by Saskia Mier
Brenes is situated in the very heart of the Seville province and is very well known for its furniture production. It has about 12,600 inhabitants.
It is suggested the origins of the first settlement in Brenes date to the years 100,000-30,000 along the Guadalquivir River. During Roman domination, there was no urban nucleus, but the land was used for the exploitation of olive groves for oil and cereals. The Guadalquivir River was vital for trade as goods were transported to other locations.
After Visigoth ruling, Brenes passed into the hands of the Moors after the conquest in 711, and was known as Alquería de Qulumbira or Qulumbayra. The Moors intensively exploited agriculture and large coniferous forests on the banks of the Guadalquivir River, resulting in an intense traffic of coal. River fishing was another source of wealth, as well as livestock.
From 1246-1247 Fernando III gave the settlement to the King of Castile. The King later gave it to Infante Don Fadrique, brother of Alfonso X. In 1260, Alfonso X granted Brenes to the Cathedral of Seville. In 1285, Brenes was owned by Archbishop Don Remondo.
In 1574 Brenes passed to the Crown by Juan Antonio Vicentelo de Leca y Herrera, that entered in the Castilian nobility as First Count of Cantillana and Marquis of Brenes.
The arrival of the railway had a huge impact on Brenes and on 7 July 1857, the Córdoba-Seville line was established.
THINGS TO SEE
Parroquia de la Purísima Concepción
The Mudejar church dates from the end of the fifteenth century. It was restored in 1993 with paintings in its interior by Juan del Castillo, the only existing pieces in Spain by this painter. Located in Plaza Primero de Mayo.
Ermita de San Sebastián Matir
The chapel was originally built in the seventeenth century and has been renovated several times throughout the eighteenth, nineteenth and twentieth century's. Located on Calle Paseo del Agua.
Torre del Molino de la Hacienda de San Sebastián
The tower of the mill belonging to Hacienda de San Sebastián is a building built at the end of the nineteenth century. Typical design of Andalusian farm houses of the nineteenth century, today it is a private property and in a semi-ruin state. Located on Calle Paseo del Agua.
A brick chimney belonging to an old factory of the industrial age, still visible today. Due to proximity of the river, Brenes took advantage of the clay to produce tiles that where then transported via the river to be sold. Located on Paseo de Córdoba.
Monumento a los Derechos Constitucionales
The Monument of Constitutional Rights consisting of a metal statue represents a farm worker and sits raised on a pedestal, accessible by stairs, with the words 'freedom' and 'right to work' engraved on it. The statue dates to the last quarter of the twentieth century. Located on Paseo José Fernández Vega.
Monumento dedicado al Costalero
The sculpture was made in 2007 by artist, Germán Pérez Vargas, and is a bronze bust showing the image of a 'costalero' (a person who carries a religious image in a procession) with typical characteristics. Located on Calle Paseo del Agua.
Biblioteca Municipal "Rafael Alberti"
The municipal public library "Rafael Alberti" was inaugurated by the same writer on 23 August 1989. Since last April 2007, the library was restored to update its image. Located on Calle Salvador Dalí.
The gastronomy that Brenes has to offer includes dishes such as caracoles (snails), menestra de alcauciles (artichoke stew) and pescado de Río (river fish). Brenes also has a rich production of mandarins, oranges, peaches and nectarines also worth a try. For sweet treats, try palmeras de huevo y chocolate (egg and chocolate palmiers) and tortas de aceite (olive oil pastries).
Today, the only two handicrafts that remain in Brenes are furniture production and embroidery.
Cabalgata Reyes Magos
Three Kings procession celebrated on the evening of 5 January.
Romería de San Sebastián
Celebrated the 20 January.
Celebrated in February.
Día de Andalucía
Celebrated the 28 February.
Cruces de Mayo
Celebrated in May.
Cultos y Fiestas de la Santa Cruz
Celebrated in May.
Romería de San Benito Abad
Celebrated the last Sunday of August.
Fiestas Patronales en Honor a Nuestra Señora del Rosario
Celebrated the first Saturday of October.
Feria de Octubre
Celebrated approx. 7-10 October.
A race entered by members of all ages, celebrated the 1 November.
Brenes is located 23km from Seville. To get there, take the A-8009 leaving Seville. At the roundabout, take the 1st exit onto the A-8004. Continue on the A-8004 until you reach Brenes.