Andújar – Sierras de Andujar Natural Park
Andújar is located at the foot of Sierra Morena, to the West of the province. Its municipal area is included in the Sierras de Andújar Natural Park, formations of half-way up the mountain that have a real Mediterranean ecosystem made up by many Holm oaks, cork oaks, gall-oaks, pines, oaks and thickets. In it live many species of the fauna that add it a great hunting value.
It is surrounded by the River Guadalquivir that has an impressive bridge which possibly has a Roman origin, the ancient Iberian Liturgi is an attractive city, that mix its Serrano component with its olive groves tradition and its connection with the Guadalquivir. The urban landscape is made up by stately houses, modern buildings and housings with traditional architecture, in which we can find huge buildings like the Church of Santa María, the Church of S. Miguel, the Church of S.Bartolomé, the Palace of Cárdenas, the tower of Fuente Sorda, the Tower of Tavira, the Town Hall.
In its municipal district we can find the Sanctuary of Virgen de la Cabeza, where it is celebrated one the most important processions of the Community and the ancient in Spain, awarded with the Gold Medal of the Junta de Andalucía.
Andújar, at a height of 212 metres and over the valley of the river Guadalquivir, located in one of its terraces, is a village with many stories. Not very far from the present urban area and towards the East there were found lithic remains that belong to the Achelense Culture. We can say that an Iberian village, the oretanos, were the ones who settled these surroundings and came into contact with the turdetanos, Phoenicians, Greeks and Carthaginians; it was an Iberian village that stood out by its fortress cities like Obulco (Porcuna), Cástulo (Linares), Iliturgi (Mengíbar), Isturgi (Andujar), etc.
When Romans arrived all this area became Romanized very soon, first under the organization of the Hispania Ulterior and later under the Bética and inside the Conventus Cordobensis. The Viejo Bridge has a Roman origin, although it is much redesigned. The “villae” settled all bank of the River Guadalquivir when fell the Roman Empire and follows Visigoth organization, “la territorio” under an “iudice”.
After the battle of Guadalete in 711 all the peninsular South turned into Al-Andalus. Just us Inb Idarí tells, during the emirate of Muhammad V in 853, it took place a war in Anduyar (Andújar), and this was the first time that the name of Andújar appears in a historic source; in 888 Abd Allah orders to fortify Andújar and about the middle of the XII century the almohads fortify the city once and for all and whose remains have very damaged.
Andújar already was a production centre of pottery going on with the tradition of the hispano-roman “sigillata”. In 1225 Fernando III gets the city to the Almohads in a peaceful way, starting very soon the change from an Islamic city into a Christian one; these are late middle ages and it will appear the first churches with gothic structures. Andújar is declared free land by the monarch, giving the Fuero de Cuenca. This was a rich final in the Middle Ages: in 1368 a nasrid race expect take the city and this will disable its governor Juan González; in 1446 the king Juan II will give the village the title of “city” because of its fidelity to the crown; in 1466 Enrique IV turns it into “In very honest and Loyal”. In 1472 Pedro de Escavias was a perpetual governor, man of letters, man of sing and man-at-arms. During these years it is also formed the shield with all its elements. With Isabel la Católica will appear the chief magistrates, in 1478 Francisco de Bobadilla is the same who orders demolish the fortifications and obey the royal order. In 1478 militias of Andújar take part in the conquest of Málaga, like before had took part in the conquest of Moclín.
During the XVI century, with the foreign trade towards the Atlantic, the town will live splendour times, and result of it will be the ennoblement due to a booming aristocracy and a great proliferation of religious orders that will locate in the new town -convent started in the outside by the suburbs of San Bartolomé y de San Miguel.
Bridge with Roman origin.
Church of Santa María, XIII century. Gothic style. Inside it is located La Oración en el huerto de El Greco and a painting of the Purísima, by Giuseppe Cesari, known like the gentleman D’Arpino.
Church of Santiago. Gothic style. Baroque chapel and renaissance grilles. It is closed and it is only used to cultural events.
Church of San Bartolomé. Gothic style. It was reformed in the XVII century. Inside we can emphasize an altarpiece of the Renaissance and a worked grille.
Sanctuary of Virgen de la Cabeza. In the middle of Parque Natural de Sierra Andújar.
San Miguel Church: San Miguel is a Visigothic stlyle church and most probably of Christian worship during the Arab domination (Mozarabic church).
The tower as built at the end of the sixteenth century. It has undergone numerous alterations, the most important being in the eighteenth century, it was badly affected by the Lisbon earthquake.
The church still preserves the original cross vaults. In the central nave there are stellar vaults and lancet vaults above the aisles.
The church has three doorways: The Rear Door has Plateresque features and was built at the beginning of the sixteenth century. The round arched door of the Gothic style North Door heralds the arrival of the Rennaissance. The South Door has a double keel arch with a pinnacle on each side.
