be found in these rocks, or spectacular ripple marks caused by waves. These prints prove that these rocks had a sea origin, 500 million years ago. As well as the waterfalls, this nature reserve has a wide variety of vegetation such as holm oak and cork oak copses with thick Mediterranean scrubland and an interesting riverbank forest near the water channels. Thanks to the variety of landscapes, there are interesting animals, predators such as the fox or genet, birds such as the golden eagle, Bonelli’s eagle, or eagle owl, and otters who live in the rivers. Due to the significant interest that its birds attract, the area has been declared a Special Bird Protection Area.
Crafts enthusiasts visiting Aldeaquemada will find items made from leather and decorative ceramic objects.
Aldeaquemada’s gastronomy is a product of its geographical isolation, the passage of shepherds and influences from nearby La Mancha. Its Gastronomic Festivals, which take place every year in May, are famous. Popular dishes to try when visiting Aldeaquemada include migas de patata (mashed potato and onion), calderillo (potato stew with rabbit), ajoharina or galianos (meat pasties) and estofado de carne de monte (game stew). Sweet treats include rosquillos (cinnamon biscuits), roscas de San Antón (aniseed biscuits), roscos fritos (doughnuts) and dulces de manteca (lard and almond cakes).
Popular festivals in Aldeaquemada are San Antón, Semana Santa, San Miguel and Fiestas de Agosto. More>
The neighbouring villages to Aldeaquemada are Santa Elena and Castile-La Mancha.