Villages in Cadiz
Espera is located in the north of Cádiz, at the entrance of the Sierra and in the Ruta de los Pueblos Blancos.
Espera occupies a northern place but centred in the setting of Cádiz, it limits with the province of Sevilla. Espera borders on the North with Utrera, on the East with Villamartín and Bornos, on the South with Arcos de la Frontera and Jerez de la Frontera and to the West, with Jerez de la Frontera and Lebrija. It is 82 kms. from the capital city, 44 kms. from Jerez de la Frontera and 75 kms. from the autonomous capital.
Espera has an area of 123,44 km2., it can be considered with a mid size between the provinces of Cádiz (it is the nineteenth with regard to its size)
The city centre is located in the side of Cerro de Fatetar, at a height of 272 metres above sea level.
Espera has its origin in the prehistory. We can find near the village remains of Iberian settlements: the ruins of Carissa, that in the course of time it turned into a roman and Visigoth settlement. It was destroyed by Arabs and never was occupied again. Iberians were defeated by the Carthaginian Amílcar Barca in a phase in which we can observe few finds, being the most important a sarcophagus of sandstone.
Romans established a big village in which nowadays Espera is located and called Carissa Aurelia, next to whom there was another Latin village named Urcia byTolomeo. During Medieval ages Visigoths built its fortress over the Roman castle. Arabs arrived soon and devastated the place and restored the fortification until they converted it into Fatetar Castle, in which Berbers were settled.
From 1394 the manor of Espera belonged to Per Afán de Ribera and his descendants who in 1653 united to Medinacelli house. In 1837 the manors disappeared and with them the feudal control that created a new way to understand territorial politics, independent of the Town Halls and the constitution of its similar agencies to what nowadays exist.
Santa María de Gracia Church
Hermitage of Santiago
Carissa Aurelia Archaeological Zone
Remains of Esperilla
Nature Reserve Complex Endorreico de Espera
Espera cooking is based on dishes cooked with wild asparagus, and pork; besides gazpachos (Andalusian cold soups) and seasonal snails.
Nature and Leisure
The Endorreic Complex Nature Reserve is found in Espera, and is a protected 59 hectare space comprising a number of lagoons with vegetation and fauna typical of marsh areas. This is an ideal place for ornithologists and birdwatchers, as the lagoons are used by various species for hibernation and nesting. The surrounding environment, with its rolling hills and slopes, is wonderful for hiking, trips along observation routes, and visits to interesting archeological sites.
Espera´s festivities go on throughout the year. It starts on January 6 with the popular Maratón del Pavo (Turkey Marathon) and ends in December when the Christmas festivities include a Lving Nativity Scene in the Cueva del Castillo (Castle Cave). In springtime you can witnes one of the most ancient Easter Weeks in the province, the Feria de la Cruz (May Cross Fair) and San Bernardino pilgrimage. June means Corpus Christi in Espera, just as it does in other neighbouring towns. In September the patrón saint´s celebrations are held in honour of the Santísimo Cristo de la Antigua.
Cádiz 77 km
Bornos 10 km
Sevilla 75 km
Jerez de la Frontera 45 km
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