Iberian routes in Andalusia

Andalusia is a place of passage for civilizations such as Romans, Visigoths, Muslims and Christians, but we must not forget that a culture was here previously, the Ibera culture.

Before the arrival of the Romans, numerous peoples from somewhere in Europe settled on the Iberian Peninsula. These peoples were the Iberians and were distributed throughout the Iberian peninsula, sharing lands with Celts, even merging with them, giving rise to the Celtiberians.

If it is true that the Iberian culture did not have great repercussion in Andalusia and this is limited to the eastern part, in the provinces of Jaén, Granada or Almería, however few know that the Turdetans, successors of the Tartessians, were most likely a tribe Iberia and settled in the Guadalquivir valley, founding a town next to modern Córdoba.

This town has left us samples of their art and their language, in fact the Spanish language has a lot of Iberian lexicon. However, from the customs of this town, their art has remained.

IBERIAN LION (ARCHAEOLOGICAL MUSEUM OF SEVILLE)

 

This Iberian people was finally absorbed by Rome after different wars against them or against the Carthaginians, of which we have testimonies that they were also allies of them.

 

Numerous necropolises are spread throughout Andalusia, but of Iberian origin one stands out, Cástulo, in which remains of statues in the shape of animals have been found that are preserved in the Linares museum or can even be seen in a public square in Baeza ( Jaén).

The art was related to zoomorphic sculptures such as the so-called boars which are statues of the hoofed animal type or lions very typical of these cultures, however the greatest find was the Dama de Baza, which is preserved in the Museum of History of Madrid although there is one replica in the Linares museum.

Seville has in itsArchaeological museum of Sevilla xamples of Iberian lions found in Espera (Cádiz) or a similar sculpture in the Archaeological museum of Córdoba.

However, specialized in Iberian culture, we find the Iberia Museum of Jaén, inaugurated a few years ago becoming the largest collection of Iberian art in the world and which aspires to become an international reference.Most of the remains come from the province and related archaeological sites highlighting a seated lion and a piece known as the Dama de Cerro Alcalá.

From here we invite you to visit this Iberia Museum of Jaén , located in an avant-garde building in keeping with the times and which gives a new attraction of cultural and monumental heritage to the historic city of Jaén.

Dehesa de Abajo, a prologue to Doñana

Located just over thirty kilometers from the capital Seville, close to Puebla del Rio and between rice fields and marshes, we find the Dehesa de Abajo nature reserve, a space that could be included as a prologue to the neighboring Doñana National Park .

This space about thirty years ago was a space condemned for its aridity and which was intended to become a cereal growing area, whether it be rice or corn. However, the project was modified thanks to Beltrán de Ceballos, a man from Madrid whose passion for nature led him to design a lagoon project created through the diversion of nearby streams and in a few years created a space that in some cases is called the Doñana’s little sister.

The reserve is arranged with the Andalusian government and constitutes an excellent wetland for the conservation of birdlife but also for carrying out activities related to nature such as bird watching, cycling and horse riding.

The lagoon is a paradise for species such as ducks (ducks, geese, spoon ducks, ), wading birds (storks, stilts, spoonbills, flamingos, common gulls), sea ​​birds (gulls), raptors (black and royal kite) and there are several routes with observation spaces that with a little patience we can enjoy the birdlife.

However, the space is not exclusively constituted by the lagoon, but also by other ecosystems that have been gaining importance and almost naturally. In addition to the lagoon, the olive grove is of great importance, that forest formed by the ancestor of the olive tree where we can see cattle egrets feeding on the insects they raise in abundant cattle that roam in semi-freedom, without forgetting the squawks of the jackdaws that also flutter to delight us with its noisy festivals in search of food.

At the other end of the lagoon, we can see the pine forest with high altitude specimens and also a refuge for birds of prey and reptiles such as the bastard snake and the ocean lizard, but not far from the pine forest we find another replica of the famous aviaries, holm oaks and eucalyptus trees. which are constituted as nests of white storks, being the largest colony of this species in this area and whose loud clattering with their beaks we can hear during the nuptial time.

Upon arrival of the reserve there is a restaurant, recreation area, an audiovisual room and a small shop for nature lovers with the addition that it is perfectly harmonized with it. It is curious that its trees are full of stork nests in even inside the enclosure we can see small swallows nests that flutter inside.This place is space for the celebration of the Doñana birdwatching which is the null birdwatching tourism fair.

But if you have not yet shown all the interest, we inform you that this space is the place and habitat of four Iberian lynxes, which have passed from Doñana to this natural space and with some luck it would be possible to see them.

The space where a group of semi-wild horses of the Doñana breed also coexist, as in the case of cows, during the rainy season it floods giving rise to an almost flooded marsh that enables the explosion of life in spring.

The closest accommodations are in the capital Seville , or rural accommodations in Coria del Rio or Puebla del Rio . If you want to enjoy a space modified by humans for nature not too far from urbanized areas, we invite you to come to Dehesa de Abajo and enjoy its richness and biodiversity

El Peñon de Zaframagon, dwelling of the griffon vulture

Comarca de la Sierra Sur limítrofe Cádiz y Sevilla

We have mentioned that Andalusia, due to its geographical location, is a transit, settlement and wintering territory for numerous species, of which we mention the species in our described guide. Today we will talk about the Peñón de Zaframagón.

This rocky structure is located in the Sierras Subbéticas between the provincial limits of Seville and Cádiz, close to the municipalities of Coripe, Montellano or Pruna and a transit area, in addition to a first part of the course of the Guadalete River.

This limestone structure from the Jurassic period is a massif that, in addition to constituting an interesting geological structure, is an area that serves as a nesting colony for the Griffon vulture, one of the most important species in Andalusian fauna and of great ecological importance due to its function. scavenger.

The Peñón de Zaframagón was converted into a nature reserve in 1989 and is the place for many activities related to ecotourism but especially for birdwatching .

The Peñon can be reached by numerous regional roads that connect with Seville or Cadiz but a recommendation that we launch from here is the use of the Via Verde, an old railway and agricultural route turned into a path for cyclists and hikers and to enjoy this corner.

However, the most important point is the bird observatory with an interpretation center where we can not only enjoy the views of the Sierra but also of species such as the Griffon Vulture, bee eater,Eagle owl or peregrine falcon, all against the background of Rocky structures covered in Mediterranean scrub.

So with a good bike or Nordic walking poles, loaded with a camera and binoculars, prepare to enjoy the griffon vulture in its habitat even having the possibility of seeing them close by with their low flights.

The surrounding towns ( Coripe, Pruna, Montellano,Puerto Serrano, Olvera y el Coronil) have comfortable and cheap accommodation so that when the situation permits we can enjoy the nature of this corner located between the Provinces of Cádiz and Seville

Semana Santa en Andalucia.Podcast

En este año que no se celebrara la Semana Santa después de mas de 80 años, os ofrecemos este podcast sobre una visión de la misma desde puntos de vista histórico, cultural y económico.

A la espera de que las procesiones vuelvan a salir el año que viene, os invitamos a escuchar este podcast introductorio.