Alcolea del Río


by Saskia Mier

Alcolea del Río is situated on the Rio Guadalquivir and whose name derives from the Muslim 'Al-Qulaya', diminutive of 'Al-Qalat', meaning 'small fortress'. It has about 3400 inhabitants.


Alcolea del Río was originally occupied by a settlement called Canama, known by the Romans as "Municipium Flavium Canamense". Important archaeological remains have been found suggesting the location of two Roman settlements, Arva and Canama. These settlements used the river to trade pottery, amphorae of wine and oil between the Bética and Roman Empire. The site of Arva is located in the area of ​​the mill of 'La Peña de la Sal', and the site of Canama in the area of ​​'La Mesa'.

During Muslim domination, Alcolea del Río was a strategic enclave on the road between Cordoba and Seville. It consisted of an inn for passing travellers and a small fortress that defended one of the fords of the river.

The re-conquest took place in 1247 by Christian armies who were commanded by the Prior of San Juan. It was donated to the Military Order of St. John of Jerusalem, to which it belonged until the nineteenth century and later part of the Priory of Lora del Río. Alcolea del Río was divided in 1504 as a grant by the Spanish Crown to a colony in America conferring the right to demand tribute and forced labour from the Indian inhabitants, thanks to Commander Anton Farfán de los Gothos.


Parroquia de San Juan Bautista
The Mudejar style church was built in the fourteenth century. One of its entrances consists of an archway decorated with mouldings, trimmed by a simple decorated 'alfiz' adornment, typical of the Catholic Kings style. This entrance and other works in its' interior suggest they were made at the beginning of the sixteenth century. It was later reformed at the end of eighteenth century.  Located on Plaza de España.


Molinos de La Aceña
These flour mills are located on the banks of the Guadalquivir River, near the village. They were modified after the re-conquest and were still in use well into this century. Currently their interiors are in very poor state.

Ruinas Romanas
Two Roman archaeological sites, Arva and Canama. Arva is located two kilometres upstream of the Guadalquivir River and Canama is located on an elevated plain north of the village.


Typical dishes worth trying when visiting Alcolea del Río include caldereta de carne (meat stew), garbanzos pelados (peeled chickpeas) and salmorejo marinero (cold tomato soup). Sweet treats include pestiños (sweet honey pastries), tortas de aceite (olive oil pastries) and helados artesanos (homemade ice-creams).


Cabalgata Reyes Magos
Three Kings procession celebrated on the evening of 5 January.

Las Candelarias
Celebrated the first week of February.

Celebrated in February.

Día de Andalucía
Celebrated the 28 February.

Semana Santa
Holy Week.

Romería de la Virgen del Rosario
Celebrated the second Sunday of May.

San Roque
Celebrated the 16 August.

Fiestas Patronales en Honor a la Virgen del Consuelo
Celebrated the 8 September.

Procesion Virgen del Rosario
Celebrated in October.

Jornadas y Mercado Medieval
Medieval market celebrated the last week of November.


Alcolea del Río is located 51km from Seville. To get there, take the A-4 east leaving Seville. Take exit 506 towards Carmona, turning left onto the A-457 and right onto the SE-4107. Continue on and at the roundabout take the 2nd exit onto the SE-4104 passing Guadajoz and continuing until you reach Alcolea del Río.

Hover the cursor over Alcolea de Rio to see bigger map and click to go to the maps page.