ALBAIDA DEL ALJARAFE
By Saskia Mier
Albaida del Aljarafe has a rich and thriving agricultural industry, cultivating 703 hectares of olive groves as well as grain, seeds and livestock. It has about 3000 inhabitants.
Albaida del Aljarafe was founded by the Turdetanos, who named it Kaelia. It was an important nucleus during the Roman era, to the point of minting its own currency. Its present name derives from the name given to it by the Moors, Solucar Al-bayda.
It happened to be called Sanlúcar de Albaida until it took the name of Albaida, and in 1916 by Decree was constituted with the current name of Albaida of Aljarafe. It was conquered in 1246 by the Master of the Order of Santiago, Don Pelayo Perez Correa.
After the conquest of Seville, it passed on forming part of the land ceded to the infant, Don Fadrique, which today still conserves the original tower. Later it belonged to the Cabildo Catedral of the Province, until in the seventeenth century, when it became part of the Lordship of the Count-Dukes of Olivares.
THINGS TO SEE
Torre de Don Fadrique
The tower was built in 1253 by, Don Fadrique de Castilla (1223-1277), son of Fernando III "El Santo" and Beatriz de Suabia and brother to Alfonso X "El Sabio". It is connected to the centre of the village by a network of underground galleries which today are totally destroyed and abandoned. Located on Calle Torremocha.
Iglesia Parroquial de Nuestra Señora de la Asunción
The Neo-Classical church was built during the eighteenth century and contains images, canvases and other liturgical objects of great value from the seventeenth, eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Located in Plaza de España.
Ermita de la Vera Cruz
The Hospital of San Sebastián was constructed in the sixteenth century on this original spot where the chapel was later built over it in the seventeenth century. It was restored in 1896, but due to its poor state of conservation, was rebuilt again in 1903. In 1969, the roof collapsed during Holy Mass and all the interior was destroyed except for its greater altarpiece. The current chapel was built by Álvaro Gómez Terrero. Located in Calle Cristo Rey.
Paraje Natural Corredor Verde del Río Guadiamar
The natural park is located near a rich fountain of life, named "the river of princes" by the Moors. The river is born near Castillo de las Guardas in Sierra Morena, runs through Aljarafe, until the sands and pine forests of Doñana. It is rich in flora and fauna and the Guadiamar Cyclotouristic track, also suitable for hiking and on horse-back, shows the differences and diversity of the river. Located 4km west of Albaida del Aljarafe.
One must try the local olives when visiting Albaida del Aljarafe, specifically those stuffed with anchovy. Other dishes include gazpacho, cocido en colorao (stew) which are traditionally served with olives, garbanzos con bacalao en amarillo (chickpeas with cod and saffron) and potaje de chícharos (pork stew). Typical sweet treats include rosquitos (sweet pastries) and bizcocho (traditional sponge cake).
Cabalgata Reyes Magos
Three Kings procession celebrated on the evening of 5 January.
Celebrated in February.
Fiesta de San Sebastián
Celebrated the 20 January.
Día de Andalucía
Celebrated the 28 February.
Festividad de la Santa Cruz
Celebrated the Sunday before the 3 May.
Festividad de la Virgen de los Dolores en su Soledad
Celebrated the 4-10 September, with the Romería (pilgrimage) taking part sometime during these days.
Festividad de la Santa Vera Cruz
Celebrated in the middle of September.