Jabugo is situated in the Natural Park of the Sierra de Aracena and los Picos de Aroche, one of the most important protected areas of the community which occupies the entire north of the province with its meadows and small hills covered predominantly with oak forests, cork trees, chestnut trees and scrub, where numerous streams flow, forming a place of extraordinary beauty. It is ideal for livestock, especially for the Iberian pig, which finds the conditions ideal.
To speak of Jabugo, is to speak of the capital of ham and Iberian pork sausages, as since ancient times it has been the leading producer of such exquisite delicacies. But it also offers other items of interest such as the Church of S. Miguel (BIC), the Cueva de la Mora and el Becerro.
It is known for certain that the name Jabugo is derived from the word “Sabugo” in the Leonese language (before this language was absorbed by Castilian). The presence of Paleolithic Man can be found in the Cueva de la Mora, situated on the main road between Jabugo and Galaroza. This discovery was due to the excavations carried out at the beginning of the century by the then owner Juan Manuel Romero Martin, which brought to light the culture of the inhabitants of the cave during different stages of the prehistoric era.
Among the remains discovered were: decorated and undecorated pottery, stone tools, idols, plates… The occupation during the Chalcolithic era, was followed by the settlement during the Bronze Age where the cave continued to be used as a habitat and place of burial. At present, the remains discovered are preserved in the archaeological museums of Madrid and Seville. The Muslim occupation of these lands has to be linked to Almonaster la Real. Presumably the existing population in the area was small, and lived on a dispersed habitat, with a predominantly pastoral economy. After the Christian conquest, committed by the Portuguese Military Order in the first half of the thirteenth century, it passed into Castilian control under the dominion of the Order of Santiago. At first, Jabugo was dependent on Almonaster la Real, which is why its name, originally, was “Jabugo Real”.
In 1691, Jabugo gained independence from Almonaster, paying Don Luis Marquez de Avellaneda, infant and Knight of the Order of Calatrava, 20,000 reales to separate from Almonaster la Real. This division would be ratified on November 25, 1693. These processes of segregation, fairly common throughout the seventeenth century, were due to the budgetary needs of the Hacienda Real de los Austrias Menores. Jabugos independence was the result of the attempt to increase the stately taxes, leading to the growth of Jabugos population, which was by then 300 inhabitants. The increase in the population and the “local economic exuberance” of this period were reflected in the expansion of the parish church of San Miguel Arcangel (Lasso, JM, 11/03/1990).
The Catastro de Ensenada, in 1752, presents a rural economy related to the growing of grain and the use of rangelands (AM.J., 1752, L. 426). The economic and demographic growth of the town led to the rise of smuggling, due to its situation at a crossroads. The study and quantification of this peculiar and particular “economic sector” is difficult due to the absence of official sources on it. Smuggling would remain important throughout the nineteenth and much of the twentieth century.
In the early nineteenth century, we find a weak and insufficient agriculture, as was noted by Pascual Madoz (1845): “they produce chestnuts, acorns, oil and wine, the balance of which is exported to Sevilla and other places, and instead import cereals and other articles of prime necessity from Extremadura and La Rioja; they breed pig livestock in the number of 100 heads, 200 goats, as well as doing other kinds of labour, and hunting rabbits, partridges and hares is very common. As rural industries there are two oil mills and one flour mill”.
But the big development of Jabugo came at the end of the nineteenth century, with the help of the Huelva-Zafra railway line. Its final project was influenced by the interests of the Minas de Rio Tinto Company, which tried to divert the new line away from the mines within the jurisdiction of their competitor Andévalo Occidental (Parsley Delay, A, 1995). This fact was exploited by Jabugo to develop trade and meat industries, previously linked to a traditional activity. At this time a new population called el Repilado developed around the Jabugo-Galaroza train station, originally an old coaching inn between Seville and Lisbon. This settlement came in addition to the previous ones: Jabugo, Los Romeros y El Quejigo. Over time it became a significant demographic and industrial centre.
Parish Church of San Miguel Arcángel, sixteenth century. Mudejar style. It has been renovated.
Church of la Santísima Trinidad
Hermitage of San Juan Bautista
Cave de la Mora.
Remains from the Paleolíthic Superior.
Burials in Bronze Age vaults
Lavadero de los Romeros
Factories processing and curing ham
Sausages and ham (all these products are of exceptional quality).
Gazpacho de culantro.
Coming from the N-435 Huelva-Badajoz take the road to Los Romeros, or from the N-433 Sevilla-Lisbon take the road to El Repilado.
Distances from Jabugo
Huelva 102 km
Aracena 20 km
Cortelazor 20 km
Navahermosa 9 km
Aroche 30 km
Galaroza 5 km
Sevilla 107 km
Badajoz 135 km