The municipality of Encinasola 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.
According to legend the name Encinasola comes from a lone tree on the border which was the meeting place of smugglers. Currently the main interest in the town is the Arab castle and two forts or bulwarks that flank the town. There is also The Church of S. Andrés, la Ermita de S. Andrew, the Chapel of S. Juan y la de los Santos Mártires (S Juan and the Holy Martyrs)
The history of human occupation in the municipality of Encinasola is focused on the existence of an extensive network of rivers connected to the Guadiana River basin -Múrtiga, Sillo, Cano, Valquemado, etc. From the early Copper Age in the third millennium BC these veins of water have produced permanent settlements that include the first occupation of the Peña de San Sixto, and the towns of La Huerta del Picón and Sierra Herrera.
Throughout the Bronze Age (II millennium BC), the importance of metallurgy increases and therefore the population was concentrated in strategic locations in relation to mining operations. With the arrival of the early Roman armies to the Guadalquivir in the early second century the villagers attempted to stop the raids and the theft of these mountain towns. Encounters with the Roman armies would be numerous and plundering of their cities common practice. Roman engineering soon discovered the mineral potential of the area and was devoted to the systematic exploitation. The signs of Roman mining and smelting slag are abundant in all mines in the municipality of Encinasola. The population of the area diminished up to the second half of the eighth century AD when the area was disputed by Castilla (Order of the Temple) and Portugal. The castle of Encinasola in times of Alfonso X El Sabio allowed the establishment of a small village (Acinhasola), which, over time, has become the urban centre of this territory.
The original population of Encinasola came from the kingdom of León, especially Galicia, The protection of these places against the Portuguese claims were borne by the Knights Templar Fregenal established in the Sierra. The population growth was intense as in the fifteenth century inhabitants of Encinasola and Cumbres de San Bartolomé repopulated the ravines, in a time when the Portuguese crown had problems promoting the repopulation of these places. The clash of these populations came up during the war of the Restoration of Portugal (XVII century) which were multiplied by riots of Castile and Portugal in the domains of their neighbours. Faced with these threats the population took refuge in the forts of San Juan and San Felipe, which were built at the end of the sixteenth century.
During the War of Independence, the population became strong in the defences of San Juan and San Felipe against the French troops but after ten days of siege, capitulated and the French troops took it out on the population.
In the mid-nineteenth century, the office allowed a major land trade with Portugal, where many products were exported.
Currently, there are 2054 “marochos” the economy based on forestry and livestock use, supported by less widespread agricultural activities.
Iglesia de San Felipe y San Cristobal (Church of Saint Felipe and Saint Cristobal)
Iglesia de San Andrés. (Church of St. Andrew.)
San Juan Hermitage.
De los Santos Hermitage
Encinasola Archaeological sites
Fuentes de San Felipe y San Juan (Fountains of San Felipe and San Juan)
Encinasola has its inimitable “polish sausage stew, the typical migas (breadcrumbs) and, like any good mountain village, delicious sausages. Not to be forgotten are the delicious,”gurumelo” edible brown mushrooms. The pastries include the ‘prestin’ (fritters), typical of the Christmas period,and perrunillas, Las tortas de chicharon (crackling cakes) and “gypsies’ arms.”
Exit Huelva heading to San Juan del Puerto – Trigueros and Fregenal de la Sierra. – Around San Juan del Puerto, turn right: N-435 heading to Trigueros – Badajoz. Through Higuera la Real. Go to: C-439 to Encinasola
Distances from Encinasola
Aroche 41 km
Seville 135 km
Aracena 49 km
Huelva 136 km
Cortegana 43 km
Cumbres Mayores 26 km