by Saskia Mier
Cantillana holds an annual popular and well-known festival known as Fiesta de la Divina Pastora that has been declared of interest to tourists. It has about 10,800 inhabitants.
Archaeological remains confirm the origin of Cantillana date back to the time of the polished stone. The Romans established an important settlement called Naeva, with a river port on the Guadalquivir. During the Low Roman Empire, the name Naeva was changed to Cantillana.
The Arabs rebuilt a wall surrounding Cantillana that had previously been there during Roman era. It was later conquered by Fernando III in 1247 and in 1248 the town was granted to the Order of Santiago and in 1252 passed to the Señorío of the Archbishopric of Seville.
King Don Pedro I of Castile, known as El Cruel, spent summers in a recreational estate of Cantillana, previously owned by the grandfather of Don Pedro, King Fernando IV El Emplazado.
The Catholic Kings granted important privileges and grants to the town. Queen Isabel stayed in Cantillana during her trip to Seville in 1478. Years later, in February 1502, Isabel and Fernando camped here and signed the cession of the Monastery of Santa María de las Cuevas. At the beginning of the sixteenth century there was a significant economic growth, due to the fishing trade developed by the Sevillian boatmen who passed to Cordoba.
During the reign of Felipe II, Cantillana stopped being Señorío of the Archbishopric of Seville. On 26 April 1567, Felipe II sold the village to Juan Antonio Vicentelo de Leca.
In 1771, the friars of the Convent of San Francisco of Villaverde arrived at the Franciscan Convent of Cantillana, due to its ruined state.
During the nineteenth century, Cantillana was a stop off for those travelling to Extremadura and the mines of Almadén de la Plata, causing great economic growth to the village. The Guadalquivir River was used to trade extracted locally stone, coal from the mines of Villanueva and iron from El Pedroso.
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THINGS TO SEE
Iglesia Parroquial de Nuestra Señora de la Asunción
The construction of the church began in 1555 by Juan Perez Caravallo and came to a stop in 1619, later continued by Leonardo de Navas, following the design of the architect, Diego López Bueno. The church was completed during the second half of the eighteenth century.
In 1936, most of the valuable heritage of the church was lost. Located on Calle Iglesia.
Ermita de San Bartolomé
The chapel was built in the fourteenth century and suffered great damage from the Civil War. In the eighteenth century, the Baroque entrance topped with an artistic bullring was built. Located on Calle San Bartolomé.
Iglesia del Dulce Nombre de Jesús y Santa Misericordia
The present church was built during the fourteenth century. During the Moorish era, the church was a mosque, looking towards Mecca. In the last years it has hosted the brotherhoods of San Benito and of the Sacred Entry in Jerusalem. Currently, it is headquarters to the Brotherhood of San Benito Abad. Located in Plaza de la Misericordia.
Ermita de Nuestra Señora de la Soledad
The chapel was built at the end of the eighteenth century, on an earlier temple destroyed after the Lisbon earthquake in 1755. The municipal cemetery sits next to the chapel, bearing the same name of the patron and dating to the nineteenth century. Located on Avenida de Nuestra Señora de la Soledad.
Ermita Santuario de la Divina Pastora
The chapel began its construction in 1956 and took three years to finish thanks to the generous contribution of pilgrims. The Sevillian architect, Aurelio Gómez Millán, carried out the design in Andalusian style. Located in Los Pajares.
Hospital de los Santos
The Hospital was built in the fifteenth century of Gothic-Mudejar style. Today it is an exhibition hall, and recently it hosted an exhibition of painter, Ocaña Ocaña. Located on Calle Miguel de Cervantes.
Torre del Reloj
The clock tower dates to the twelfth century and served as a military fort, forming part of the old wall that surrounded the area. It has a coat of arms on its face with an imperial eagle and a castle, belonging to the Counts of Cantillana Los Vicentelos de Leca. The tower collapsed due to foundation problems and underwent major architectural work with the addition of the bell tower in the nineteenth century. Located on Calle Cardenal Espínola.
Plaza de Toros
The bull ring was inaugurated on 22 June 1905, one of the oldest in the province of Seville. It has capacity of 2,380 people and was once owned by the Sáenz de Tejada López family until 2002, when it was acquired by the Town Hall. It was restored in 2003 and currently, in addition to bullfights, hosts other cultural events. Located on Carretera de la Estación.
Piedra del Moro
The remains of the wall that surrounded Cantillana, dating to the fourteenth century. It was made of mortar and brick. Located on Calle Chito.
Plaza del Caño
A Typical square of Andalusian style, known as Plaza del Caño because of the proximity to a pipe that once drained water from the local houses. In the Moorish era, it was the public fountain where inhabitants washed before entering the mosque.
Plaza del Llano
Centrally placed very close to the Town Hall, surrounded by various shops, bars and cafes. It is a meeting place for the locals as well as hosting various events.
Plaza de la Alameda
The square is about 130m in length, with a perimeter of about 400m and has an approximate extension of 0.5 hectares. The abundance of 'álamos' (poplars) give name to the square and are an ideal place to enjoy summer evenings.
Cantillana grows two great products locally that are a must when visiting; oranges and artichokes. Many local dishes include these ingredients, such as, alcauciles rellenos (stuffed artichokes), revueltos (scrambled eggs with artichoke), papas con alcauciles (artichoke and potato stew) as well as using oranges to make various sauces to accompany certain dishes.
Game meats are also popular, including partridge, rabbit and venison, served with migas (fried bread with chorizo and orange). Also worth trying are espárragos trigueros (asparagus) and tagarninas (wild thistle), usually stewed or cooked with eggs, as well as caracoles (snails), river fish, huevos rellenos (stuffed eggs) and estofado de ternera (beef stew). Sweet treats include pestiños, piñonates, gañotes (sweet pastries), torrijas (eggy bread) and rosquillos (donuts).
Local handicrafts produced in Cantillana are hand-made Manila shawls, saddlery, and pottery.
Cabalgata Reyes Magos
Three Kings procession celebrated on the evening of 5 January.
Celebrated on 2 February.
Celebrated in February.
Día de Andalucía
Celebrated the 28 February.
Fiestas del Ciclo Festivo Pastoreño
Celebrated the thrid week of May.
Celebrated in June.
Fiesta de Nuestra Señora de la Asunción
Celebrated the 15 August.
Romería de San Benito Abad
Celebrated the last weekend of August.
Celebrated the 8 September.
Cantillana is located 32kms from Seville. To get there, take the A-8005 and continue on over the roundabouts. At the fifth roundabout, take the 3rd exit onto SE-3101 and continue on until you reach Cantillana.