Andalucia Rustica

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Villages in Cadiz

Setenil de las Bodegas

Villages in Cadiz

Setenil de las Bodegas

Setenil de las Bodegas is located on the north-east of Cádiz, in the Sierra (Mountain Range), that is known as Ruta de los Pueblos Blancos (Route of the White Villages), and very near of the Natural Park (Nature Reserve) “Sierra de Grazalema”.

The main charm of this village is its own town, due to the beauty and originality of its urban frame that with a high slope descends from the Castle adapting to the course of the river and this gives it a peculiar position with different height levels. In the lower part the inhabitants have used the cut that the rock had to build their houses. It is a question of an exceptional example of a kind of house called “abrigo bajo rocas” (protection under rocks) that, in contrast to other semi troglodíticas buildings in Andalucía, it does not dig the rock, but for it closes the rocky wall and makes the wall in a longitudinal way.

It is located at a height of 640 meters and at 157 kilometers from Cádiz.

As for its history, Setenil is one of the villages whose origins are a mystery. Firstly, its caves with blackish ceilings backs us to Prehistory, when our primitive fellows, maybe, used it like a natural shelter.

From the ancient phase we know that in its outskirts it was located the roman colonies called Laccipo. However, it is in the Late Middle Ages when dates from the first urban township in the same place that the present one.

In Moslem’s time, the conquest of this village was basic for the Crown in its progress towards Granada. With Juan II de Castilla, in 1402,  it tries to conquest, without success, and from that moment there were built seven places, from that one of the theories about the origin of the name of Setenil (Septem-nihil, seven times nothing), being the last, 21st September 1484, the whom that lead to the success, considered basic to reclaim Granada territory. Like a curiosity, we have to point out that in the choir of the cathedral of Toledo there is a scene about this siege.

Besides it exists a legend which tells that in this siege, Isabel la Católica had a son, who died shortly after he was born and she was named him Sebastián; in the same place and dedicated to him was built the first church of Setenil, called of San Sebastián, that besides, is the patron of the village.

Setenil de las Bodegas Monuments

Fortress Castle
Parish Church Ntra. Señora de la Encarnación
Chapel of San Sebastián
Ancient Town Hall
Chapel of Ntra. Sra. del Carmen
Acinipo (Roman Remains)
Houses of the Rocks (Casas en las Rocas)

Gastronomy in Setenil de las Bodegas

An important product in the gastronomy of Setenil is the Extra Virgin Olive Oil, all the courses are cooked with this product. Between its more typical courses we can find: cortijeras soups, gazpachos (Andalusian cold soups), mixed asparagus, fried breadcrumbs, stews and chacinas (porks). In confectionery we can emphasize: oil flat cakes and the quince. But one of the great charms of Setenil is to walk and “tapear” (go round the bars eating snacks) in its numerous bares.

Setenil de las Bodegas Routes

Route of Los Bandoleros
Route of Viajero
The Route of la Cañada de Málaga
Route of Los Molinos
Route of los Escarpes del Río Trejo
Viewpoints and Streets of Setenil
Road of la Aguilera
Road of Las LimosnasSetenil de las Bodegas
Mountain Pass Ventas de Leche (Coladas Ventas de Leche)

How to get there

Leave Cádiz. Continue in: N-443and then continue in: AP-4. Continue in: E-5 / A-4. Take the exit towards: Exit 80 – Arcos – Speed Circuit (Circuito de Velocidad). Continue in: A-382. Take the exit towards: Exit 3 – Circuito – A-382a – Service Area (Vía de Servicio) – Torremelgarejo. Continue in: A-384. Crossing of Bornos. Pass near Villamartín and Algodonales. Follow the indications until you arrive to Setenil.

Distances from Setenil de las Bodegas

Ronda 25 km
Olvera 16 km
Cádiz 137 km
Málaga 129 km
Sevilla 116 km

Setenil de las Bodegas



Photos 29/09/2020

These are two of the most typical streets of Setenil. Their names are due to the amount of sun they recive. The Caves of the Sun, where we are, face the south and are warmer than those of the Shade. However, the interior of the houses in both streets conserves a very special microclimate, which keeps a cool temperature in the summer season and is a little warmer in the cold winter.

Setenil is one of those towns whose origin is a mystery. These caves with blackened ceilings take us back to prehistoric times, when aur primitive ancestors may have used them as a natural shelter. That is why the dwellings have been called “semi troglodite”. The caves are natural and were used for living in. They are built under the rocky vaults with fachades that close the mouths of the caves. The rocky vaults constitute the ceilings of most of these constructions.

Cuevas del Sol - Setenil de las Bodegas

Cuevas de la Sombra de Setenil de las Bodegas

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