by Saskia Mier
Lebrija is a walled town enjoying panoramic views over the surrounding vineyards. It has about 27, 400 inhabitants.
Legend has it that the origin of Lebrija is mythological; the god Bacchus founded it near the shore of the Atlantic Ocean. In its historical centre, there have been archaeological remains of a Chalcolithic village. However according to different authors, the foundation of the city is attributed to the Phoenicians and Tartessos.
Its importance in the time of Phoenicians and Romans is demonstrated by the fact that it coined own currency, arriving at the category of municipality of Latin right under Roman domination. After the dark passage of the Visigoths, the Moors invaded the Peninsula in 711 D.C and after the Battle of Guadalete, Lebrija was named Lebri-sah. It was conquered by Fernando III of Castile in 1249.
At the end of October of 1255, the infant Enrique de Castilla "El Senador", son of Fernando III of Castile, secretly supported by Jaime I of Aragon, arose in arms against his brother Alfonso X of Castile. In 1264, King Alfonso X of Castile incorporated it to the Crown of Castile, and in 1924 it was granted the title of city.
Modern expansion outside the walls began in the eighteenth century. During the nineteenth century, the current Plaza de España became the centre of the modern town. At the end of the nineteenth century, the railroad is constructed.
THINGS TO SEE
Iglesia Parroquial de Nuestra Señora de la Oliva
The church began construction by Alfonso X "El Sabio" in the second half of the third century and extended until the end of fifteenth century. The tower was built between 1757 and 1777, designed by Pedro Silva, inspired by the Giralda. The church is listed as a National Monument of Historical and Artistic Interest. Located in Plaza Rector Merina.
Iglesia de Santa María de Jesús
A church that originally belonged to the Convent of the Orden Tercera de San Francisco, built between the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Located on Calle Antón Pérez.
Convento de San Francisco
The convent was founded in 1570, with works on the church beginning seven years later, and concluded in 1615. Located on Calle San Francisco.
Capilla de Vera Cruz
The chapel dates from the first half of the sixteenth century, preserving from that stage the general structure of the building and the steeple. It was later expanded in 1576 thanks to the donation made by, Juan Monge de Cala and Catalina de Jarana. It was transformed during the middle of the eighteenth century. Located on Calle Tetuán.
Capilla de la Aurora y Capilla de Bélen
The chapel was built together with the Capilla de Bélen in the eighteenth century. Its last restoration began in 2005 and lasted a total of three years. The chapel was given new lighting. Located on Calle Castaño.
Iglesia del Convento de las Concepcionistas
The church was built during the sixteenth century with a very special feature being the strong buttresses outside it that cross over the contiguous Callejón de las Monjas to withstand the thrust of its vault. Located on Calle Antonio de Nebrija.
Ermita del Castillo
The chapel was built in the fourteenth century and restored later in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Located on Cuesta del Castillo.
Casa de la Cultura
A culture house built in the eighteenth century of Baroque Andalusian style and was initially Cilla del Cabildo belonging to the Archbishopric of Seville. The house had a mill, cellar and wheat store. Now owned by the Town Hall, it was restored in 1982 and opened in 1986. Located on Calle Tetuán.
Ruinas del Castillo
Originally the castle was built on a primitive fortress of Roman origin; it was later expanded during Muslim domination and later reformed during the Alfonsi period. Today there are very few remains of the castle but named a Monument of Cultural Interest. From here, you can enjoy excellent views of the town. Located on Cuesta del Castillo.
Balsa de Melendo
The reservoir was built with the objective of reserving water to irrigate the marshes of Lebrija, with the dual function of regulation and storage. Opened in 2003, it has a capacity of 8.2Hm³. You will see several species of birds from the nearby Doñana National Park and the Endouroic Complex of Lebrija-Las Cabezas. Sports such as canoeing and fishing can also be enjoyed here, as well as excellent walking trails for keen hikers. Located 5km north of Lebrija.
Parque San Benito
The park entrance houses several cages with different species of birds such as goldfinches, canaries etc, as well as a reservoir, a reserve for aquatic animals and a pond. In the park you can find other species such as ostriches, pigs or peacocks. This small reserve is one of the most important in the province by size and species. Located northeast of Lebrija.
The must try of Lebrija are the caracoles (snails), prepared in many different ways, and served with a variation of tomatoes, soup and sauces. To go with the snails, try the local wine and manzanilla.
Local handicrafts include pottery, leatherwork and blacksmithing.
Cabalgata Reyes Magos
Three Kings procession celebrated on the evening of 5 January.
Día de la Candelaria
Celebrated the 2 Febuary.
Día de Andalucía
Celebrated the 28 Febuary.
Celebrated in February.
Fiestas en Honor a San Juan Bautista
Celebrated the 24 June.
Flamenco festival celebrated around the 10 and 20 July.
Celebrated the 12 September.