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Guide to Almedinilla

in Córdoba Province, Andalucia, Spain
By Nick Nutter | 13 Sep 2020
Coliseo Almedinilla Almedinilla Almedinilla gorge Iglesias San Juan Almedinilla Museum Almedinilla Torre Reloj Almedinilla

Although surrounded by ancient settlements, the Iberian settlement of Cerro de la Cruz half a kilometre east of the town, the Roman villa and farming estate El Ruedo less than half a kilometre north, Almedinilla town itself is relatively recent, no earlier than the Moorish period.

There is some suggestion that there was a village along the sides of the river Almedinilla that was controlled by the Moors until 1236 when the whole area was conquered by Ferdinand III. Retaken by the Moors, the area was finally incorporated into Christian territories by Alfonso XI in 1341. If that is the case, the village was abandoned after the reconquest and the land became part of Cordoba. At the end of the 17th century there was a policy to populate the Senorios, or feudal estates, and people from Priego de Cordoba started to drift into the valley.

They found a clement spot for growing olives, the oil of Almedinilla is still reputed to be one of the best in the world. The Almedinilla river flows off the Sierra de Albayate south of the town and provides abundant water for a varied agriculture in the valley although the town is otherwise surrounded by olive monoculture.

The white painted houses are pretty enough and the celebrated clock tower, the Torre del Reloj, is worth looking at. This monument dates to the Second Republic, 1931 to 1939 and is a brick tower with a gree tiled roof. It can be seen from just about any part of the town.

Another building of note is what the locals call the Coliseo de Almedinilla. At first glance it looks like a bullring however, it is not. This newly constructed multi-purpose building is the venue for numerous cultural events. A special highlight is the design of the Coliseo for hosting the Roman banquets, which take place every year as part of the FESTUM festival.

Jornadas Iberorromanas FESTUM

Jornadas Iberorromanas FESTUM is held in the town of Almedinilla each year in the early part of August. The festivities offer an insight in life and culture of the Roman ancestors who left traces which are still being present in our time. The festival is a blend of Iberian and Roman culture with leisure entertainment, the latter of course in strict compliance with the historic context. There is one week packed with activities for all ages. Thus there are many activities, including pageants, conventions, theatre performances, music performances, and exhibitions. A special highlight are the Roman feasts. While strolling over a Roman market, visitors can buy bread, beverages, reproductions of jewellery and pottery, medical plants, masks, apparel, perfumes, furniture, books and many more items.

Museo Histórico-Arqueológico

The Historical Museum was created in 1994, for the purposes of education, enjoyment and scientific knowledge. The museum is composed of a collection of archaeological materials, from both excavations and donations by individuals, which bear witness to the important historical past of Almedinilla. The collection is structured into two permanent exhibitions, one dedicated to the Iberian culture and the settlement of Cerro de la Cruz and another to the Roman culture and Necropolis of El Ruedo.

Visits to the museum, El Ruedo and Cerro de la Cruz are all arranged from the Reception Centre at El Rueda which should be your first port of call. The centre is at the junction of the A339 and Paseo Alameda, the main route into the town from the north.

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