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Villages in Huelva

Trigueros

Villages in Huelva

Trigueros

Trigueros is located on a plain 76 meters above sea level, and only 20.6 km from the capital. With a population of about 7194 inhabitants, its main activity is the cultivation of cereals, sunflowers, olives, citrus, vegetables, and the raising of sheep, pigs and bulls. Its inhabitants are called Triguereños.

Between the Tinto and Odiel rivers, Trigueros, with an area of 119 km2, has an elongated shape, from North to South, porobing the two natural boundaries. Indeed, the southern border is at the Tinto, between the lands of San Juan del Puerto and Moguer, and this enabled them, at least betweem the twelfth – fifteenth centuries, to export agricultural products from a river dock.

The far north is marked by the waters of the Odiel and the spaces of Alosno and Calañas, and although it is not the most easily navigated, it was another path to the Atlantic. Meanwhile, the east and west boundaries are not as sharply defined. On the east it borders the lands of Beas and Niebla, and to the west San Juan del Puerto and Gibraleón.

The weather, which is short on rainfall, cannot ensure the geological structure. The 741mm average annual precipitation, collected between the years 1946 to 1970 (Ibersilva, 1996), whilst higher than levels on the coast, are not sufficient for the intense processes of soil formation. The average temperature is 17.7 º C. The lowest average minimum is reached in January with 4.6 ° C, while the highest average maximum occurs in August with 34.8 ° C. The average temperature variation is 12.48 º C. With these outlined parameters, it has a typical mild Mediterranean ocean climate. Given the constraints of the physical environment, Trigueros differs in terms of its environment, and its landscape, the boundary of which is located on the banks of the Nicoba: In the north lies the Mountain, and in the Mid-South, las Tierras del Pan. Trigueros, with an awareness of its vocation of workers and keeping livestock, keeps alive the splendor of its heritage and traditions.

This “land of bread” was appreciated since ancient times. So, no surprise that in Bajohondillo and in la Pasada de los Llanos, more than 100,000 years ago, there arrived the earliest settlers of the area (Garcia and Castiñeira, 1989).

Man continued to occupy this area on a continuous basis, leaving various tracks, most notably the funerary architecture of the “Soto dolmen”, which dates back between 2,500 and 3,000 years before Christ. Indeed, near the stream of Candon, in the finca of la Lobita, is housed one of the most sumptuous dolmens of the province. It is a monumental tomb, covered with dirt, with a model of the head of Zancarrón. This dolmen is a gallery of 20.90 meters with a single chamber. It was built by prehistoric man, who oriented it east to west, using granite monoliths which were probably brought from Escacena del Campo, about 40 miles away. They were positioned with such mastery that the first rays of sun on the summer solstice, June 21, move through the corridor and project into the chamber for three minutes, in a ritual where perhaps “the dead were reborn in the afterlife, being struck by sunlight (Domingo Delgado, 1996, 11).

Although the nucleus of Trigueros was not reported until after the Christian conquest, at its borders there were nuclei of population and rural villages, of which we have discovered various archaeological remains. In the second century AD, during Roman rule, it was called the “Half Mile Pillar” on the old road to Seville (Laso, 1990). On the other hand, Rodrigo Caro Quintero and Miguel refer to a beautiful white marble parapet, from time immemorial, located in the Plaza del Carmen … that had to be a pedestal or altar of deities (De los Ríos, A. , 1891). There are also reports of a Roman mosaic of black and white marble found in El Villar, and although unfounded, some authors, and  legends, cite the modern day Trigueros as heir to the Roman town of Conistorgis (Pérez Quintero, 1796).

The Muslim occupation left its mark too, as the church of San Antón is built on the base of an Almohad fortress dating from the twelfth century. This and other fortresses defended the Guadalquivir Valley from Portuguese incursions.

Shortly after the conquest of the Kingdom of Niebla in 1268, a privilege of King Alfonso X refers to the population being given the name of Puerto del Camino, because “it was actually used for shipments from the Rio Tinto” (Gozálvez, JL, 1989, 29). However, according to Amador de los Rios (1891, 188), following on from Mora Negro, ‘this village had in 1304 the name of Cortijo de Cano or Caro, a memory of which remains in the mountain named after Padre Caro.” This uncertainty, which has been frequently repeated, has now been clarified, as the Cortijo de Pero Caro (AMT, 1309, leg. 50) was a village of Niebla, near Trigueros, that in the divisions of 1309 received a meadow, bounded by Garci Sanchez, “Mayor of the king and the splitter of the tenements of Niebla and its entire boundary’ (Ladero, MA, 1992, 34).

