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Villages in Huelva

Rociana del Condado

Villages in Huelva

Rociana del Condado

Rociana del Condado is a beautiful town belonging to the Region of Condado, and located in the heart of the region in fertile agricultural land devoted to cereal, olive groves and vineyards.

Rociana limits with the municipalities of Villarrasa, Bollullos Par del Condado, Almonte, Bonares and Niebla.

Amongst the most interesting monuments are the shrine of the Santísima Virgen del Socorro and the Parish Church of S. Bartolomé.

Archaeological sites from the Neolithic, Chalcolithic, Roman, Visigoth and Muslim eras found in and around the current urban enclave of Rociana tell us about its most remote antiquity. Its geographical location in the Tartessos area, near the Atlantic coast and Niebla, is justification for the many civilizations that settled in the territory.

The etymology of the name of Rociana is unclear. In a scroll from 1368 it appears in this way, but with a cedilla replacing the consonant “c”. In other historical documents from the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries we find the word “Russiana.” It also seems there is a clear hypothesis for the relationship with the popular name for the sandy grove forests typical of the left bank of the Guadalquivir. The addition “del Condado” was at the request of the City Council in 1959, as they wanted to include the wines in the appellation of origin of the same name.

The most well known historical stages, from the abundance of data, are the Medieval and Modern, stages in which Rociana came under the rule of Niebla and Estate of the Duke of Medina Sidonia.

According to the Castilian chroniclers of the thirteenth century Rociana was a village, or facanía, within the Taifa Kingdom of Lebra, or the Algarve, with its capital in Niebla, during the time of King Aben Mafot. In 1262 the Christian armies of Alfonso X conquered the capital, and the territory of the Taifa kingdom became part of the Castilian kingdoms, and was divided into the municipalities of Gibraleón, Huelva and Niebla, which is the largest and most populated, with many villages, whose terms were vaguely defined. Rociana benefitted from all the favours, perks and royal privileges that were granted for the repopulation of newly conquered realms, and those that shared a border with Muslims.

During the thirteenth and fifteenth centuries, the main wealth of Rociana was cattle, followed by some grain farming and wine production, in marked contrast with the absence of any major manufacturing or industry.

In 1368, King Enrique, in payment for services rendered by Juan Alonso Pérez de Guzmán, conceded the territory of Niebla City Council, under the title County, the first to be established in Andalusia.

Rociana now enjoyed its own government, represented by the council or city hall, which was composed of three aldermen, two mayors, a Trustee Attorney and a Justice of estates, all residents of Rociana, and confirmed in their office by the Earls, and later Dukes, of Medina Sidonia. The shortlist of future governors of Rociana was proposed annually by the council, which took into account the personal wealth of the candidates, and the number of times they had held office. This municipal government regulated all  social, political and economic aspects of the town, except for the administration of justice which fell to the County Magistrate, who could however transfer these duties to the aldermen in dome cases of minor litigation.

With this limited autonomy conferred on it by the municipal government, Rociana began a new journey of historical character; defending the general interests of the neighborhood and maintaining a constant struggle with the neighboring towns, who were seeking to expand their territories at the expense of Rocianas borders.

During the Old Regime of the sixteenth to eighteenth centuries, Rociana underwent a series of important and diverse transformations that marked its historical evolution. First, there was a transition from a pastoral domain to a predominantly agricultural one, soon surpassing the coarse grain crops, vineyards and olive groves.

The vineyards came to stand out among the other crops after receiving a strong boost from domestic demand, export to the Americas, and the arrival of investors from other Spanish provinces, mainly from the Rioja and Basque provinces. The ever-increasing population tripled between 1550 and 1636, which had an impact on urban growth and raised the need for new farmland. This significantly decreased the pastures, forests and grasslands, sometimes under license from the authorities, but more often through forcible illegal clearings.

As for religious issues, Rociana had an abundance from the sixteenth century, including fraternities, sororities, pious foundations and boards of laymen, product of financial donations, and of unions, professional associations, and producers, whose functions were performed in the parish church, which still provides us with a “sketch” of the sixteenth century.

It was in this sense, at the end of the fifteenth century, that the Dominican friars, at the initiative of Father Pedro Martín Calvo, built the first monastery of the regular order in the County, on whose architectural remains is built the Rociana House of Culture. It was the express wish of the Duke, from 1580, that the entire county should celebrate the day of Santo Domingo. Both this celebration and Corpus Christi were the most important in Rociana until the eighteenth century, when they were replaced by those of San Bartolomé and Nuestra Señora del Socorro.

From the eighteenth century, Rociana participated, along with other towns in the County, in a general movement of the City Council to achieve political autonomy from Niebla, and the estate of Medina Sidonia. They were supported in this by centralizing action from the Bourbon monarchy.

But Rociana had to wait for the constitutional provisions of the Courts of Cadiz and the 1833 Lordships Act, by which all Jurisdictional Lordships were definitively anulled by the courts, giving rise to the new administrative and territorial division which remains in place today.

Rociana del Condado Monuments

Town Hall.

The hermitage of the Virgen del Socorro.

Chapel of San Bartolomé.

Shrine of San Sebastián.

The Hacienda

Rociana del Condado Gastronomy

Panetes de Rociana.

Drinks: Wines of the county.

Directions

Leave Huelva and head towards San Juan del Puerto and Lucena del Puerto. Once you have passed Lucena take the A-484 and HV-6211. Follow this roaf to Rociana

Distances from Rociana del Condado

Beas 25 km
Niebla 11 km
Huelva 38 km
Sevilla 60 km
Moguer 25 km
Bonares 8,5 km
Trigueros 31 km
Palos de la Frontera 33 km
La Palma del Condado 13 km


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