Priego de Córdoba
Priego de Córdoba, Town in the Subbética Cordobesa
Priego de Córdoba information. In the Subbética Cordoba, in the SE of the province of Cordoba, with an area of 159,190 hectares and with about 113,000 inhabitants in 14 municipalities, there is a natural space between the mountains of Cabra, Rute and Horconera,which is of great ecological and scenic value, declared by the Junta de Andalucía, through the Environment Agency, as Natural Park of Sierras Subbéticas de Córdoba, having an area of 31,568 hectares, distributed unevenly among eight municipalities: Cabra, Carcabuey, Doña Mencia, Iznajar, Luque, Priego, Rute and Zuheros.
The history of Priego de Córdoba should not be viewed in isolation, as it had an effect on some of the most outstanding events that took place in the whole cultural area of the Mediterranean. Numerous prehistoric findings tell us about its past, the oldest remains that have been found being from the Middle Palaeolithic age. It belonged to the Mousterian Cultural Complex, which developed during the period between 30,000 and 90,000 years before the present day.
There are also considerable remains as proof of the strong ‘Romanization’ of the region, but it was without doubt the Muslims who gave Priego de Córdoba all its early splendour. The historian Ibn al-Khatib said that in the year 745, Egyptian soldiers who entered the peninsula under the command of Abul-Jatt settled in Bago (Priego).
During the mid-ninth century Priego de Córdoba was known as Medina Bagha or Medina Bahiga, and also as capital of the Muslim coras or provinces, and played an important role in the use of guerrillas kept by the emirs of Cordoba. In 889 it became the centre of operations of Ibn Mastana, one of the most important insurgent leaders, who entitled himself ‘Lord of Priego and Luque’.
As the Caliphate of Cordoba declined, the town of Priego formed part, first of the Zirit kingdom of Granada, and later of the Nazarite kingdom. As in 1090 it was occupied by the Almoravids, who replaced the Almohades in the mid-thirteenth century
In 1226, King Ferdinand III, having raised the siege of Jaén, arrived in Priego from Alcaudete, and after three days donated the town to the Order of Calatrava.
In 1341, Priego was finally conquered by Alfonso XI, who began the resettlement and the payment of tolls and taxes.
In 1370, Priego came under the control of Gonzalo Fernandez de Cordoba, lord of the House of Aguilar, by cession of Enrique II.
In 1502, the Catholic Monarchs named Don Pedro Fernandez de Cordoba first Marquis of Priego. It was a time of great progress for the town. During this time was constructed the ‘Casa del Cabildo’, the jail, the Granary and the ‘Carcineria’(butchery hall). They also rebuilt the chapel of San Nicasio and built the church of San Esteban, today called San Francisco.
During the seventeenth century the Moors who had occupied the district of La Puerta, Granada were expelled. According to the council, their number amounted to three thousand people. This contributed to the worsening economic situation which was already bad enough in the first half of this century, as at the beginning of the century local inhabitants were made to pay higher sales taxes than ever before. An agreement was reached whereby the city would buy the sales tax for 130,000 ducats. Felipe III signed this agreement and it was ratified later in 1617 by Philip IV. Around this time the region suffered outbreaks of plague which occurred in 1650 and 1680.
In 1705, Priego was involved in the War of Succession and the defense of Gibraltar, and in 1711, becomes dependent on the Duchy of Medinaceli. It reached a stage of great prosperity as one of the most important centres of sericulture (the cultivation and production of silk) in Spain.
Taffeta and velvet was sold in much of the peninsula, France and the Indies. The convents and temples used this as baroque decoration. But in the late eighteenth century, there was a sharp downturn, due in part to impaired production of mulberry trees, high taxes and the competitive pressure of cotton fabrics.
For this reason, the economic boom of the eighteenth century contrasts greatly with the poverty of the nineteenth century, caused by the disappearance of the guilds and the many vicissitudes of national life, the French invasion, the liberal turmoil, partisan politics, all causes of deep political instability and the land seizures.
In 1843 the municipality emancipated the villages of Castil de compos (later to be re-integrated into the municipality), Fuente Tojar and Almedinilla.
In 1881, King Alfonso XII awarded the title of City due to population growth, agricultural importance and commitment to constitutional monarchy. But perhaps the highlight of this century are the births of these illustrious sons, Don Niceto Alcalá-Zamora y Torres (1877-1949), first President of the Second Spanish Republic, Don Adolfo Lozano Sidro (1872-1935), famous and distinguished painter, and, a little later, the renowned sculptor Don José Álvarez Cubero (1768-1827).
In the first decades of the twentieth century, the population reached 17,000 and the city woke up from the slumbers of the nineteenth. In the decade of the 20’s there grew up an important textile industry producing patens, denim and canvas, which began to decline in the 60’s. Today it has turned into a garment industry that has made Priego, along with its agricultural potential, industrial and tourism, a thriving city, with broad prospects for the future.
Priego de Córdoba Monuments
Calle del Rio
Plaza de Toros
Fuente del Rey
Barrio de la Villa
Paseo de Colombia
Fuente de la Salud
Church of San Pedro
Church of San Francisco
Church of Our Lady of the Dawn
Adolfo Lozano Sidro Cultural Center
Church of Nuestra Señora del Carmen
Church of Our Lady of the Assumption
Hospital and Church of San Juan de Dios
Church of Nuestra Señora de las Mercedes
Church of Nuestra Señora de las Angustias
Priego de Córdoba Museums
The Local History Museum: Founded in 1983, the museum´s speciality is Archeology. Not only does it look after the conservation and display of exhibits showing the town´s evolution from prehistoric times to the 15th century, it also manages all aspects of th local Archeological Heritage Service.
