LA RODA DE ANDALUCÍA
by Saskia Mier
La Roda de Andalucía is well known by travellers because of the N-334 route and the rail line that cross the whole region. It has about 4,200 inhabitants.
Some historians suggest the origins of the town date to a settlement with the name Celtíbero de Uragao. Later in the Roman era the historian Madoz cites it as Carruca, where rams and utensils of the Civil War have been found from the Battle of Munda between Julio César and Pompeyo during the first century AD
During the Muslim dominion it was denominated Robda, and with the Christian Re-Conquest of Fernando III "El Santo" it became a border town with the Nazarite Kingdom of Granada until the time of the Catholic Monarchs. La Roda, like the whole region of Estepa, would be passed on after the Re-Conquest to the Order of Santiago domains.
In 1559, Felipe II established the Marquesado de Estepa, and the town belonged to this until the beginning of the nineteenth century. During this century it underwent a significant change with the arrival of the railroad (Córdoba-Málaga and La Roda-Utrera lines). Its current name was given to the town in 1916.
THINGS TO SEE
Iglesia Parroquial de Santa Ana
The church was built at the beginning of the seventeenth century with images of Jesus Nazareno and Virgen de la Esperanza, whose Brotherhood was founded in 1654, in addition to the Virgen de los Llanos, patron saint of the town, along with other images that are shown inside the monument. Located on Calle Cervantes.
Convento de las Siervas del Evangelio
The Convent contains a chapel with a small altarpiece consisting of four paintings dating to around 1600 and a central canvas, representing the Calvary, which, together with the front of the altar, dates from the eighteenth century. Located on Calle Sevilla.
The Holy Week of La Roda de Andalucía is declared a Festival of National Tourist Interest of Andalucía. There are three Brotherhoods in the town, each with its own headquarters: Nuestro Padre Jesús Nazareno (Calle Cervantes), Santo Cristo del Perdón (Calle Doctor Fleming) and Santo Entierro de Cristo y María Santísima de los Dolores Coronada (Calle Cervantes).
Museo del Ferrocarril
The museum was inaugurated in March 2007 and displays the history and evolution of trains as part of the town's development and economy. The museum consists of two floors: a ground floor with mannequins, objects and books; and a first floor with moving scale models of old and current trains. Located on Calle Doctor Fleming.
Visits can be arranged during the week.
Tel: 954 01 60 02
THINGS TO SEE OUTSIDE THE VILLAGE
Ermita de San Pancracio
A modern chapel where the pilgrimage is celebrated on the second weekend of May. Located on the SE-497.
Caserío de Espejo
A raised mill dating to the late eighteenth century that stopped working towards 1939 but is today used for hospitality and residential purposes. In 1918, Marcelino Espejo, the grandfather of the current owner, restored the manor house. The abandonment of productive activity years ago and its distribution among different owners have led to irregular conservation. It is entered by a small garden, also somewhat abandoned. Located four kilometres from La Roda de Andalucía, on the SE-766.
Cortijo El Polvorín
The farmhouse (later a gunpowder factory) dates to the mid-nineteenth century. In 1872, twenty boxes, consigned in the name of an unknown person, containing 160 crates of gunpowder were confiscated in the Port of Santa María, having been sent from La Roda de Andalucía. In 1876, there was an explosion in the gunpowder factory, owned by Don Eduardo Loring, where several people were killed. In 1886, another explosion occurred with more fatalities. Located on the SE-766.
La Roda de Andalucía offers two waterways that provide a great landscape for walking and just enjoying the outdoors.
This river begins in the hills of La Alamedilla, Los Cerrillos, Hormigo, El Monte Medio and Los Abulagares, and runs its course through La Cañada del Santo Cristo, La Mata de Reina, La Parrada, Las Cuarenta well and El Pavo Blanco until reaching Río Yeguas. Located off the N-433.
The river is more than 20 kilometres long, starts in Sierra de Yeguas (Málaga), in the Sierra de los Caballos area, and runs through La Roda de Andalucía, Casariche and Puente Genil, converging in Santa Ana with the River Genil. Located off the SE-9218.
Visitors wanting to experience the local gastronomy in La Roda should tuck into porra (similar to salmorejo), migas (fried bread with chorizo), majaillo de espárragos (fried asparagus), arroz con castañas (rice with chestnuts), olla andaluza con hierbabuena (andaluz hot pot with mint) and alcaparrones aliñados (marinated capers). Sweet treats include pestiños and ochíos (sweet pastries usually dipped in sugar or honey), magdalenas (muffins) and gachas (similar to semolina). Many of the dishes are elaborated with local olive oil from the town, which is also part of the Ruta del Aceite (Oil Route).
Cabalgata Reyes Magos
Three Kings procession celebrated on the evening of 5 January.
Fiesta de Candelaria
Celebrated on 2 February.
Día de Andalucía
Celebrated on 28 February.
Celebrated in February.
Romería de San Marcos
Celebrated on 25 April.
Fiestas Cruces de Mayo
Celebrated on 3 May.
Verbena y Romería en Honor de San Pancracio
Celebrated on the second weekend of May.
Feria de San Pedro
Celebrated at the end of June.
Verbena de El Emigrante
Celebrated on the first week of August.
Fiestas Patronales en Honor de la Virgen de Los Llanos
Celebrated on 8 September.