However, in a demarcation of boundaries made in the thirteenth century, the name Trigueros firstr appears (Junta de Andalucía, 1988, 3148) as belonging to the town council of Niebla. In 1324 Alfonso XI gave Trigueros to Juan Alonso de la Cerda, lord of Gibraleón. However, Niebla would never accept such an affront, and in 1346 bought Trigueros from the executors of the Estate of Gibraleón. For this reason, when in 1369, King Enrique II of Trastamara donated Niebla City Council to Don Juan Alonso Pérez de Guzmán, Trigueros and its boundaries became part of the State of the Dukes of Medina Sidonia.

During the Ancient Regime, Trigueros consolidated its population and its urban structure because it had plenty of strategic resources for the sustenance of man. Wheat fields fed farmers, nobles and clergy and allowed support for construction, and for religious orders, which at that time were points of progress. With these production bases, Trigueros generated substantial tax benefits through the Alcabala del Viento, the Customs House and the taxes from the “Cargazón de Vinos Bastardos” (Ladero, M. A., 1992; 109-116). Thus, Trigueros built on the remains of the fortress, whose foundations were probably Roman and Arab (Martin Davies, A., 1982) and the Knights of the Order of Calatrava soon endowed them with a church dedicated to San Antonio Abad, similar in style to Santa Ana in Seville’s Triana district. The monumental church of Trigueros was built in the first half of the fourteenth century, although the facade and the current tower of the temple was designed by the architect Thomas Botani, who restored it after the Lisbon earthquake of 1755.

In 1562, at the behest, and under the protection of Triguereño Don Francisco de La Palma y Araujo, the Jesuits installed the Colegio de Santa Catalina, and in 1565 began to build “a monumental church, whose construction lasted three years” ( Artero Hurtado, 1996). The temple of the Society of Jesuits had a single nave with a transept covered barrel vault, and a cupola with a lantern, which collapsed in 1755 and still awaits reconstruction. The cultural work of the Jesuits was widespread, and the municipality installed a printing press and prepared several evangelical expeditions to America.

The importance of Trigueros must have been enormous, because since at least 1552, the Calzados Carmelites had a rural chapel next to the town, and in 1596 a church opened for worship in this centre, similar to the one built by the Jesuits. Next to the church stood the Convent del Carmen, today the Village Civic Centre.

Thus, Trigueros maintained and stabilized a large population in the sixteenth century. According to the census of 1549, there were 711 habitations, and 737 in 1591,
ie, more than 3,000 inhabitants, making it one of the most populous centres of the present day province of Huelva. It was no surprise that in 1592 Francisco de Vides organised an expedition to Nueva Andalusia in Venezuela.

With the general crisis of the seventeenth century, Trigueros saw a substantial loss of inhabitants, dropping in 1622 to 600, in 1641 it fell to 488, and in 1693 a further fall to 472 inhabitants. This decline came amongst other calamities, including some bad crop years, and the war of independence from Portugal. The continuing raids on either side of the border were common, and one such raid in 1666 saw the devastation and plunder of Trigueros. However, the crisis was not so serious as in other places, because in 1655 it was estimated that Trigueros’ community held 1,400 people, when Huelva had only 693 … “(Gozálvez, JL, 1989). Drawing on these comparative advantages and the imperatives of a monarchy in decline, Trigueros was given in 1768 by King Carlos II the title of town, which exempted it from the jurisdiction of Niebla (AMT, 1768, Leg. 50)

During the eighteenth century, Trigueros still appeared to be a promised land and stood out for the number of clergy there. According to the Ensenada Cadastre the town housed 40 clergymen, which was equal to Huelva, and surpassed only by Zalamea, who had 42.

In that cadastre they gave a count of 14,320 oarcels of land, of which 10,190 were plantations, 96 were olive groves, 130 were vineyards, and 3,907 were meadowland (Núñez Roldán, 1987). The livestock was most noteworthy for sheep, of which there were 9,402, pigs, numbering 2,360, and 1,821 cattle.

During the Age of Enlightenment, the absence of wars and major epidemics caused the population of Trigueros to increase, a fact that was not easy, given the demographic model of the old regime, with high birth and catastrophic mortality rates. It grew from 500 residents in 1725, reaching 750 in 1764, or about 3,300 inhabitants, which meant triple the population of Niebla.

