by Saskia Mier
La Luisiana holds the preserved ruins of Roman baths that, in their day, were used as a spa for the upper class. These baths are the most known archaeological remains of the town although there are others around available for visitors to find and enjoy. It has about 4,600 inhabitants.
La Luisiana was founded in 1768 along with other towns that King Carlos III ordered to be built during the colonization plan for the New Villages of Andalusia and Sierra Morena. The first settlers came mainly from northern France and southern Germany and, to a lesser extent, Belgium, Holland, Switzerland, Austria and Italy. It was established in the Camino Real de Andalucía, in a place called Venta Quemada, which was inserted in the so-called Monclova Desert.
The assistant of Seville, Pablo de Olavide, understood that the only way to end the banditry that made it practically impossible to cross the Sierra Morena, was to populate the zone. For this reason, German Catholics were used whose surnames, customs and ethnic characteristics persisted in the population.
In 1835, Queen Maria Cristina, repealed the New Populations Charter, constituting the City of La Luisiana, dependent on the province of Seville.
THINGS TO SEE
Iglesia Parroquial de la Purísima Concepción
The church was constructed by Alonso Ruiz Florindo and inaugurated in 1769, being the first construction of the colony and due to the epidemic of Tercianas it was used as a hospital for men, known as "Juan Bautista Alvitt". The altarpiece has an interesting shield in polychrome wood with the arms of the King and founder, Carlos III. Located in Plaza de Pablo de Olavide.
This building is of great interest, artistic and archaeological; composed of two differentiated parts. Part A is the original Roman structure with a receiving pool of medicinal water for its optimal use as a spa, made of lime, stone and ceramic. The flooring dates to the end of the eighteenth century. These facilities would have been used by the high class only.
Part B is the enclosure, built of brick with two pavilions at the ends of the pool dating from the end of the eighteenth century. Subsequently, it was a dividing wall for the separation of sexes, being thus the north pavilion for men and the southern pavilion for women. Located on Calle Pio Baroja.
Fuente de los Borricos
The water source is situated at the entrance to the roman baths, initially an artesian well with a watering hole for animals. Some traces of its original structure are still conserved today. It dates from 1769. Located on Calle Pio Baroja.
Casa de Postas
The building dates to the late eighteenth century, representing a great example of Baroque style. The house was divided into two unequal parts; the first one has undergone a lot of restoration, and serves as a bakery and housing. The second part is better preserved and has a beautiful inner courtyard. The building is municipal property and has been temporarily ceded to the Guardia Civil. Located on Avenida Andalucía.
THINGS TO SEE OUTSIDE THE VILLAGE
Iglesia de la Virgen de los Dolores
The church conserves its original construction of colonial Baroque style. The interior features include the Neo-classical main altar and interesting eighteenth century paintings and goldsmiths. Located in El Campillo.
For those keen on seeing the countryside around La Luisiana, there a few routes available; La Campiña-Cordoba-Sevilla, Ruta Bética-Romana and Vía Verde de la Campiña.
La Luisiana offers a great variety of gastronomy all using local produce. Amongst the great array of local cured meats, one must also try the picadillo (hash) and aliño de patatas (dressed potatoes), both perfectly accompanied by picos de pan or roscos (style of breadstick). Other dishes to try include sopa de espárragos (asparugus soup), sopa de gambas (prawn soup), gazpacho, salmorejo, gazpacho de habas (broad bean soup), potaje de garbanzos o habichuelas (chickpea or bean stew), guiso de habas y espárragos (broad bean and asparugus stew), migas con naranja (breadcrumbs with orange), arroz con liebre (hare with rice) and tortilla de espárragos (asparagus omelette). If you are after fish from the local coast, then go for fried chanquetes, pijotas, bacaladilla and boquerones or marinated sardinas, cazón and merluza. Sweet treats include rosquillas fritas (fried sugared pastry), pestiños (honey pastry), gachas (similar to sémola) and arroz con leche (rice pudding).
Cabalgata Reyes Magos
Three Kings procession celebrated on the evening of 5 January.
Celebrated in February.
Día de Andalucía
Celebrated the 28 Febuary.
Romería de la Inmaculada Concepción
Celebrated the third weekend of April.
Romería de la Virgen de Fátima
Celebrated the 1 May.
San Luis Gonzaga
Celebrated the 21 June.
Fiestas en Honor de Santa Ana y San Joaquín
Celebrated the 25-27 July.
Celebrated the 13-15 August.
Velada de la Viren de los Dolores
Celebrated the 15 September.
Procesión de la Inmaculada Concepción
Celebrated the 8 December.