The prime aim of the museum is the educational element fo its collection, combining unique and interesting objects, with the historical information which places them in their context.
The collection is divided into five areas, four rooms and a colonnaded patio, which should be viewed in chronological order, to follow the evolution of human settlement in the region:
– Room I: Paleolithic and Neolithic
– Room II: Copper Age, Bronze Age and Iron Age
– Room III: Roman
– Room IV: Middle Ages
– Patio: Roman and Middle Ages
The museum publishes a specialist magazine, Antiqvitas, and includes a conservation workshop, library, and adminstrative offices. It is also headquarters of th Town Archeology Service, which is soon to move to a new site, with a section devoted to anthropological studies.
Niceto Alcalá-Zamora´s Home and Museum: The museum is housed in the birthplace of the President of the Second Spanish Republic, Niceto Alcalá-Zamora y Torres. Located in the Río street (Calle Río), it is a beautiful stately home built in the 19th century. The origin of the museum goes back to December 17th 1986, when the daughters of Niceto Alcalá-Zamora, Purificación and Isabel Alcalá-Zamora Castillo, donated the family home to Priego de Córdoba.
Our visit begins on the ground floor with the sitting room, where you can still see the same furniture and floor tiles as in the time of the President, and a number of family portraits. In the winter dining room, there is an exhibition of portraits of Alcalá-Zamora himself. The kitchen has been preserved just as it was when he lived in the house, and in the patio is a bust of the President presented by his town in 1987, unde an oak tree more than a hundred years old, planted by Alcalá-Zamora in his childhood.
On the first floor, his parents´ bedroom remains untouched. This is where he was born on July 6th 1877, and visitors can see his crib, as well as his birth certificate and his first photograph.
The remaining rooms offer a detailed history of his private and public life: his early student years, his administrative and political career, his life as President of Second Republic, and his eventual exile.
The seventh and last room contains his final photographs, the sofa on which he died on February, 18th 1949, and the clock, stopped at the tiem of his death. According to the wishes of his daughters, a lamp reamins permanently lit, as a reminder of Alcalá-Zamora´s life.
Museum of Moderm Spanish Landscape Art: The Museum of Modern Spanish Landscape Art was founded in 1996 by the town council, and dedicated to the artist Antonio Povedano in recognition of his support for the Priego de Córdoba School of Plastic Arts.
Devoted a single genre, the museum displays different ways of seeing and interpreting landscapes, through the work of some of the finest Spanish specialists. Figurative art is represented by the realism of Amalia Avía and José Lapayese, by the sende of magic of José Hernández, or by the expressive and colourful interpretation of Agustín Redondela, Vaquero Palacios, Manuel Capdevilla and Agustín Úbeda, among others. The works of artists such as José Abad, Molina Montero, Antonio Suárez or José Vento take us closer to the abstract form.
The House-Museum of Castil de Campos: Castil de Campos is a village 12 km from Priego de Córdoba. It houses a permanent exhibition of popular artefacts and is run by the association Amigos de la Casa Museo de Artes y Costumbres Populares de Castil de Campos. The building is a small dwelling, now restored and typical of popular rural architecture. As we walk through its rooms, we can see displays of tools and local customs, reminding us of a past which has almost desappeared, a teestimony to our traditions.
The Museum of the Almond in Zamoranos: It is in the village of Zamoranos, 13 km from Priego de Córdoba. In this museum, you can value and know about this valuable product. It houses a main room where there is a collection of the machinery of the middle of 20th century. This machinery is related to the processing and peeling of the almonds. In addition, we can know about the variety of the almonds, its characteristics and its different uses.
Mycological Garden “La Trufa”: It is located in the village of Zagrilla Alta (13 km from Priego de Córdoba). It is part of the Andalusian Botanic Gardens, Red Andaluza de Jardines Botánicos y Micológicos en Espacios Naturales, whose function is the knowledge, the preservation and the exhibition of plants and fungus that form the mediterranean mountain in Andalusia. On the other hand, the Mycological Garden La Trufa has a regional exhibition of fungus in Andalusia.
Priego de Córdoba Gastronomy
It would take a long time to describe all the dishes and desserts available in Priego therefore we will only describe these three traditional recipes, still prepared to this day, but first we must mention the excellent olive oil with the denomination of origin “Priego de Córdoba”, which is a fundamental ingredient to most dishes prepared in the area.
Relleno de Carnaval: This dish stands out from others because of its age. It consists of a mixture of meat, seasoned with basic ingredients and once well kneaded the meat is mixed with pork and boiled, then allowed to cool and served sliced.
Albondigas de Semana Santa: Prepared at Easter as several fish dishes, such as Easter Meatballs, made with broth and exquisite tasting. Also prepared is Easter casserole whose ingredients are white beans or “Amon” and cod.
Piñonate: A sweet tradition and known for its delicacy is piñonates, which usually takes the form of a big donut fried in olive oil. Its preparation is extremely difficult as it must be cooked over candlewood by an expert as the heat of the oil is critical to the process.
Out of Cordoba. At the roundabout, take exit 2 Continue: towards Granada, direction: N-432, Granada,. Pass Santa Cruz and follow signs to Baena and Luque. Once past the town of Luque after several miles you will find Priego de Córdoba
Distances from Priego de Córdoba
Cabra 26 km
Luque 22 km
Carcabuey 8 km
Los Villares 13 km