The strong economy allowed Trigueros to successfully tackle any setbacks. Indeed, the worst disaster Trigueros suffered, in the eighteenth century, was the Lisbon earthquake in 1755. This earthquake hit the most noble buildings of the town; of the 666 houses, only 12% remained habitable, 58% were totally destroyed, and the remaining 30% needed major reconstruction. Almost all public buildings, both religious and civil, were destroyed. Some were not rebuilt, such as: the hermitage of San Roque and San Sebastián, the church of Santa Brigida, the House of the Order of Calatrava, the government house, etc. In addition, many wheatfields and vineyards. Given the dimensions of the disaster, the Cabildo de Trigueros made a request to the Duke of Medina Sidonia to reuse materials in the reconstruction of the castle which was also ruined (González Serna, M., 1995). The early recovery of Trigueros could be seen in the absence of large population drops, so much so that in 1764 it had only two residents less than in 1751, ie 750.

The nineteenth century saw the perpetuation of the economic fundamentals of living, and Trigueros continued to produce “much wheat, wine and oil”. They were also raising sheep, cattle, goats, pigs and small game, and excelled in artesan industries. They took advantage of the agro-industrial potential of their lands, and formed an industrial park with “15 Potteries, 5 “canales”, 8 bakeries, and 12 “vigas de aceite”. (Madoz, 1845), which comfortably maintained the 3534 inhabitants in the mid-nineteenth century.

But political-institutional development did not favour Trigueros in the nineteenth century, because after being rejected as a provincial capital, there began in the territory a rural exodus in favor of Huelva, which was intensified by the feverish mining activity in that area in the late nineteenth century. Trigueros, a rural centre, could no longer drive  its own development and, as of now, appears to lag behind in terms of outside initiatives.

In the twentieth century Trigueros is a world torn between rural agriculture in decomposition, which is mechanised, with day labourers and small farmers added to the list of unemployed, and the beneficial effects of industrial development in Huelva, and its new farming environment, with which Trigueros can not compete due to the barren soil.

Trigueros currently has important assets for development, as the articulation of provincial space, and the transport facilities allow it to be considered as a “living space” near the city, but with none of the drawbacks of city living.

Monuments

The Soto Dolmen
Church of San Antón
Convent of Carmen
Shirene of la Santa Misericordia
Jesuit College

Gastronomy

One of the typical dishes is the “tosta”, which is made with bread from Trigueros, particularly using a piece popularly known as the “carrilo” or “half kilo”, to which after being cut and toasted, a pinch of salt, garlic and olive oil are added. The “tosta” is eaten accompanied by other products such as grilled steaks, grilled sardines, steamed “berdigondes”, fried fish, cod, sardines, “arengues”, radishes, and crushed olives in brine, all washed down with a special wine from the region. In its bodegas and taverns you can also find grilled sausages, cured ham, and good seafood. Famous are the lamb stew, casserole with scrambled egg,  tomatoes and stew, the “salmorejo de conejo”, made from a base of tomato and peppers, and finally roasted rabbit with a very special sauce.
In pastries you find traditional almond sweets; perrunillas, hornazos, almond cakes, etc.

Directions

The main route is the N-435, which surrounds and connects the town to the south with the A-49 (Sevilla-Huelva-Portugal) in San Juan del Puerto, located just 8.6 kms to the north of Zafra (Extremadura), and by extension the Ruta de la Plata (N-630), which is now becoming a highway.

The other road that circles Trigueros is the one to Gibraleón, near the N-431 and the A-49 (Sevilla-Huelva-Portugal) that lead to Ayamonte, 67.3 km away on the border with Portugal, a point where you can enter the country by the international bridge over the río Guadiana. From Gibraleón you can also reach the Portuguese border in Rosal la Frontera. You can also reach by rail the nearby town of San Juan del Puerto, located 8.6 kms away. Currently, this means of transport only runs some regional services between Sevilla-Huelva and vice versa. More data from Renfe.

If your choice is to travel by air, you can choose either Seville airport located 80 kms from Trigueros, or Faro (Portugal), located 126 kms. away, both of which are linked by a good motorway.

The Damas bus company links the village to the capital and surrounding villages, as well as a service to Badajoz and the villages of the Huelva Sierra. The Sur-Oeste Bus Company links Trigueros and Extremadura, with two daily services, depending on the season.

Distances

Huelva 19 km
Gibraleón 13 km
San Juan del Puerto 7,5 km
Lucena del Puerto 18 km
Niebla 20 km
Beas 6,5 km
Moguer 14 km
Sevilla 85 km


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