Andalucia Rustica

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Villages in Huelva

Villablanca

Villages in Huelva

Villablanca

Villablanca is located on the plains in the west of the province, near the border with Portugal, in an landscape dedicated to agriculture and livestock.

Testimony on the human occupation in Villablanca prior to its establishment are scarce. Only a dolmen and a group of cist burials attest to the presence of man. The Dolmen de la Tenencia, near the municipal boundary, dates from the Chalcolithic period, some five millennia ago.

With the Christian conquest in the mid-twelfth century, the fate of Villablanca came to be attached to the Lordship of Ayamonte; from 1501 it came under Condado, and years later Marquesado.

The fifteenth and sixteenth centuries correspond to Baja Andalucía, with periods, largely sponsored by the Crown or by the Jursidctional Lordships, where attempts were made to improve the agricultural use of the land. It was in this context that Villablanca was founded in 1531.

There are several reasons given as justification for the founding of this new town. It is suggested that it served to counteract the pull of Portugal, but this is unlikely since the founding of the town coincides with a period of peace in the kingdom.

But the decisive reason lies in their own plans for expansion and colonization of Marquesado, in order that new settlers could give life to marginal lands, and new revenue to finance Marquesado.

On September 16, 1531 the Town Charter was signed. It was confirmed in 1537, and it was by this that the Marquis of Ayamonte, Don Francisco de Zúñiga, Guzman, Soto mayor and Dona Teresa de Zúñiga y Guzmán, founded the town of Santa Maria de la Blanca, from whose name Villablanca is derived.  To strengthen the repopulation, the Marquis offered franchises, or tax benefits, that facilitated the precarious economies of the new settlers. In return the villagers had to build houses, and plant and sustain crops as commanded.

The Marquis of Ayamonte granted the jurisdiction of the new town of Santa Maria la Blanca to two justices, two aldermen, and other junior officials, all appointed by the Marquis. All aspects of daily life were governed in accordance with municipal ordinances passed in Lepe in 1518.

From the towns inception, the main economic activities were agricultural. Livestock also played a very important part in the towns economic production. So much so that they transferred a tract of land, the Ejido, for the grazing of cattle. Such activities are complemented by the gathering of fruits and beekeeping. Given the development of economic output, Dna. Teresa Zuniga, delivered a provision, dated 1955, regulating commercial activity. The main consequence of this period is that Villablanca flourished, reflected by a population that, based on the books of baptisms and marriages, was about 500 inhabitants at the end of the sixteenth century. This population increase led to the building of a new, larger temple, construction of which began in the first years of the sixteenth century.

In the mid-eighteenth century, both the peace and work of the town were affected by the attacks and looting of the Luos, as part of the War of Independence from Portugal. They made their escape from Villablanca, which was a town without defences. This, together with the adult men leaving to defend neighboring populations, and the emergence of deadly epidemics, severely depleted numbers in the small town. The fruits from the vineyards, olive and fig trees were exported to neighboring Lepe, and had their period of greatest splendor in the eighteenth century. The agricultural gardens produced food for their own consumption, and the supply of nearby Ayamonte.

Villablanca Monuments

Shrine of Nuestra Senora de la Blanca, fourteenth century. Mudejar style.

Parish Church of San Sebastian.

Plaza del Pozo

Plaza del Molino

Plaza del Consejo

Archaeological Sites of Villablanca

Dolmens.

Old windmills.

Villablanca Gastronomy

Lamb stew; Cachola: high-calorie food that is produced during La Matanza, when the pigs are killed. In addition you should taste the local bread, game meat, rovellones, sweet made from pumpkin, and rice with almonds.

Bollo pico: Donut-shaped bread with protruding spikes from which it gets its name, which has its origin in Easter Sunday celebrations with friends and family.

Coca: Sweet which is prepared only at this time of year. Much appreciated. Made with eggs, cider, almonds, oil, flour, and sugar

Directions

Leave Huelva in the direction of Aljaraque, and once past there, continue along the E-1 / A-49. Take the exit towards the Exit 117 – N-431 – West Lepe – Acceso Playas – Villablanca. Follow the signs to Villablanca. Continue along the H-1211 until you reach Villablanca.

Distances from Villablanca

Lepe 15 km
Huelva 44 km
Cartaya 20 km
Sevilla 130 km
Ayamonte 15 km
Isla Cristina 16 km
Puebla de Guzmán 39 km
San Silvestre de Guzmán 10 km


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