Porcuna, Campiña Baja
Porcuna is a town located in the marcrocomarca of the Depresión del Guadalquivir to the west of Jaén, in the called Campiña Baja, its relief is framed between Sierra Morena and Las Serranías Subbéticas.
At north it borders on Lopera; at northeast on Arjona; at East and southeast on Torredonjimeno; at south on Higuera de Calatrava and Valenzuela (Córdoba); at southwest on Baena (Córdoba); and at west on Baena (Córdoba) and Cañete de las Torres (Córdoba). Porcuna is at 42 km from the capital.
The origins of Porcuna date back to a group of villages from the Final Neolithic located in its surroundings. During the Bronze Age (III millennium B.C) the area becomes a nuclear area of La Campiña. The archaeological researches have discovered in the hill of Los Alcores one of the oldest documented fortifications in Alto Guadalquivir, with double walled fence surrounding circular cabins. Another similar village is located in the hill of Albalate and both were kept during the Bronze Age (II millennium B.C.).
During the VII and VI B.C. the Iberian culture was formed in these lands and this way, in the hill of Los Alcores we can find a new urban planning, a geometric design, with rectangular houses and adobe walls which are raised over stone skirting boards, sometimes stuccoed with mud. The area kept its condition of open country centre and in this Iberian age emerged an aristocracy with heroic politics models, just like other Mediterranean regions. This élite, in order to perpetuate their lineage, symbolized their heroic deeds and origins, handing down the wonderful sculptoric group of the warriors of Cerrillo Blanco that are emblem of this culture. These sculptures were located in a sacred enclosure of Los Alcores, but shortly afterwards of its erection they were buried in the necropolis of Cerrillo Blanco.
The Roman Obulco was the origin of the actual Porcuna, confirmed by the epigraphic discoveries and the texts of Plinio, Ptolomeo and Estrabón. During the Republic and the first Imperium, the town was very important and had certain autonomy, because it minted its own coin. In the Civil War between Cesar and Pompeyo, Obulco sided with the first and, according to Estrabón; here was where Cesar prepared the decisive battle of Muda.
During the Moslem Age it was called Balkuna and was one of the district capital (Inqlim).
Porcuna was conquered by Fernando III; the king ceded it to the Orden de Calatrava, which turned it into one of its main enclaves (Encomienda de Porcuna). The order provided it with strong defences, where nowadays we can observe some towers and stretches, housing an Alcázar and a keeping tower with octagonal ground plan.
In 1242 Alfonso X changed it the calatravos in exchange for Cabra. Porcuna became free and was ceded to the Concejo de Jaén like village. In 1402 it returned to the Orden de Calatrava until the XIX century. From the five priories that the Orden had in Andalucía during the XVI century, two of them were in Porcuna: San Benito and Santa María. In these dates the Encomienda de Porcuna had disappeared but it was established in this town the Encomienda de la Torre del Cañaveral. Other calatravas institutions were the fortress- mayor’s office of the town and the Mesa Maestral, which had many goods.
Church of San Benito. It belonged to the Orden de Calatrava.
Church of Nuestro Padre Jesús Nazareno. We can emphasize an altarpiece and chapel from the XVIII century.
Church of Nuestra Señora de la Asunción, the end of XIX century. It kept Julio Romero de Torres’ canvas such as La Asunción, La Sagrada Familia and La Santa Cena.
Sanctuary of La Virgen de la Alharilla.
Tower of Boabdil, XV century.
Remains of an Arab wall.
Remains of the Roman Bridge and road.
Hill of Los Alcores. Remains of the Iberian civilization.
Cerrillo Blanco. Remains of the Iberian art.
Traditional urban area.
Archaeological Municipal Museum of Obulco.
Embutidos (Sausages). Stews of small game. Cod stews.
How to get there
The main road link is the national road Jaén-Córdoba (N-324), completing its road network other secondary regional and local roads with narrow routes and bad road surface, like we can observe in the one that links Porcuna with Lopera and Valenzuela (C-327), Porcuna with Higuera de Calatrava and Porcuna with Arjona, the same way as many rural paths.
Distances from Porcuna
Jaén 42 km
Arjona 15 km
Lopera 13 km
Alharilla 5.5 km
Escañuela 23 km
Villardompardo 24 km
Torredonjimeno 25 km
Higuera de Calatrava 11 km