Belalcázar – Los Pedroches Region
Belalcázar is a village situated to the north of the province of Cordoba (Spain). It is located in the Northwest region of Pedroches, 105 km north of the capital of the province.
Its municipal area covers 353.7 km2 and belongs under the jurisdiction of Peñarroya Pueblonuevo. It borders the municpalites of El Viso, Hinojosa del Duque, Monterrubio de la Serena and Cabeza del Buey (the latter two in Badajoz). The municipality is on a plateau of the Cordillera Marianic, among rugged hills and outcrops. To the South is the cerro de la Atalayal, to the West el cerro de la Alcanterilla and Portachuelo and to the East is el cerro de San Anton.
On the origins of Belalcázar there are many questions.
There are many important archaeological remains proving the Roman presence. Casas Deza argues that at one time this was a “Roman colony or town” being already known as Gaete.
During the period of Muslim rule the village was already known as Gafiq. Its location in the Valle de las Bellotas (Valley of the Acorns) (Fahs al Ballut) was the key to the communications area, hence its importance at the time of the reconquest.
In addition to other previous attempts, the final reconquest by Fernando III was achieved shortly before that of Cordoba.
Belalcazar passed under the jurisdiction of Cordoba in 1243 but the City Council was to lose its dominance when Juan II, in 1445, gave it over to Don Gutierrez de Sotomayor, Master of Alcantara.
Within its jurisdiction were Hinojosa del Duque and Villanueva del Duque. In 1450 construction began on the castle of the town, which later was to be given the same name.
Castle.” El Bello Alcazar” after which the village was named, was built in the fifteenth century, within the precincts of the Moorish fortress that existed previously. The imposing keep, Torre de Homenaje, was beautifully crafted.
Paroquia of Santiago el Mayor (James the Great), in Renaissance style, construction began in 1559 and ended in the seventeenth century.
Convento of Santa Clara de la Columna: Founded in 1476, has beautiful imagery from the same period. One of the main convent groups in the province of Cordoba and has survived to this day largely unchanged.
Convent of St. Francis of the Martyr, founded in 1486, retained the church, now abandoned.
Hospital of San Antonio only retaining the church and the remains of rooms of the fifteenth century.
On the outskirts of the town are a number of shrines typical of a mountain environment: Virgen de Gracia de la Alcantarilla, Consolacion, San Sebastian and St. Anton. The origins of most of these temples date back to the Reconquest but all have suffered successive remodeling.
Ayuntamiento XIX century.
The cuisine is based on Belalcazar pork products, all of which come from pork raised in the pasture and from which you get a delicious ham, sausages, steak in butter or olive oil, pork chops, fried liver and trotters “emborradas”. White garlic is another typical ingredient, with cachorreñas, garlic potatoes, ajohuevo,pies de lampeados and garlic “de cordillos”, gazpacho, salad, garlic and asparagus omelet.
Also in belalcazareña cuisine are borrachuelos and noodles made from sweet honey often eaten at the feast of the Virgen de Gracia de la Alcantarilla.
In a very traditional manner, made locally, on their own estates is pure sheep’s cheese commonly famed as “Pedroches cake.”
Finally we must mention a beverage made traditionally in the town, called “Resol”, made with lemon verbena, brandy, coffee and sugar.
Also noteworthy is homemade wine, vino de pitarra.
Out of Cordoba. Continue: N-432. passing El Vacar. Turn right: N-502. Continue on N-502A. passing Alcaracejos. Continue: A-422 and follow signs to Belalcázar.
Distances from Belalcázar
Helechal 37 km
Cordoba 101 km
Santa Eufemia 28 km
Cabeza del Buey 21 km
Fuente Obejuna 55 km
Fuente la Lancha 21 km
Hinojosa del Duque 9 km
Villanueva del Duque 27 km
Villanueva de Cordoba 60 km