MARTÍN DE LA JARA
by Saskia Mier
Martín de la Jara sits on the border between the province of Seville and the province of Málaga. Here you will also find one of the biggest salt lakes in Seville. It has about 2,700 inhabitants.
The origin of this town dates back to the Middle Ages, from an inn located next to the Camino Real which passed from Seville to Málaga and was used by many travellers as a place to rest and eat. The inn also made horse shoes and provide a horse-shoeing service.
Some suggest the owner of the establishment was Martín Angulo, which might be the reason for its name. Others think the owner was actually a captain of the armies of Fernando III El Santo, who re-populated the settlement in the middle of a field of rockrose. Until the fifteenth century, the town acted as a border area between Christians and Moors, sparsely populated and insecure, which made it difficult to create a permanent settlement.
For centuries the territory belonged to the Ducal House of Osuna, which was responsible for re-populating it. In 1837, the manors were abolished and the first City Council was established.
THINGS TO SEE
Iglesia de Nuestra Señora del Rosario
The church is of modern construction with interior images dating to the eighteenth century. In the baptismal chapel, in addition to two images of Dolorosa, there is an interesting crucifix from the sixteenth century. Located in Plaza de Andalucía.
Arco de la Teja
An ancient entrance into the town made of stone with two small arches and a much larger central arch. Located in Plaza de Andalucía.
The hilltop offers some great views over the town and the surrounding countryside due to its elevated nature. Also rich in flora and fauna. Located south of Martín de la Jara.
Reserva Natural de la Laguna del Gosque
The lagoon serves as a winter resting area during the migration season, as well as a breeding ground for numerous avifauna species, fulfilling the function of a complementary alternative for some of the nesting species in Doñana and in the nearby lagoon, Fuente de Piedra. It is classified as a Wet Zone of National Importance.The value of this protected lagoon is reinforced by forming, with other wetlands in the Autonomous Community, a system that connects with different natural areas. From afloristic point of view, it is also considered to be of National Importance and Singular Interest, for being home to several endemic botanical species.You will also notice a beach of white sand that appears along the western shore of the lagoon, creating a contrast that implies the presence of a relatively naturalised environment rich in species diversity in the middle of an agricultural area totally transformed by man. Located north-east of Martín de la Jara, off the A-353.
Martín de la Jara offers a rich Andalusian gastronomy with dishes such as sopa de albóndigas (meatball soup), porra con jamón (a cold tomato soup similar to salmorejo served with jamón), almorraque (salad of offal, tomato and onion), guiso de espárragos (asparagus stew), arroz con liebre (rice with rabbit), conejo con tomate (rabbit with tomato), olla jareña con tagarninas y perdiz (nettle and partridge stew), tortilla de bacalao (cod omelette) andcostillas en adobo (marinated ribs). Sweet treats include pestiños (sweet honey pastries), buñuelos (dumplings sometimes filled with custard), gachas (similar to semolina) and torta de pan (bread pudding).
Cabalgata Reyes Magos
Three Kings procession celebrated on the evening of 5 January.
Fiesta de la Candelaria
Celebrated on 2 February.
Día de Andalucía
Celebrated on 28 February.
Celebrated at the end of February.
Romería de Martín de la Jara
Celebrated in the middle of March or end of April.
Feria de Martín de la Jara
Celebrated in the last week of July.
Fiesta de la Virgen del Carmen
Celebrated on 8 September.
Fiesta de Nuestra Señora del Rosario
Celebrated on 7 October.