by Saskia Mier
Gelves offers visitors a unique trip on a catamaran down one of the various routes of the Guadalquivir River. The trip departs from the river's Puerto Deportivo. One of the most interesting trips takes you to Alcala del Rio and includes a stop at the Parque del Majuelo in La Rinconada. It has about 9,900 inhabitants.
Human settlement in Gelves dates to the period of the Palaeolithic era with the first foundations dating from the Turdetan period based on the thesis that the name "Gelduba" comes from this civilization. It is suggested the town was founded by the father of Julius Caesar, named Lucio Vergento. Others think, however, that it was founded by Augusto César, whom they adored by the name of "Genio".
Gelves was conquered in 1247 by the troops captained by, Pelay Perez Correa, Master of the Order of Santiago, who took Gelves, devastating it and then marching against Seville still in the possession of the Moors. Six years later it was Re-conquered by, Alfonso X, who later ceded it to, Ruy López de Mendoza.
Later it passed into the hands of the Guzmán Family and onto, Fernando Sánchez de Tovar, in 1370. This town would have great importance during the reign of the Catholic Monarchs, for their economic and material support that the people lent in the military campaigns and in the project of the discovery of the American continent. In 1527, the territory belonged to the Count of Ureña, to whom King Carlos I granted him the privilege of being able to sell Gelves to Don Jorge of Portugal.
During the eighteenth century Gelves was famous for its waters and landscapes, and under the ownership of the Dukes acquired an important social life. In 1736 it suffered one of the greatest catastrophes of its history with the overflow of the Guadalquivir River. In 1902 the title of Count of Gelves passed to the Ducal House of Alba, until 1974.
THINGS TO SEE
Iglesia Santa María de Gracia
The Baroque church dates to the sixteenth century, commissioned by the first Count of Gelves, Don Jorge Alberto de Portugal, at the request of his wife. It was later restored in the eighteenth century. Located on Calle Párroco Juan de Dios Corrales.
Monumento Joselito "El Gallo"
The monument was made by sculptor, Collaut Valera. It represents the bullfighter, Joselito, in a victorious posture after finishing his work, while the bull appears on the floor with limbs suspended and mortally wounded. The monument was completed by, Antonio Bienvenida, who placed the banderillas to the bull and the stock to the bullfighter. Located in Plaza "Joselito El Gallo".
Puerto GelvesThe Gelves Marina is only 89km from Sanlúcar de Barrameda and the Atlantic Ocean, and navigators can access it without locks or bridges, not forgetting enjoying a magnificent natural environment where you can find native bird species. One of its main attractions is its crane capable of launching and stranding vessels of up to 25 tons, and hydraulic car to move the boats inside its wide dry marina. Its own physical characteristics also make it one of the safest ports in Spain. Puerto Gelves has the capacity to house more than 300 boats and has become the most important wintering port in the community. Amongst other services, nautical teaching academies offer classes to obtain both recreational and professional titles. It also houses in its premises companies and professionals dedicated to offer tourist charter to companies, students and all type of clients.
La Escuela de Artes y Artesanías de Andalucía Della Robbia
The school of arts and crafts of Andalusia owes its name to a famous fifteenth century Italian sculptor and ceramist, Della Robbia. It started in 1993 with the aim of recovering crafts. With more than 20 years of experience in the training directed to the professional sector of the crafts, it is a reference in the investigation and preservation of the artistic and monumental Andalusian heritage.
Gelves offer a variety of green areas making it a pleasant place to live and visit. In addition to having large natural parks such as; El Pandero, Los Manantiales, El Cañuelo and Corredor Verde Metropolitano, it has sixteen urban parks equipped for adults and children.
Due to the location of Gelves on the Guadalquivir River, there is a rich variety of fresh fish and seafood on offer. Also worth trying are the typical dishes of the village, such as, cascote (bean and rice pork stew) and ajo molinero (garlic and orange bread dish). Sweet treats include homemade pestiños (honey pastries) and torrijas (eggy bread). It should be noted that Gelves is part of the Ruta del Arroz (Rice Tour) in Seville.
Gelves is specifically known for producing excellent quality furniture that mixes English, French and Spanish style.
Cabalgata Reyes Magos
Three Kings procession celebrated on the evening of 5 January.
Celebrated in February.
Fiestas en Honor de Nuestra Señora de Gracia
Celebrated the last week of August.
Rio y Sabor
Gastronomic fair celebrated in October.