Santa Ana la Real
Santa Ana la Real
Santa Ana la Real is a town located south of the Natural Park of the Sierra de Aracena and los Picos de Aroche, one of the most important protected areas of the community which occupies the entire north of the province with its meadows and small hills covered predominantly with oak forests, cork trees, chestnut trees and scrub, where numerous streams flow, forming a place of extraordinary beauty.
Like most mountain villages, it was formed during the Christian repopulation. The Church of Santa Ana is listed as being of Cultural Interest.
Also of interest are the community, and the area known as Los Chorros.
The first signs of human presence in this mountain environment are rock carvings found in the finca of Los Azulejos, immersed within the area of a necropolis containing dolmens, and perhaps linked to the ritual of burial of these populations from the third millennium BC in the Sierra. The prints represent the cycle of life: animals, plants, moon and sun.
The history of Santa Ana la Real is intimately linked to that of Almonaster la Real, to which it belonged until 18 November 1751, when it was declared a town by King Fernando VI. El Valle de Santa Ana, as it was known then, had 58 residents and belonged to Doña María Teresa Márquez de Avellaneda. It was her husband, Don Gregorio del Valle Clavijo, who ceded it to the residents for the amount of 435,000 maravedíes de vellón.
The first records of Santa Ana la Real are back in the mid-sixteenth century, which saw a population increase, leading to the colonisation of these lands to exploit the natural resources they offered.
During the seventeenth century, the continuing strife, hunger, and conditions of life imposed by the medium, led many residents to flee to other places. The eighteenth century opened with a population increase favoured by a decrease in mass mortality, and the introduction of new foods. This led to strong horticultural activity, and trade with locations such as Badajoz.
Towards the end of that century, and during the early nineteenth century, there was a confrontation with the towns of Jabugo and Almonaster, motivated by the use of mountain acorns and the dominance of oak forests. Behind a seemingly economic conflict, there hid a social problem, but as the people demanded that the lands be open year-round for grazing, the owners claimed their right to the use of acorns. This long conflict, over thirty years, was settled when the French army entered Andalusia in 1810.
The nineteenth century was marked by the impact of the two cholera epidemics (in 1834 and 1854), and by the important mining activity in Andévalo
and the Sierras at the end of the century, causing changes in the way of life of the peasants, who once again began to leave the village.
The twentieth century began in Santa Ana la Real with a population of 983 inhabitants, increasing steadily until 1940 when it had a population of 1164, largely devoted to a subsistence economy based on livestock ownership for domestic consumption, and agricultural work. It was also important during the 60s due to the production of lime for the construction industry. This production took place in more than 10 kilns, concentrated mainly on the slopes of Cerro Castillejo.
Today, with a steady population of around 500 inhabitants, Santa Ana la Real is placing its expectations in the current tourism development in the area. This growth sector can open new paths for the future of a population who identify with the environment, love their customs and traditions, and which refuses to succumb at the crossroads of time.
Santa Ana la Real Monuments
Church of Santa Ana, eighteenth century.
Chapel of St. Bartolome
La Cruz del Vigia
Fountain of los Tres Caños
Court of Santa Ana.
Gastronomy de Santa Ana la Real
Santa Ana Real still retains a number of dishes that, although developed in other towns in the region, are made here with some ingredients that give a different touch and taste. These are traditional dishes that have managed to survive the invasion of commercial products that were about to standardize diets, regardless of the habitat. Some of these dishes are:
– Estofadillo: It is a stew of potatoes and pork, typical of lunches during “la Matanza”.
– Bean stew with cod, which is eaten during the days of the Easter vigil.
– Gazpacho with cooked potatoes: In the winter they take advantage of the store of bottled tomatoes, and add potatoes, bread and cilantro.
– Picadillo de asadura: Its base is also bottled tomatoes, cilantro and onion. It often has offal, roasted and chopped into small pieces. Winter dish.
– Migas: Made with potatoes, bread and garlic. It was the custom, still preserved in some houses, to eat from the same pan in which the food was prepared, with the whole family sitting by the fire. “El mosto” and “sardinas embarricás” are perfect complements to Migas.
– Pastry: Standing out from other areas home-made sweets are the buñuelos de viento, torrijas enmeladas, pestiños, rosas and roscos.
The diet of Santaneros continues to have a seasonal cycle that depends on the products offered in gardens throughout the year, and whose meat component is based almost exclusively on pork products.
The village of Santa Ana sits near the intersection of Cortegana-Almonaster Real with Aracena and the N-435, which links the Sierra with the South of the province.
Distances from Santa Ana la Real
Huelva 97 km
Sevilla 105 km
Aracena 19 km
Aroche 29 km
Jabugo 9,5 km
Cortegana 15 km
Almonaster la Real 8,5 km
Higuera de la Sierra 31 km