by Saskia Mier
Espartinas has a unique appreciation for bulls and religion, hosting the Exposición Nacional de Escultura Religiosa (National Religious Sculpture Exhibition) every November and the many bullfights that take place each spring. Every year on the 8 September (day of the patron of Ajarafe), the Air Force put on an acrobatic aerial display. It has about 15, 000 inhabitants.
The origin of Espartinas dates back to the Turdetana domination of the South of the peninsula, although later the settlement was destroyed by the Romans. Several Roman villas were created such as, Lauretum (Loreto), Mejina (Messina, Mexina), Paterna, Villalvilla and Espartina.
Under the Muslim domination Espartinas and the other villages belonged to the district of Hish-al-Farach, today San Juan de Aznalfarache, one of the four districts in which Aljarafe was divided in the Muslim period. The other three being; Aznalcázar, Aznalcóllar and Solúcar de Albaida.
In 1248, the Re-conquest of Seville took place. While many of the villages eventually became depopulated, Espartinas became the main nucleus. In 1281 the town participated in the Battle of Baeza.
More recently, the Sevilla-Huelva highway has led to a great increase of the town. It also stands out for having a large bullring inaugurated in 2005, coinciding with the 25th anniversary of the bullfighter, Espartaco. This bullring had a large overhead and is currently underutilized.
THINGS TO SEE
Iglesia de la Asunción
The church was built in the middle of the seventeenth century and enlarged in 1726 by, Diego Antonio Diaz. In the 1760s the temple was restored, Pedro de Silva and Francisco Romero built a new bell tower and from 1770 to 1771 renovated by, Ambrosio de Figueroa. The main Baroque altar was made by, Luis de Vílchez in 1732. At the beginning of the twentieth century a Neo-Gothic chapel was added. Located on Calle San Francisco de Asís.
Museo Didáctico de la Imaginería
The museum is composed of three floors: ground floor with reception area and shop, first floor with the exhibition and work room for schoolchildren and a second floor where you will find the Imaginary Research Centre (CIDI). The main objective is to introduce visitors to the rich world of Polychrome Imaging. Located in Hacienda Nuestra Señora de los Remedios, Avenida Alcaldesa Mª Regla Jiménez.
September-July, Monday-Friday, 10:00-14:00hrs and 16:00-20:00hrs.
September-July, Saturday and Sunday, 10:00-14:00hrs.
Guided Tours, 10:00-13:00hrs and 16:00-19:00hrs.
Tel: 955 64 02 81 or 607 86 27 32
Plaza de Toros
The Neo-Classic bullring was inaugurated in 2005 by architect, Carmen Gil Calderón and seats 3,400 people. The most important feature of the square is its functionality since it can host any kind of bullfighting, cultural, sports or leisure event. It also has access for the disabled and an elevator that communicates with the residential stage and the future bullfighting museum. Located on Calle Sierra de Aracena.
Casa de las Monjas
The house was founded in the eighteenth century as a palace, Hacienda San Rafael, gradually increasing its dimensions over time as further properties were purchased surrounding it. In the nineteenth century it became Hacienda San Rafael, an olive farm with farmhouse, mill, warehouses and stables. Later in the twentieth century it was donated to the Convent of Franciscan Sisters, where their headquarters were installed until the end of the twentieth century when it was abandoned. Currently it is the culture house. Located on Federico Leal Castaño.
Espartinas has always produced wine since the vineyards occupied almost all their lands, with different types of grapes: Garria, Zalema, Airen, Pedro Ximénez, Palomina, Mollar Blanca, Mollar Negra and Beba. There are three wineries that can be visited, Bodegas Loreto, Bodegas Patacabra and Bodegas Peinado.
THINGS TO SEE OUTSIDE THE VILLAGE
Convento de Nuestra Señora de Loreto
A Franciscan convent built between 1716 and 1733 consists of a church, sacristy, two cloisters with galleries and intermediate spaces that communicate to the buildings, built by, Diego Antonio Diaz. The main altar was built in the mid-eighteenth century and the interior contains a mocha tower of the late Middle Ages. Located on Calle Camino de Loreto, off the A-8076.
Espartinas offers the typical gastronomy known in the Aljarafe area, not forgetting the importance of the local wines produced such as, Pata Cabra. Dishes to try include guisos de carnes y pescados (meat and fish stews), cola de toro (oxtail), garbanzos con langostinos (chickpeas with langostines), alcachofas con gambas y piñones (artichokes with prawns and pinenuts), arroz con perdíz (partridge rice), gazpacho, pimientos asados al carbón (roast peppers), bacalao "a la Tinaja" (cod) and caldereta de ternera (beef stew).
Traditional handicrafts produced in Espartinas include pottery, embroidery and sculpting.
Cabalgata Reyes Magos
Three Kings procession celebrated on the evening of 5 January.
Fiesta del Mosto
Grape pressing festival celebrated in January or Febuary.
Celebrated in February.
Celebrated on Resurection Sunday.
Celebrated in August.
Festividad de Nuestra Señora de Loreto
Celebrated the 8 September.
Exposición Nacional de Escultura Religiosa
Celebrated in November.
A gardening and environmental fair. Date changes from year to year.
An open air arts fair, the only one in Southern Spain. Date changes from year to year.