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Villages in Huelva

Gibraleón

Villages in Huelva

Gibraleón

Gibraleón is a beautiful town located on level ground, near the capital and situated on the banks of the Odiel River, on land devoted to farming grapes, olives and vegetables. Within its municipality is part of the Natural Area of the Odiel Marshes, a wetland interesting both for its wealth of birdlife and plants.

The history of Gibraleón is extraordinarily rich. Man has left his mark and imprint on the landscape for several millennia. Thus, from the Sierra de la Calvillo come some of the oldest parts of Palaeolithic Huelva now preserved in the Archaeological Museum of Huelva as well as remains of the Chalcolithic age or Copper Age-evidence of habitation going back some four or five thousand years.

Abundant remains of the Bronze Final, 1.300 to 700 BC were found in the ancient hamlet of La Mata; graves were discovered along with funerary goods. These vestiges testify its inhabitants had a strong link to the sea and eastern civilizations, especially the Phoenicians. This time coincides with the splendour of the legendary civilization of Tartessos (Fernandez, J., 1987), a major culture that lived at the crossroads of the rivers Tinto and Odiel.

The belief of classical geographers in the sixth century AD that an Iberian tribe founded the town of Turduli Olont, currently Gibraleón, long enjoyed popular acceptance. Currently, this thesis is considered very unlikely, lacking evidence to confirm it.

The richness of cultures in this geographical setting attracted the interest of Rome. Rodrigo Caro, in his Legal Chorografía Convento de Sevilla (1634), tells us that this town was the ancient Roman Onuba Aestuaria.

This view was corroborated by Perez Quintero in his vindicated work Beturia, 1794. He noted that Huelva was just ahead of Gibraleón fortress, located on the site now occupied by St. Peter’s Square. While today it can be confirmed that Onuba Aestuaria was located in the city of Huelva, certainly in the Roman era Gibraleón térrnino must have been a strategic enclave of remarkable importance, since, according to the ltinerario Antoninus in the third century the road from Guadiana passed through, in the direction of Italica. Many remains of “villae” or Roman land or houses have been found in this environment.

Given the climate of insecurity, Gibraleón became an important population to acquire a military fortress or castle, whose remains are still visible. With the Christian conquest of these lands in 1262, under the reign of Alfonso X the Wise, and the creation of the Crown Council, Gibraleón achieved one of its most significant historical periods. In the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries a royal grant of extensive privileges was given to the town, which favoured livestock, trade, an increase in population and rapid urban expansion. Gibraleón was under the jurisdiction of a Marquessate well into the nineteenth century when the feudal system was abolished.

Two parish churches, that of Santiago, in Renaissance style, and San Juan were built  in the late fourteenth century and reformed in the sixteenth century. Outside this primitive core two convents rose in its extensive suburbs- the Carmelites in 1331, which was the first of that order founded in Spain and that of the Dominicans, founded in 1587 by Don Francisco de Zuniga and Dona Maria Coronel de Guzman, which was virtually destroyed in the Civil War, and although in a sorry state, it preserves an important Mudejar coffered ceiling. A thirteenth century Gothic carving of great artistic value has been preserved and recently restored.

During these centuries Gibraleón has had contributions of population from Africa and America. From the first black slaves brought by Spanish and Portuguese vessels from the mid-fifteenth century and who have since  been assimilated or integrated showed a socially and ethnically tolerant population.

Gibraleón Monuments

Castle built by Alfonso X in the wars with the Portuguese.

San Juan Church

Church of Santiago.

Convent of El Vado.

Church of Carmen.

Chapel of the Convento de las Carmelitas Descalzas, year 1331.

Archaeological sites

Palaeolithic remains

Urbanism

Baroque Houses

Gibraleón Gastronomy

Salmorejo de conejo – Salmorejo rabbit.

Sweets: Mazapanes de Gibraleón. Sweets: Gibraleón marzipan.

Getting There

Exit Huelva. At the roundabout take the 2nd exit Continue on N-441Continue along: N-431. At the roundabout, take exit 5 Continue along: Avenida de Cristo de la Sangre and continue to Gibraleón.

Distances from Gibraleón

Huelva 15 km
Niebla 32 km
Bonares 33 km
Trigueros 13 km
Beas 19 km A Beas 19 km
San Juan del Puerto 17 km
San Bartolomé de la Torre
Sevilla 94 km At Sevilla 94 km


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