Things to look out for inside the church: The Baptismal Chapel, it is Neoclassical; the Choir, at the rear of the church is the magnificent choir with its beautiful wrought iron balustrades; the Vestry. It was built in the early seventeenth century.
San Juan de Dios Convent: In 1563 Juan de Matienzo, prior of the Parish f Santa Maria donated his house and belongings to found a hospice called El Hospital de la Caridad.
In 1625 the Brothers of the Order of Saint John took over the running of this public charity. The had been present in the town since 1618. In 1808 General Dupont occupied the hospital and turned it itnto a field dressing station (Hospital de Sangre) during the occupation of the town by French soldiers.
The building passed through different hands after it was sold off like many Church lands. In 1885 it was handed over to the Order of the Madres de los Desamparados (a religious order who looked after the homeless and the abandoned) to house needy elderly people.
The church has features which are similar to other churches belonging to convents in the area such as Spanish Baroque. Worth noting is the Baroque high altarpiece or Retablo Mayor and the image of the Virgen de las Angustias (a statue of the Virgin) which probably dates back to the beginning of the seventeenth century. On the right panel of the altarpiece there is a multicoloured figure of San Juan de Dios, on the left the Arcangel San Miguel.
Los Coello de Portugal House 18th Century: This house is a clear example of an eighteenth century Baroque style family home. The doonway is symmetrical with large windows and wrought iron grilles which were very typical of this period.
The only decorative part of this house is the carved stonework such as the Cruces de San Andres (the Saint Andrew´s crosses) and the family coats of arms. To the right of the balcony are the Salcedo and Aguilar coats of arms, to the left those of the Argote family.
The open pediment over the door encases the coats of arms of the Criado and Albarracín family on the right, and the Salcedo and Aguilar family on the left. The heraldic shields tell us who inhabitants of this family home were. The Coello de Portugal family were only one of its many inhabitants.
After the Spanish Civil War it was used as a state school. At present it is the home of the Adult Education Centre “Pedro de Escavias”. It takes its name from a former alderman of the town.
Niños de Don Gome Palace House 16th-17th Century: This palace was built by the Valdivia family and dates back to the late sixteenth century, early seventeenth century.
The front of the house, which is almost a tower, is very ornate. Two robust moustached figures (Spanish American Indians) stand out.
The stables are situated next to the tower on the east side. They still coserve part of the original stalls and there is a heraldic coat of arms painted on the wall. It belongs to the family who owned the house. The stables were built in the seventeenth century and rest against the old city wall.
The interior is organised around a patio with arches supported on Tuscan columns, and rounded arches with the coats of arms of the Cárdenas, Valdivia, Guzmán, Figueroa and Nicuesa Families.
The house also has a magnificent cellar. During restoration work, vaulted niches and large earthernware jars for storing provisions were found. Today it houses the local Archaeological Museum.
Water Dams & Reservoirs in Andujar
Andujar Town planning
Plaza de España.
Palace of Cárdenas, XVI century. Renaissance style.
Bridge possibly with a roman origin.
Tower of Fuente Sorda, XII century. Remains of a Moslem fortification.
Tower of Tavira. Remains of a Moslem fortification.
Town Hall. With a neoclassical front. Ancient Casa de Comedias.
House of the servants from Mieres, XVIII century.
House of the Cárdenas de Valdivia.
House of the Gome Valdivia.
House Albarracín. The first chapter in Andújar.
The peculiar gastronomy of Andujar is important because of its hunting meat: stag, wild boar, rabbit, partridge…, seasoned with species from the sierra. The gastronomy of Andújar has the aromas of its hunting meats, of the mountain, and sprinkles its dishes with the taste of the renowned olive oil.
To meats from big game, the main condiment is the marinade, to what each cook gives his personal touch. The pickled partridge or with beans can follow a scrambled eggs with wild asparagus or many dishes cooked with many dishes made with the agricultural produce. We can also find sweets like the porridges, a typical dish of the rural after-lunch in the All Saint’s Day.
We cannot forget some native dishes such as the flamenquín (made with ham or pork, parsley, garlic and other spices), the cantosmade with bread, tomato, and cod, accompanied with olive oil and olives; the ajo blanco (a kind of gazpacho); the alda de choto…
In Spring you could taste the delicious snails with chocolate, that are very claimed and offered in bars and pubs in May and June.
How to get there
– Motorway of Andalucía (E-5), km 323.
From Madrid: 2h 30min
From Sevilla: 2h
From Córdoba: 35min
– National Road N-323:
From Granada: 1h 30min
From Costa del Sol: 3h
– National Road N-322:
From Albacete: 3 hours.
Distances from Andujar
Jaén 44 km
Baeza 63 km
Bailén 27 km
Arjona 15 km
Martos 49 km
Linares 43 km
Mengíbar 32 km
Marmolejo 11 km
Villa del Río 25 km
Pilar de Moya 33 km