Santiago de Calatrava
Santiago de Calatrava, La Campiña Region
Santiago de Calatrava is a town in the province of Jaén, located in the south-west area of the region known as La Campiña.
From the Bronze Final Age we can observe an intense human occupation of the lands that nowadays are part of Santiago de Calatrava. From the VII and VI century B.C we can find small village gatherings, characterized by a model home called hut and that it is circular, located in iodine places of the Iberian culture promoted by La Dehesilla, Cerro del Lucero or El Cortijo de Pedro Rubio Alto.
It is located in a strategic location between Porcuna and Martos. The appearance of an aristocratic class in the towns mentioned favours a new organization of the territory, that in the lands of Santiago results in its colonization by small agrarian settlements, without fortification, like the ones of Las Manoteras, Cortijo de Pedro Rubio Bajo, Cerro del Arroyo del Grajo, Cortijo de Pilallos, that had two small fortified enclosures to its defence such as Cerro de la Estrella and Cerro Boyero.
During the Roman Age, under the protection of the two mentioned towns (Obulco and Tucci), we can observe a proliferation in its territory of small houses that belonged to peasants, some of them villae, among we can mention: two in El Cortijo de la Cruz Gorda, the one of El Cerro del Argamasón or El Cortijo de Valdeutiel.
From the Roman Period and in the Islamic Age Santiago de Calatrava became a key question of the transverse paved road that from Écija (Astigi) reached Cástulo, without passing by Córdoba and, on the other hand, it had another branch that from Santiago de Calatrava went towards Martos, Jaén and Mentesa. Both paved roads have been considered between the possible itineraries followed by Tariq to the conquest of the Peninsula.
During the Islamic Age Santiago de Calatrava would be a small farmhouse or village belonging to the administrative district of Tuss or Martus. After the Castilian conquest by Fernando III el Santo the same king ceded it in 1228 to the Señorío de la Orden Militar de Calatrava, being part of the Encomiendas de la Peña de Martos and of Víboras. In its municipal district we can find two remains of two defensive towers: the tower of La and the one of La Matea and the one of Las Gorgolillas.
During the following centuries, until the conquest of Granada, Santiago de Calatrava’s life made it difficult due to its frontier location with the Nasrid kingdom. Among the events of the Condestable Iranzo it is told that the Nasrids came in the town in 1471, caught unawares the town slept and causing a great slaughter, they entered the church and plundered it. Events that the Condestable wrote the Pope Sixto IV in order to request indulgences “for those who go to defend the Christians from the frontiers Moorish”.
The town took the name of Santiago de Maros, and the one of Santiago de Calatrava in 1.591, on the occasion of the awarding of Exención de Martos’ letter, given by Felipe II 18, June 1.591. So, the town of Santiago is a consequence of the repopulation process that the territory of the Encomienda de la Peña de Martos lives, until its independence in 1.591.
Parish Church of La Inmaculada Concepción.
Parish Church of La Virgen de la Estrella. Where Santo Domingo de Guzmán preached.
Remains of the Arab castle.
Santiago de Calatrava Gastronomy
Pestiños (a sweet made with fried flour dough, beatted eggs and covered with honey).
Roscos fritos (fried bread rolls).
Torrijas (French toasts).
Jarapos with hare or rabbit.
Potaje de garbanzos con panecillos (chickpea stew with bread rolls).
Panecillos en dulce (sweet bread rolls).
Gachas dulces (sweet oatmeal porridges).
How to get there
You have to exit Jaén and continue in the Carretera de Córdoba, then take the Motorway A-316 and take the exit towards: Torredonjimeno – Córdoba. Take the Motorway A-306 towards: Córdoba. Turn left in: JV-2121, and later turn right in: A-6052. Alleyways of Lendínez, then you get Santiago de Calatrava.
Distances from Santiago de Calatrava
Jaén 40 km
Martos 21 km
Porcuna 17 km
Lendínez 5,5 km
Valenzuela 6 km
Jamilena 27 km
Pilar de Moya 16 km
Puente del Villar 26 km
Torredonjimeno 21 km
Pozo de la Orden 11 km
Higuera de Calatrava 5,5 km