LORA DEL RÍO
by Saskia Mier
Lora del Río offers views of both the Sierra and of the flatter countryside. It has about 19, 100 inhabitants.
The Tartessos settlement of La Mesa de Setefilla, from the Bronze Age towards 1700 A.C. marks the beginning of history for Lora del Río. The Romans were established in the late third century A.C. changing the name from Axati to Lora, exporting olive oil.
The Visigothic period must have had some importance in the area judging by the number of funerary remains found. The Arabs named it Lawra and acted as defence between Cordoba and Seville. They also built the castle and walls, naming it Al-Lawra. Fernando III of Castile conquered in the middle of the thirteenth century, in the year 1247, donating it immediately to the Military Order of San Juan of Jerusalem or of Malta. In its surroundings there existed seven villages under its jurisdiction, that were called Septe Filias, hence the name Setefilla.
Intense religious construction activity occurred in the Modern Age. The eighteenth century saw an economic boom. Throughout the nineteenth century, important changes took place thanks to the introduction of new crop irrigation systems and the arrival of immigrants from other regions. By the twentieth century, Lora del Río were cultivating olive groves, vines, oaks, orange trees, fruit trees, cereals, fallow, etc. It was also home to several factories producing olive oil, brandy, soap, bread, tiles, bricks, paper, etc.
THINGS TO SEE
Mercado de Abastos
The covered market was built in 1925 by the architect, Aníbal González. Located in Plaza de Andalucía.
Convento de la Limpia Concepción
Construction of the convent began in 1618 and lasted about five years, financed by its founders, Don Jerónimo de Valencia, his wife Doña Maria de Liñán Cervantes and their daughter. Some areas were restored during the eighteenth century. Located on Calle José Montoto y González de la Hoyuela.
The Town Hall, known as the Casas Consistoriales, dates from the second half of the eighteenth century, and was finished in 1761. In 1865 and 1866 lead gutters were installed to and between 1869 and 1870, a new office was created in the lower gallery. And in the twentieth century, restoration was carried out according to a project made in 1928 by the architect, Aurelio Gómez Millán. Located in Plaza de España.
Casa de los Leones
An important Baroque style building built in 1765, owned by Ildefonso Montalbo Aguilar. Located on Calle Federico García Lorca.
Casa de las Columnas
Also known as Casa de la Virgen, dating from the time transition from Baroque to Neoclassical, specifically the second half of the eighteenth century. It was ordered by, Fernando Quintanilla y Andrade, whose family crest is shown in the entrance. It later passed into the hands of, Nicholas Montalbo Colonel, who donated it in the year 1972. Located on Calle José Montoto y González de la Hoyuela.
Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de la Asunción
The Gothic-Mudejar church dates to the fifteenth century. It has been subjected to different reforms and extensions throughout the centuries, the most significant at the end of the nineteenth century. Located on Plaza de Nuestra Señora de Setefilla.
Iglesia de Nuestro Padre Jesús Nazareno
The church was built over a pre-existing temple but was already classified as a ruin in 1721 and construction of a new one was carried out five years later. It was designed by the diocesan architect, Diego Antonio Diaz and began in the year 1733, being completed three decades later, in the year 1764. Located on Carretera Peñaflor.
Ermita de Santa Ana
Chapel built in the second half of the seventeenth century and later restored in the eighteenth century. Located on Calle Bailén.
Sala Municipal de Exposiciones 'El Bailio'
The building belonged to the Governor's Palace or Bailío of the town and is currently used for expositions and future local museum. Only open on exhibition days. Located on Calle Blas Infante.
Monday-Friday, 11:00-14:00hrs and 18:00-21:00hrs
Tel: 955 80 02 94
THINGS TO SEE OUTSIDE THE VILLAGE
Santuario de la Virgen de Setefilla
Mudéjar temple located within beautiful surroundings next to the ruins of the Castillo de Setefilla. Located 12km from Lora del Río.
Zona Arqueológica de Setefilla
The archaeological zone of Setefilla with numerous pieces found since the nineteenth century. The first archaeological excavation was carried out by, Bonsor and Thouvenot, between 1926 and 1927 in the area of the necropolis. In 1973 and 1975, Maria Eugenia Aubet again excavated the tombs, finding new burials. All these graves were dated as pertaining to the Orientalizing Period. Located south of Lora del Río.
In its almost 294km², Lora del Río offers a remarkable variety of geographical landscapes with several walking routes to enjoy including Ruta del Valle y La Campiña, Ruta de la Sierra, Ruta Oriental y Santuario de Setefilla and Ruta de la Sierra Norte Occidental y Dehesa Matallana.
Typical dishes to try in Lora del Río are caracoles (snails), espárragos de campo (wild asparagus), gachas con cuscurros (similar to aniseed sémola), sopeaos (cold vegetable soup), sopas hervidas (soup) and migas del pastor (fried bread). Sweet treats include pestiños (honey pastries) and torrijas (eggy bread).
Cabalgata Reyes Magos
Three Kings procession celebrated on the evening of 5 January.
Día de San Sebastián
Celebrated on the 20 January.
Celebrated in February.
Fiestas en Honor a San José
Celebrated the 19 March.
Feria y Fiestas Populares
Celebrated the last Thursday of May.
Romería de Nuestra Señora de Setefilla
Celebrated the 8 September.