Siles, Sierra de Segura
Siles is a place full of local colour with terraced streets, located to the north-east of the province, in Sierra de Segura, bordering on Albacete. It is situated over a valley surrounded by rugged hills with leafy vegetation.
We can find monuments such as the Parish Church of Nuestra Señora de la Asunción, Casa Tercia, Torre del Cubo, the Hermitage of S. Roque and the Plaza del Agua. In the area around it we can find La Peña del Olivar, La Fresnedilla and Las Acebas.
Part of its municipal district belongs to the Natural Park of Sierras de Cazorla, Segura y Las Villas, that is the biggest protected space in Spain: an orographical labyrinth of valleys, limestone quarries, cuts, mountains and high plateaus with a great hydrologic importance (because of the huge quantity of rivers and streams that flow from it); botanical (European Black Pine, Aleppo Pine and many endemic species); the wealth of the fauna, hunting and the landscape. From it we can observe that it is one of the most visited open spaces in the country.
In the times of Al Andalus, Siles was a prosperous town, mentioned in the chronicles like Silis. It had a castle-fortress that was one of the most important defensive bastions in the control of the ways of levante. One part of the castle had other fortresses that tightened its strategic position: Peñafleita, Tasca and the fortified town of Peña Horadada.
Silis was part of the district Saqura (Segura), belonging to La Cora de Yayyan (Jaén). According to the chronicles, during the Islamic period La Sierra de Segura was inhabited by many small villages, refuge places and castles-fortress.
At the end of the XII century, with the formation of the different kingdoms of Taifas, this square was competed by the Zirid dynasty from Granada (a Berber dynasty) and the king of Almería Ibn Sumadih who, in 1076 and 1077 took Silis, but soon after and reaching an agreement it was given to the Zirids.
Siles was conquered around 1230 by the knights of La Orden de Santiago in charge of the grand master Pelay Pérez Correa and it increased the extensive dominion of La Orden with see in Segura de la Sierra.
After the conquest, Siles kept is strategic importance, which is reported in the episode of Yusuf I de Granada’s siege in 1339, with 1.500 knights and 6.000 Moorish infantrymen. The Christian army under the command of the master Santiago Alonso Meléndez de Guzmán, obtained that the attackers rose the siege, if it had been successful they would have put at risk not only santiaguista sign but also the Adelantamiento de Cazorla.
Siles belonged to the kingdom of Murcia and Segura’s party, Orden de Santiago and it depended on the Chancillería (Chancery) of Granada and to the Bishopric of Cartagena.
In 1397 Siles was given the privilege of Villa (Small Town). This title was conferred because Siles itself and at its expenses besieged with walls and built three towers. Later the title was confirmed by Felipe II during his reign.
The fence had a rectangular design and it was made with mortar, with two varas (rods, a road is equal to 5.5 yards) wide, 10 varas high and 614 varas girth. It had three towers, apart from a main fortress, that in turn it had other big towers. Between both towers we can observe the lodging house, where santiaguistas collected the income donation to the church, and next to the house the church was built.
In this lodging house lived Rodrigo Manrique, Jorge Manrique’s father, for a long time, and here he died. The presence of Rodrigo en Siles caused that his fortress and town were involved in the XV century’s fights of the nobility.
Around the middle of the XIX century the fortress was not demolished: the urban area of Siles was divided into two areas, the oldest area called Villa was surrounded by the walls, that conserved even its merlons and three doors; to the rest of the urban area that was outside the enclosure was called Nueva Población.
Parish Church of Nuestra Señora de la Asunción. Its construction is divided between the Gothic Age and the XVI century.
Casa Tercia. Manrique’s Home.
Tower of El Cubo. The tower of the old fortress.
Hermitage of San Roque.
Plaza del Agua. We can observe an Iberian relief called Los Leones.
Typical Dishes: Migas de harina (Flour, olive oil and salt with salted sardines, fried rashers of bacon, dry fried peppers, cucumber, fruits, chorizos…)
Migas de pan (The same that the ones with flour but using bread from the previous days)
Ajo de Harina con Guiscanos (Potato, garlic, ripen tomato, red pepper, flour, guizcanos (edible variety of milk cap mushroom), olive oil, salt and paprika)
Gachamiga (Flour, olive oil and salt. It is cooked the same as the Flour breadcrumbs but without break the dough)
Andrajos (Potato, flour, olive oil, garlic, onion, pepper, salt and paprika)
Ajopringue (Pork liver, crumb, belly pork, olive oil, paprika, garlic, parsley, clove, cinnamon, paprika and salt)
Ajoatao (Egg, boiled potato, olive oil, garlic, lemon and salt)
Pipirrana (Ripen tomatoes, garlic, green pepper, boiled yolk, crumb, salt and olive oil. With hard-boiled eggs, tuna or cod slices)
Galianos (Olive oil, tomate frito (unconcentrated puree made by frying peeled tomatoes), hare, salt and galianeras, thin flat cakes made with dough)
How to get there
• From Madrid (Madrid-La Solana – Albaladejo-N322 – Jaén a Albacete Puente de Génave – Puerta de Segura – Siles),
• From Bailén (N322 until Úbeda – Puente de Génave – Puerta de Segura – Siles),
• From Albacete (N322 until Puente de Génave – Puerta de Segura –
• From Murcia and Comunidad Valenciana (Hellín — Elche de la Sierra – Fábricas de Riopar – Siles).
Distances from Siles
Jaén 155 km
Orcera 18 km
Onsares 38 km
Benatae 13 km
Los Maridos 21 km
Puerta de Segura 19 km
Fábricas de Riópar 26 km
Torres de Albánchez 14 km