Baños de la Encina
by Paz Rosado translated by Leoni Chaplow
Baños de Encina offers visitors interesting historical and artistic heritage as well as attractions for nature lovers. Originally named simply Baños, the village bacame 'de la Encina' ('of the holm oaks') in the 13th Century, when an apparition of the Virgin Mary was reported to have occurred amongst the oak trees.
THINGS TO SEE
Castillo de Burgalimar
Burgalimar castle, an impressive Arab fortress declared a national monument. It was built in 970 by the Cordoban Caliph Alhakam II. Notable for its fifteen ten metre high towers, Given its good condition, it can be considered as one of the best Muslim fortresses in Europe.
Iglesia de San Mateo
The Church of San Mateo was built between the XV and XVIII centuries and shows elements of different styles such as Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque.
Ermita de Cristo del Llano
The chaplel of Cristo del Llano is dated between the seventeenth and eighteenth century and where you can see a magnificent Baroque alcove-tower.
The Town Hall building is early XVI.
Casa Torreón Poblaciones Dávalos
The Davalos Populations Tower House is fifteenth century and that was part of the defensive wall of the town.
Palacio de Priores
Priores Palace is fifteenth century.
Palacio de Molino de la Cerda
The Palace of Molina de la Cerda is also fifteenth century.
IN THE COUNTRYSIDE
Playa de Tamujoso
The "beach" of Tamujoso in the Dehesa del Cristo ( a ranch) , just three kilometers from the town of Baños de la Encina.
El Puntal is a spot near the big dam of the Rio Grande reservoir.
Navamorquín is a location of scenic and archaeological interest.
Selladores is a place in theNatural Park of the Sierra de Andújar.
Site of Battle of Baelen
Along the road which links the Baños de Encina with nearby Bailén is the site where the famous battle against the French forces took place during the Penisular War in 1812.
Those who want to taste the traditional flavors of the cuisine of Baños de Encina should look out for dishes made with game meat such as estofado de ciervo (deer stew), perdiz en escabeche (pickled partridge) or calandrajos con liebre (Calandrajos with hare) . Its desserts include sweets like gachos santeras (porridge), tortas de aciete (cakes made with olive oil) and mantecados (shortbread made with olive oil and butter).
Fiesta de Candelaria
Candlemas in February is a traditional festival of bonfires.
Carnival in Febuary or March is celebrated all over Andalucia.
Holy week in March or April is celebrated all over Andalucia. Of note in Baños de Encina is the desenclavamiento which takes place in the early hours of Goof Friday.
Romeria de la Virgin de la Encina
This April pilgrimage of the Virgin de la Encina is combined with a popular picnic
Fiesta de los Emigrants
Feasta in August dedicated to the Emigrants of Baños de Encina. May who will return home for the festival.
Baños de la Encina Is located about 50 kilometres from the city of Jean, from which can be reached by taking the A-44 which joins the A-4. Take Exit km288 from the A-4 onto the A-6100, which leads you directly to Baños de la Encina.