VILLAVERDE DEL RÍO
by Saskia Mier
Villaverde del Río sits to the right of the River Guadalquivir and also has the Siete Arroyos River on its eastern side. An ideal location for tranquillity with nature. It has about 7700 inhabitants.
Archaeological finds suggest prehistoric settlements corresponding to the second half of the Bronze Age. But there are still many more and more evident the Roman archaeological discoveries carried out in its term in the course of the centuries.
The Tartessian's called the settlement "Alpesa" and they built a fortress on top of a hill called "Mesa Redonda" which has a very important archaeological site of several civilizations, including Iberians, Carthaginians, Greeks and Romans, etc.
During the Roman era, the Betis River leading to Cordoba lead to the village being an important port with its guarding four towered castle called "Cuatro Torres", later demolished from 1952-1954 leaving only the remains of a tower. The Catholic Monarchs, Isabel I of Castile and Fernando V of Aragon stayed here when they came to re-conquer Granada in 1492.
The Moors rehabilitated the castle to defend the town against the Castilians. In 1247, the settlement was re-conquered by King Fernando III El Santo and donated to the Church of Seville.
In 1574, it was ceded by Pope Gregorio XIII to King Felipe II, along with other villages, as contribution partly to the expenses from the Battle of Lepanto. King Felipe II sold the villages to rich Italian merchant, Don Juan Antonio Corzo Vicentelo de Leca.
In the nineteenth century, all the Señoríos in Spain were constitutionally abolished. After the re-conquest, the village became heritage of the Archbishops and Cabildo of Seville.
THINGS TO SEE
Iglesia Parroquial de la Purísima Concepción
A reconstructed church built over a previous one from the fourteenth century that had collapsed during the Lisbon earthquake in 1755. It was rebuilt entirely at the expense of the Archbishop of Seville, later Cardinal Don Francisco de Solís Folch de Cardona and restored at the beginning of the nineteenth century. Located on Plaza de Andalucía.
Ermita de Nuestra Señora de Aguas Santas
According to ancient tradition, this chapel was built by San Isidore, Archbishop of Seville, in the exact place where the image of the Blessed Virgin appeared to, Pastor Juan Bueno, at the beginning of the seventh century. The chapel has had various restorations over the centuries. The last in the 80's of the last century. The patio conserves the aspect that in the seventeenth century gave the Franciscans. Located on Calle Camino de Aguas Santas.
The Medieval castle was built where the Siete Arroyos River meets the old channel of the Guadalquivir. In 1063, during the reign of King Don Fernando I of Castile and Leon, the remains of Archbishop San Isidore were laid, until they were later moved to Leon. Today, two walls of the castle are preserved. Located on Calle Castillo.
The town hall was completely remodelled in the twentieth century, preserving in its basement the brick vaults of the villages' original 'pósito', where wheat was isolated from moisture. El Pósito de Trigo was built in 1698. Located on Plaza de Andalucía.
The Romans famously hunted small birds, specifically starlings, and a tradition that has carried out through time to the present day. The season is from October to March, and they small birds are exported in great quantities to other areas of Spain. The two most typical dishes are guts and giblets of starlings fried with potatoes, along with a dish called veronía, made of pumpkin and pork belly. As for sweet treats, try the local pestiños, piñonates, gañotes and roscos (sweet pastries).
Cabalgata Reyes Magos
Three Kings procession celebrated on the evening of 5 January.
Celebrated in February.
Celebrated the 20 January.
Día de Andalucía
Celebrated the 28 February.
Romería en Honor a Nuestra Señora de Aguas Santas
Celebrated the fourth Sunday of May.
Celebrated the second week of September.
Festividad de Nuestra Señora de Aguas Santas
Celebrated the 8-10 September.
Villaverde del Río is located 31km from Seville. To get there, take the A-4 leaving Seville and take exit 535 towards Seville. At the roundabout, take exit 3 onto the A-8008. Continue on and take the 2nd exit at the roundabout onto the A-8005. At the next roundabout, take the 3rd exit onto the A-462 into Brenes. Turn right, following the A-462, leaving the village and continue onto Villaverde del Río.