Huelga Utrera

Huelga Utrera


Huelga Utrera takes visitors by surprise, with its remarkable plant life giving rise to the sensation that you have stumbled into a forest from another part of the world entirely. The River Segura passes directly below the village and is lined with an impressive array of exuberant riparine vegetation.

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La Hueta

La Hueta


After travelling down a serpentine road you will arrive at the small valley that is home to La Hueta, a village that is divided into two distinct neighbourhoods. The centre of the village features a public washing area and a small oven, which bears the image of Our Lady of Fátima. The surrounding landscape is remarkably beautiful, particularly Bucentaina hill in the distance with its spectacular Piedra del Agujero, an enormous boulder with a hole through the middle that is set in a sea of pines dotted with the occasional gall and holm oak and standing in splendid contrast to the cultivated areas around the village.

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The Church of Los Jesuitas (Segura de la Sierra)

The Church of Los Jesuitas (Segura de la Sierra)


Imagine, for a moment, a quiet afternoon in the year 1606. A priest named Manuel de Arceo is putting the finishing touches to the final chapter in a history of the foundation of Segura College. He does not wish to put himself centre stage, nor record his name for posterity; he is merely following the instructions he received from Rome, namely, to provide a record of the college’s Jesuit origins and prevent its history from being forgotten. A few days later Arceo received new instructions: he was to go to New Granada and take charge of the new Jesuit province.

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The Church of Nuestra Señora de la Asunción (Villacarillo)

The Church of Nuestra Señora de la Asunción (Villacarillo)


The church of Nuestra Señora de la Asunción was built on land formerly occupied by a castle in the area known as Torre de Mingo Pliego. The architect Andrés de Vandelvira drew up the plans for the new church, and during his time in Villacarrillo he met the woman he would later marry, Luisa de Luna, and with whom he was to have seven children. The church has several features that are unique to the buildings designed by Vandelvira, such as the basilica-style floor plan of three naves separated by tall, narrow pillars that gives the church its monumental air. Some late-Gothic elements can still be observed today, and are evidence of the changing times that characterised the first decades of the 16th century.

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The Church of Santo Domingo de Silos (La Iruela)

The Church of Santo Domingo de Silos (La Iruela)


If you take a walk through the ruins of the church of Santo Domingo de Silos you will gain an insight into one of the least-known chapters in the history of these mountains. Few know of the events that took place between 1808 and 1812 in locations that were far away from the cities occupied by the invading French forces. Why would the French burn down a building like the church of Santo Domingo de Silos? It is clear that the French would only have come to such an inaccessible area very occasionally.

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La Iruela

La Iruela


The road leading up to the mountains from Cazorla passes alongside this small yet remarkable village. Its profile is well known thanks to its castle, a legendary fortress dominating the Guadalquivir valley and which entered into the hands of the Templars. The need for defence led to the construction of a castle that, on its steepest side at least, is utterly impregnable. However, La Iruela is also home to other attractions.

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Marchena

Marchena


Marchena is situated on a slope next to a small valley, and as a result is full of alleyways, steps, ascents and descents. It is also home to tranquil corners where the silence is only broken by the sound of flowing water, and visitors will be surprised by the number of orchards in the town, which owe their continued existence to the fact that the nearest shops are some distance away. Nooks, tiny windows and doors designed for people from a bygone age, and dazzling whitewashed alleyways contrast with the deep green of the woods that surround this village.

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Montesión Monastery (Cazorla)

Montesión Monastery (Cazorla)


Solitude and isolation are two words that come to people’s minds when they visit Montesión monastery in Cazorla. Every year, however, it springs to life on the last Sunday in September, when there is a procession up to the monastery; although for the rest of the year it is only occupied by one person, owing to its dangerous state of disrepair. Visitors will be able to discern traces of the different periods of its construction, with the earliest sections dating back to 1625. Monasteries dedicated to St Paul and St Anthony the Abbott are known for their poverty and austerity, as you will note if you explore Montesión.

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Moralejos

Moralejos


A winding road will lead you along the bottom of the valley that is home to the village of Moralejos, which consists of two groups of houses. A spectacular house of exposed stonework welcomes visitors to the village, while features such as whitewashed walls and old wooden windows have miraculously withstood the passage of time. Still-cultivated vegetable gardens nestle against the houses, alternating with more open areas for pasture. On the other side of the River Trujala the peak of Navalcaballo rises majestically upwards, while the unmistakable silhouette of Navalperal can be espied in the distance.

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El Ojuelo and El Robledo

El Ojuelo and El Robledo


El Ojuelo is laid out around a crossroads, alongside which is a small park and a hermitage. A little further on, a large fountain offers the perfect place to fill your canteen with fresh water and start up a conversation with the locals. Although the village’s Festival of the Olives takes place in June, El Ojuelo is known for its celebrations during the first week of August, when open-air dances draw visitors from all over the county.

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Cave Paintings in Santiago-Pontones

Cave Paintings in Santiago-Pontones


In the Segura and Cazorla mountains there are many caves and sheltered areas in which prehistoric paintings can be found. These paintings form part of the collection of Rock Art of the Iberian Mediterranean Basin and have been declared a World Heritage Site. The art in question dates back to an extremely distant period; approximately 10,000 BC. Imagining the lives of the people who lived in the Engarbo and Nacimiento caves, the latter of which has been little excavated, can help us to gain an insight into the transition from the Paleolithic to the Neolithic eras. This was a time of great changes in our way of life, as humans progressed from being hunter-gatherers to cultivators of vegetables and livestock and produced excess food they could store and thus prevent the need for constant migration.

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Tranco Reservoir

Tranco Reservoir


LOCATION: the A-319

This impressive dam, standing 82 metres above the Guadalquivir river, is one of the largest in Spain. Construction began in 1929 and it entered into use in 1946. The water it releases is principally used for irrigation, although since 1953 it has also been used for generating electricity. Before the dam was built this area was known as Tranco de Mojoque, a mountain pass that was greatly feared by local residents owing to its perilous nature.

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Puente Mocho (Beas de Segura)

Puente Mocho (Beas de Segura)


The bridge known as Puente Mocho is a fine example of Roman architecture. The Romans carried out large civil construction projects in order to maintain communication routes between the different provinces that made up their territories and to enable troops to move from one location to another. In fact it was often the legionnaires themselves who undertook some of the building work that can still be observed today, particularly during the period known as the Pax Romana, in which there was no upheaval regarding imperial succession and the frontiers of the empire were under firm control.

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The Bridge over the Guadalimar (La Puerta de Segura)

The Bridge over the Guadalimar (La Puerta de Segura)


This bridge was a waypoint for some of the many maderadas, or lumber transportations, that took place on the river over centuries. Wood from the park's forests was floated down towards Seville and other destinations, where it was used to build boats and large civil and religious buildings. Many well-known historical events would not have been possible without the involvement of the maderadas.

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The Maquis Trail (Quesada)

The Maquis Trail (Quesada)


In 2007 the Quesada authorities developed 11 hiking routes designed to teach hikers about the freedom fighters known as los maquis and their activities in the Cazorla and Segura mountains. The routes incorporate old pathways, caves, natural refuges and farmhouses used by the maquis and aim to bring to light one of the more recent chapters in Spanish history.

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