Cortelazor, Natural Park Sierra de Aracena y Picos de Aroche
Cortelazor is located in the heart of the mountains, within the judicial district of Aracena, and declared of Cultural Interest. Within the village stands the Parish Church – Parroquial de Ntra. Sra.de los Remedios (Our Lady of Remedies) and the old Ermita de la Virgen de la Coronada (Virgin of the Crown).
The municipality is in the Natural Park Sierra de Aracena and Picos de Aroche, one of the most important protected areas of the Community that occupies the entire north of the province with its meadows and slopes covered predominantly by forests of oaks, cork oaks, chestnut trees and undergrowth, through which course numerous streams that form a landscape of extraordinary beauty and charm.
There are Roman ruins near the reconstructed shrine, de la Virgen de la Coronada. In an account by Jose Navarro “jars” were found along with two gold coins when ploughing the land with oxen; the coins were from the time of the Roman Emperor Augustus.
Cortelezar has held the title of Villa since 1631, the concession granted by Philip VII and confirmed by Fernando VII in 1818. Since its re-conquest by Alfonso X, the municipality had belonged to Sevilla until the creation of the province of Huelva in 1833. Cortelazor belonged to the brothers Palomero, who were granted a strip of territory, a random cut for the exploitation of the land. The land stretched from “the top of the cross of El Paloma” to the Cordillera mountains that separate the current terms of Aracena with inland slopes Hinojales (Lasso, 1991). Cortelazor derives its name from King’s Court Azor, an Arab leader who became independent in these lands during the Taifa kingdoms.
The people of the village began to build the parish church of Nuestra Senora de los Remedios around 1565. The church was the little heart of Cortelazor, whose times of prosperity or decline were reflected in the extension or abandonment of it. There was known to be a considerable expansion because the church could only hold about 400 people and there were 512 at that time. Around 1748 the famous painter Tovar did a painting of The Divine Pastrana, which adorns the walls of this church.
Until the seventeenth century, Cortelazor depended on the administration of justice to be carried out in Aracena, however, the distance from Aracena and some insecurity, constantly led the people to seek independence. In 1630, Philip IV made a grant of exemption from the jurisdiction of Aracena, lifting the village to the category of Villa, for having offered their neighbours payment of 2,000 ducats as compensation.
Population growth during the seventeenth century must have been very small, since little was done to maintain the population. In 1630, Cortelazor gathered 124 neighbours, of which there were only 112.5 for tax purposes because there were 21 widows, a payer and 12 poor. In 1642, Cortelazor had a group of 99 neighbours who declined to be involved in the war with Portugal and its resulting tax burden.
Depopulation continued up into the eighteenth century, so much so that in 1713 Cortelazor had only 30 residents. Demographic recovery started from the second half of the century, so the Ensenada Cadastre of 1752 recorded 396 inhabitants.
In 1787, the village reached the estimable figure of 559 persons, who based their livelihood on a farm of over a thousand acres of planting, as many of oaks and a small number of acres occupied by the chestnut orchards and vineyards, among others. The livestock population was essentially composed of goats, pigs and sheep. The current economic structure is based on a livestock use, supplemented by subsistence activities, and supported by the pensions of retirees.
Ntra. Sra. de Los Remedios Parish Church
Nuestra Señora de la Coronada Hermitage
Sausages and hams from pigs fed on acorns.
Sweets: homemade candies are made with drizzled honey.
Cortelazor – Getting There
Exit towards Huelva: Trigueros – San Juan del Puerto – Fregenal the Sierra. Around San Juan del Puerto, turn right: N-435 direction: Trigueros-Badajoz. N-433. On the outskirts of Huelva, turn right: N-433. Around Marines, turn right: HV-3121 and enter Cortelazor.
Distances from Cortelazor
Huelva 113 km
Aracena 11 km
Hinojales 20 km
Navahermosa 13 km
Fuenteheridos 10 km
Cumbres Mayores 30 km
Canaveral de Leon 26 km