Jimena de la Frontera
Jimena de la Frontera
The town of Jimena de la Frontera is located in the Campo de Gibraltar that belongs to Cádiz. Placed between the Serranía de Ronda and the Bay of Algeciras is a real crossroads, taking into account that it is located inside the Nature Reserve of Los Alcornocales, the last Mediterranean wood in Europe and declared Historic Site in 1.983.
The town has an area of 345,24 kms2, at a height of 203 metres and it has three rivers (Guadiaro – Hozgarganta and Guadarranque)
It is a village that is located under its castle in the slopes of San Cristóbal hill, under the protection of the cork tress, gall-oak groves and banks of the large Hozgarganta River.
We can observe the antiquity of the first human settlements in the cave paintings of Laja Alta, where there are the only maritime scenes of Spanish Bronze Age. The place has three thousand years old, although it usually identifies with the ancient city of Oba, an Iberian colony. In it the emperor Marco Antonio was born during roman age.
Arabs called it Xemina or Ximena, a name given in 1431 by Christians after the conquest from its similarity to the proper came Jimena, to what added the word Frontera, because it was for centuries an important frontier enclave, first it was nasrid and then to the Christians, who conquest it in 1456.
Some years later, the troops formed in this village took part in the taking of Granada under the command of Rodrigo Ponce de León. In XVI century the bandit Pedro Machuca, with three hundred followers, was settled in this area, setting up his headquarters in Laq Sauceda, where nowadays it is located Cortes de La Frontera. The first bandits of whom we have written accounts appeared in texts of Miguel de Cervantes and Vicente Espinel.
During the War of Spanish Succession, the troops of Jimena defended Gibraltar together with Felipe V, this gave them the title “very loyal”. Jimena obtained the title of city in 1879, thanks to the king Alfonso XII. With the loss of Gibraltar at the beginning of XVIII century, Jimena de la Frontera was transformed into an important military enclave. At the end of this century, it took place the building of the second andalusian blast furnace on the banks of Hoz-Garganta River.
The War of Independence made that Jimena was the scene of some battles and the loss of most of its historic-artistic heritage.
Cave Paintings in la Laja Alta
El Cao / Canal of the Royal Artillery Factory
The Bell Tower
Church of La Misericordia
San Francisco Church
Church of Nuestra Señora de la Victoria
The Bath of La Reina Mora
Avenue of Santuario
Route of El Toro – The Paradise of El Venado
Path of Ubrique – Asomadillas
The typical products we can find in Jimena de la Frontera are pork, kid or hunting meat, vegetables and greens, and a delicious confectionery with an Arab tradition.
We have dishes like stew of leg, consisting of pieces of pork, together with other stews of lamb or kid. Stews of venison and partridge and rabbit are cooked with hunting meat.
The oranges and the fruit-trees of irrigated regions of San Martín del Tesorillo are well known.
With regard to confectionery, we have to emphasize the doughnuts of wine, and the most typical one: the piñonate (candied pine-nut), made with flour, honey and almonds, that comes from an ancestral recipe with an andalusí inspiration.
How to get there
From the South part (the area of Algeciras): by the motorway E-15/A-7 we have to take the exit 115 (Taraguilla, Ronda, Jimena de la Frontera). By the motorway A-369 until you arrive to the Station of Jimena. From here the village is several minutes.
From the North part (Ronda): go down the mountainous of Ronda by the motorway A-369 until you enter the province of Cádiz (San Pablo de Buceite) and to 9 kilometres we arrive to Jimena de la Frontera in the right slope.
To Cádiz 110 km
To Ubrique 58 km
To Sevilla 161 km
To Málaga 136 km
To Marbella 78 km
To Algeciras 42 km
To Los Barrios 40 km
To Alcalá de los Gazules 50 km
The Vega del Hozgarganta Route
Due to its strategic location, the town of Jimena de la Frontera is an important crossroad: bridle paths, sheep & goat tracks and the railway line all converge in this area, in the natural corridor created by the river Hozgarganta.
The route starts in the south of the town, on the opposite side of the bridge over the Hozgarganta, by the Pasada de Alcalá, in the area bordering the Los Alcornocales Natural Park. The route leaves behind the historic town, the old Roman city of Oba, with the remains of its Moorish castle as the village watchtower.
The route floolws the ancinet bridle paths used by the muleteers, impassable for wheeled vehicles, which in olden times used to be surrounded by mountains and riverside woods, and it runs through the river lowland towards the ranch of Los Lobos. On this stretch the path coincides with part of the GR-7, a long distance route which passes through the sierras de Malaga and Cadiz. It continues south parallel to the railway line from Algeciras to Bobadilla, 177 kilometres in length and an important feature of the river basin of the Guadiaro and the Hozgarganta. In addition, it is worth visiting the barriada (neighbourhood) of Los Angeles or La Estación, towards the north, because of its convent to Nuestra Señora de los Angeles, built in 1450.
The railway line passes through this territory between the fields and the edges of the sierras, leaving behind the hills covered with cork oaks which provide this area with various resources: cork, firewood, river fishing, hunting, aromatic plants, honey, fruit and pasture for cattle. Towards the end of the route the path narrows and passes under an agreeable canopy of trees ideal for walking. A number of paths lead to different farmhouses on the slopes, to the cultivated fields and the orchards on the lowlands. On ariving at Las Bridas the route turns left and crosses the river over a concrete platform, coming into the open lowlands. The last place of interest is after the crossroad in Marchenilla, and old Roman villa where the cattle paths, such as the Cañada Real de los Angeles, meet.