Carcheles, Sierra Magina
Carcheles belongs to Sierra Mágina because of its good communications with other towns of this region, since geographically it could belong to the Sierra Sur. It is formed by the joining of the villages Cárchel and Carchelejo, is located in the north-east slope of the Sierras de los Grajales and the Alta Coloma, lowering until the River Guadalbullón.
The grounds are plentiful of olive groves, which are located to the north-east and are the economic support of the town. We can also emphasize, like economic activities, the meat and pig industries, this latter with a high quality.
The archaeological remains found in the place of Sartenillas, in the town of Cárchel,(a burial of the Bronze Age), give evidence of the human presence since II millennium B.C.
The shanty towns of Cazalla and the one of Venta de la Romana dates from the Roman Age, being Venta de la Romana the station of Viniolis
From the Visigoth Period we can find some evidences in Carchel, several graves and a tombstone with an inscription, that translated says: “This is Teudesina’s tomb; if someone disturb this tomb, with Judas the traitor is anathema and goes to the fire”.
During the Arab Age, it was for 250 years frontier with the Nasrid kingdom of Granada. This region is identified with the zone of Qastalla that is quoted in the X century by al-Muqaddasi. This name is maintained in the place-name Cazalla, where there was found a shanty town protected by a little castle. In XII century the geographer al-Idrisi includes in a route from Córdoba to Almería the place-name S.r.s.h., which is read Yarisa or Harisa, and that the investigators have identified with Cárchel.
Cárcheles is known with the name of Cortijos de Cárchel, Carchelejo and Cazalla, for XIV and XV centuries, depends on the Bishopric of Jaén, because of Alfonso X el Sabio in 1253. In 1271 it is in the hands of Día Sánchez de Funes, and at the end of XV century to the Bishopric and Chapter of Jaén. From1558, they were included in the township of Cambil, until 1675, year in which the king Carlos II sold them, with districts and vassals, to Juan Antonio de Arellano and Contreras.
But in1696 the Royal Finance was again owner of the farms in view of the repeated problems on payments of Juan Antonio de Arellano and Contreras. When they were made whole again and free, excuse them from the jurisdiction of Cambil, because of that they form part a new Town Council.
During XVIII century, the three city centres showed a fast economic and demographic increase, with Carchelejo at the front. Soon after was Carchel the one that had a bigger increase and in 1843 it was constituted as an independent town. By Decree 7 February the two towns were fused, forming a new organization, with the name of Cárcheles.
Church of Ntra. Sra. de los Angeles de Carchelejo
Church of Ntra. Sra. de los Remedios in Cárchel
The gastronomy of Carcheles follows the seasonal rhythm of the crops. In spring, we can emphasize the hornazo (Easter pie) which is tasted in Holy Week, the fried rosco (ring-shaped roll) or the foods of Carnival, such as the encebollado (cod, onion, olives, vinegar and potatoes), cod and herrings. In summer, there are plentiful of dishes made with agricultural produce, like the pipirrana (salad with onion, tomato and cucumber), the gazpacho (cold Andalusia soup) or the quince jelly. In the autumn, it is cooked the porridges and the cod, a typical dish during the All Saints Day. In winter we can emphasize the hunting products, sausages, blood sausages and hard pork sausages, pajarillas (soup), chicharrones (with pork), loin of orza, sausage. We can emphasize its traditional cooked pork products.
The gastronomy in this area is related to the Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
It has Guarantee of Origin: “Sierra Mágina”.
How to get there
You have to exit Jaén and continue via J-14 then take the Motorway A-316. Turn left and take the road E-902 / A-44 towards Granada – Motril. Take the exit 59 towards Cambil – Huelma. Turn right in JV-2227 towards: Carchel – Carchelejo. And you get Carchel.
Distances from Carcheles
Jaén 27 km
Cambil 13 km
Huelma 30 km
Arbuniel 15 km
Pegalajar 17 km
El Almadén 47 km
La Cerradura 8 km
La Guardia de Jaén 32 km
Puente de la Sierra 39 km
Campillo de Arenas 17 km