Constantina has an area of 480 km2, located in the foothills of the Sierra Morena to ascend from the valley of the Guadalquivir, by Lora del Río or Villanueva del Río y Minas to the plateau of Extremadura. The relief increases from South to North, from 200 metres to over 900. It has an average altitude of 542 metres above sea level.
Almost the entire township is part of the Sierra Norte of Sevilla Natural Park , whose Reception and Interpretation Centre, “El Robledo”, is in the town itself. From there, the visitor can be arranged for different routes on which you will have information in this centre. It is logical that among other attractions, the visitor is offered the chance to see beautiful natural scenery, in the meadows, in the various trails and in certain highland areas from which to observe very broad perspective of the Guadalquivir Valley, most of the year because the air is clean, enabling these panoramas.
Like the rest of the region, it enjoys a mild climate whose most interesting data are the cool temperatures of winter (average of the coldest month between 8 º and 8.3 º) and mild in summer (average of the hottest month between 23 º and 26 º), especially the temperature is comfortable nights of summer, allowing good night’s sleep or lengthen the day at the walk or on the terraces. The average annual temperature varies between 14.4 º and 16.3 º. The average rainfall reaches 730 mm. With differences in drier years (600 mm) and the most rainy (875 mm). The rains are well distributed from autumn to spring, with maximum numbers in winter. It is normal that each year had snowfalls that can cover the entire mountain.
It is a city of Iberian origin. It appears that in 1200 BC, the Celts founded the first settlement with the name of Sucum-Murgi.
The Carthaginians called it Lacuni Murgi and exploited its mines of silver and iron.
The current city was built near a Roman fortification along the Cerro del Castillo, calling Constantia Julia, in honour of Julio César. Its importance was significant because it went by the Emérita Avenue that connected Mérida and Sevilla, and because their lands produced a famous wine throughout Rome, called Cocolubis, exported from the port of Sevilla. It also coined its own currency.
During the Al-Andalus period it was called Cotinema.
After the Christian conquest, carried out by Fernando III, it was called with the old name that was known in the Visigothic period, Constantina.
At first, it becomes dependent on Córdoba until in the conquest of Sevilla it goes to its jurisdiction. Then, it depended alternatively the Duke of Medina Sidonia and the Marquis of Cádiz, until the keys were given to the Catholic Monarchs in 1478 and it became property of the Crown.
In 1931, King Alfonso XIII confirmed the title of city.
With the War of Independence it would have many problems. Then it would recover and progressed, so that the King Alfonso XIII granted it the title of city.
We can mention some featured characters: P. Valdecantos García, writer and politician. Emilio Lemos Ortega, self-taught. D. del Pino and Martín, a writer.
Parish Church of Santa María de la Encarnación
Hospital of San Juan de Dios
Ruins of the Ermita de Ntra. Sra. de la Hiedra
Ermita de Nuestro Padre Jesús
Portada del Convento de Santa Clara
Ermita de Ntra. Sra. del Robledo
On the facade of the Church of Santa María de la Encarnación which faces to the square, there are two small murals where we can read:
“The men of good heart must protect the lives of the birds and do not destroy their nests. God rewards to children who protect the birds and the law forbids that they hunt, they destroy their nests and their young are removed”.
“Kids, do not deny yourselves the freedom to birds: not torment and encourage its spread. Protecting them, the farmers observed as decrease in their land of weeds and insects. The law prohibits the hunting of birds and points penalty for infractors”.
Basics elements in the gastronomy of Constantina are at all times: meat, game, pork and sausages.
In the spring, we have to taste the asparagus and wild esparraguillas, in tortilla or with sauces made with various seasonings, largely drawn from local flora itself. We also can taste the collejas, thistles and fennels, very appreciated as dressing in the typical cooked where “pringá” must always be present.
For the summer, we will have different types of gazpacho, the traditional where tomatoes give its distinctive colour and we can substitute by mint, getting another gazpacho that although varying the flavour, it loses nothing of its nutrient values. Also at this time, we must taste frog legs, preferably in batter. Salads in its various forms, will enable us to be closer to fresh cut from the local orchard, where the oil mill and wine vinegar are basic elements.
Autumnal kitchen features are mushrooms poplar and gallipiernas: grilled, fried or in sauces, as well as the “pheasant” (boletus edulis), either grilled or fried, which are a food of the mountains and in places such as Constantina, has given rise to a specific culture where we can find the annual celebration of mushroom journeys.
Our gastronomy is more important in the cold mountain winter months, which will always find a solution to our appetite around a fire where ceremonially we can taste breadcrumbs with the special touch of the earth, or a stew of meat from local livestock. In the absence of it, the game meat will be our goal.
An accompaniment around this table that will allow us to assess the quality of cured meats and sausages where Iberian ham, the pork loin, morcón, chorizo and blood sausage typical of the local tradition will delight the most discerning palates.
Olives, well split, scarified or entire with its dressing based on myrtle, laurel, garlic and fennel will be accompanied by vintage wines quasi familiar that will lead to check the quality of a very specific grape vineyards of Constantina.
The pastry brought us closer to Convent of Monjas Jerónimas or to the street Mesones, Severino y Ramos, where we will taste many varieties of candies that go out from its workmen ready to be consumed with delight. This dessert, will find its culmination with a glass of anise of the land and most importantly, tasting the sour cream that makes La Violetera and that has a tradition and craftsmanship that sum up the gastronomy of Constantina.
How to get there
You can get Constantina by the A-455. In addition, the train that connects Sevilla with Merida has a stop in the station of Cazalla de la Sierra/Constantina, and the suburban rail network of Sevilla-Santa Justa also has very frequent train departures that stop in that station.
Distances from Constantina
Sevilla 77 km
Priorato 37 km
El Álamo 32 km
El Pedroso 17 km
El Ronquillo 72 km
Lora del Río 30 km
Palma del Río 45 km
Cazalla de la Sierra 21 km
San Nicolás del Puerto 17 km