by Saskia Mier
Gerena is rich in archaeological remains, famous Andalusian architecture and unique landscape which consist mostly of abandoned quarries. It is the perfect destination for nature lovers and hunting enthusiasts. It has about 7400 inhabitants.
It is possible that the Etruscan settlement established a colony in the mining region of Itucci or Tucci (Tejada), of which Gerena was part of the metal routes. Many archaeological sites can be found dating to the Iberian and Roman era.
Gerena was re-conquered by Fernando III "El Santo" in 1247, beginning a stage of demographic growth and promotion, especially thanks to literature and a key figure of medieval poetry, Garcí Fernández.
During the Modern Age the town was no longer dependant on the capital and passed into private hands, forming the Condado de Gerena.
In the eighteenth century, Gerena was a thriving agriculture village and gained independence during the nineteenth century.
Thanks to the exploitation of granite quarries, Gerena was saved from the economic crisis of the mid-nineteenth century. The quarries continued to be the main source of wealth in the first half of the twentieth century. Eventually the exploitation of granite ceased to be profitable due to the high cost of extraction.
THINGS TO SEE
Museo del Cantero
The museum is based on a self guided tour through explanatory panels, tools, audiovisual supports and photographic exhibitions, showing the extraction, transformation and commercialization of granite. Located on Calle Fuente Santa.
Monday-Friday, 10:00-14:00hrs and 17:00-19:00hrs.
Tel: 955 78 29 29
Due to Gerena's ancient location on a crossroads of roads, the basilica was visited mainly by merchants of minerals and grains, by royals of Italica and especially pilgrims travelling on the south route of the Camino de Santiago. Located on Camino de la Basílica.
A large farmhouse dating to the beginning of the seventeenth century built on a large stone. It belonged to the Count of Santa Coloma, Count of Gerena. It currently belongs to the Marquis of Albaserrada. Located on Calle La Iglesia.
Fuente de los Caños
One of the Roman architectural remains present in Gerena, consisting of a fountain and thermal baths. It is probable that it also served as a drinking trough. The neoclassical fountain was restored in 1883, respecting the seating area and two pipes. Located on Calle Fuente de los Caños.
Restos de Muralla Romana
The remains of a Roman wall dating to the first century that surrounded the centre of the village. Located on Calle La Iglesia.
Iglesia de San Benito
The church dates to the Christian re-conquest, belonging to the Hospital of San Benito, which served as a rest stop to pilgrims and passersby who passed through Gerena to Santiago de Compostela on the silver route. Located on Calle Cristo de la Vera Cruz.
Capilla de Arriba
The former Mudejar chapel of Santa Maria de la Asunción and Hospital for passers-by, it is believed that it was built at the beginning of the sixteenth century. Located on Calle San Sebastián.
Iglesia Parroquial Nuestra Señora de la Encarnación
The Mudejar church was built from the eighth century to the fourteenth century, in several stages. It was destroyed by the Lisbon earthquake of 1755 and was reconstructed. In 1932, the church suffered a great fire and the only thing that was saved was a gothic style carving of a crucified man. The roof was rebuilt in 1936. Located on Calle La Iglesia.
Mirador de Las Canterlas
A small square built in a high area of the village providing a viewpoint with wonderful views over the village, quarries and Sevillian countryside. Located on Calle Doctor Alonso Barahona.
Gerena offers three walking routes in the area; Ruta de Rompezapatos with a duration of 1 hour over 3km, Ruta del Ferrocarril measuring 7km. This leads to Via Verde Italica. There is also the Ruta Camino de los Arrieros with a duration of 2 hours over 6km.
Gerena is specifically known for a dish called collejas, a herb (silene vulgaris) that usually used in omelettes and stews. Other dishes worth trying are the meat stews, cocido (chickpea stew), gazpacho and salmorejo (cold tomato soup). The most popular sweet treats are tortas de hojaldre (pastry tarts elaborated with fruit and crèmes).
Cabalgata Reyes Magos
Three Kings procession celebrated on the evening of the 5 January.
Celebrated in February.
Día de Andalucía
Celebrated the 28 February.
Cruces de Mayo
Celebrated in May.
Feria y Romería de Virgen de la Encarnación
The pilgrimage starts off the festival on the last Thursday in May and the Feria lasts a few days.