Noalejo, Sierra Mágina Region
Noalejo is located at the southwest area of the region called Sierra Magina that is enlarged in a bordering strip with the province of Granada. Limits with the municipalities of Frailes, Valdepeñas de Jaén, Campillo de Arenas, Cambil and Huelma, all of them in the Jaén province and with the municipalities of Montejícar, Campotéjar, Iznalloz and Montillana in the Granada province.
This municipality emphasizes because it is the town of the south half with smaller impact of the olive grove in the municipal district, since it only occupies a sixth part of the total area. We can observe in the town the pastures and the holm oaks woodlands, sometimes very preserved. The economic activity revolved around the olive grove and its transforming industry and the pork industry. It is very common the olive exploitation in the towns of Jaén and Granada.
The oldest evidence about the human presence in Noalejo is the protected cave paintings of Navalcán, to 4 kilometres from the present population centre, that should be done between the end Neolithic and the Bronze Age.
Noalejo was founded by Mencía de Salcedo in the XVI century that some authors point out like waitress of the empress Isabel de Portugal, Carlos V’s wife.
Between the end of the Reconquest, in 1492, and during the first third of the XVI century the lands that nowadays occupies Noalejo were fighted by the Town Councils of Granada and Jaén on the occasion of the delimitation of its respective municipal districts. In 1559 Mencía de Salcedo bought to the Crown the civil and criminal jurisdiction of these lands, where it got the royal licence to plough 1.500 fanegas (agricultural unit of capacity, 1, 59 acres), with the opposition of both town councils.
Concerning the ecclesiastical plano, while the fights between the bishop Granada and Jaén were solved, in 1568 it was ceded by Bula to the Abbey of Alcalá la Real the ecclesiastical jurisdiction of the Villa. When in 1851 the Abbey was abolished, it was made up in the diocese of Jaén.
Until the abolition of the lordships in the Cortes de Cádiz of 1812, Noalejo was entailed state of Maldonado, to whom was ceded after the death of Mrs Mencía in 1575. But they would not lost for good, since in 1838, during the reign of Isabel II, the Court of First Instance of Huelma gave the duke of Fernán Núñez the recognition of property of the lands, with the title of private property. This caused a series of arguments and confrontations between the duke and the inhabitants that culminated in 1872 with the sale of plots of land to the inhabitants of Noalejo.
Hermitage of La Virgen de la Cabeza.
Village of La Hoya.
Small dispersed population centres.
Sausages (we can emphasize the chorizo of Noalejo).
Migas con torreznos (breadcrumbs with oil, garlic, paprika and fried rashers of bacon)
Migas con chocolate (breadcrumbs with chocolate)
Relleno de cocido “A big meatball of and ham”
Pipirrana (a salad with onion, tomato and cucumber).
Cochifrito (lamb or goat meat cooked and then fried with olive oil, garlic, vinegar, basil, rosemary, bay leaves and spearmint).
Gallina en pepitoria (chicken stew with almonds, saffron and yolk).
Salsa de pastor.
Churrasco de cerdo (barbecued pork).
Panecillos de huevo (egg bread rolls).
Albóndigas de bacalao (cod meatballs).
Sweets: Hojuelas con miel (pancakes sprinkled with honey). Pestiños de aceite (fried flour pastry and beated eggs all covered with honey). Fried bread rolls. Wine bread rolls. Nochebuenos. “Pan con pasas” (bread with raisins). Hornazos (a meat pie made with flour and stuffed with pork loin, spicy chorizo sausage and hard-boiled eggs).
How to get there
You have to exit Jaén and continue through J-14, then take the Motorway A-316. Turn left in E-902 / A-44 towards Granada – Motril. Take the exit towards: Salida 77 – Noalejo. Turn right in JV-2229 towards Noalejo. Then you get Noalejo.
Distances from Noalejo
Jaén 42 km
Frailes 39 km
Cambil 29 km
Huelma 42 km
Montejícar 29 km
Pegalajar 32 km
Los Villares 54 km
Benalúa de las Villas 17 km
Campillo de Arenas 4,5 km
Valdepeñas de Jaén 61 km