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Spain Inland Locations-Guide

Information about Loja

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( 20.032 inhabitants) Granada province

Cradle of Narvàez, minister of Isabel II, known as “El espadòn de Loja”, it is divided by two by river Genil, between the mountain range of the same name and mount Hacho.

History

Village of very antique origin, it was known in the Phoenician times who called it Alfeia. Rome called it Tricolia and arabs called it Loxa, from where it took its name now. Meeting point between west Andalucìa and east Andalucìa, it has been much disputed along the times. Abdalà, emir of Còrdoba, destroyed the fortress in 899, and reconstructed it 3 years later.
In 1224 Fernando III did the same, however, the reconstruction was by the king of Granada, Alhamar I.

The Christian conquest was carried out by Fernando El Catòlico in 1486, the same one that gave it to Gonzalo Fernàndez de Còrdoba, the Gran Capitàn as dominion.

The Gran Capitàn lived in Loja his exile from 1508 to 1515, when he died.

Gastronomy

The Riofrío takes to the lojan table the trucha ( trout) just fished, it is prepared in many recipes. There are interested dishes as the cuchifrito de cabrito,  fried kid, and the chacinas. The baking is excellent with the pastelillos blancos, the  bollos de aceite,  the  cuajo de piñonate,  and the tortas de manteca.

Festivities and traditions

The Easter is very important. On Wednesday the “armaos” parade, with the “ Tìo Puchi Puchi”, who will choose the soldiers to guard the Holy Sepulchre. During Thursday and Friday they will walk the streets with the “incensarios”, Nazarenes who sing saetas and ask for alms to the neighbours. On Sunday takes place the Feria de las Mujeres (women’s fair).

On the 25th April takes place the romerìa de San Marcos ( pilgrimage). In the surroundings of the hermitage, situated out of the village, the devil is tied, hanging from the trees bunches of aromatic herbs, and they eat the hornazos ( bread). The last week of august takes place their own festivities of Virgen de la Caridad.

Urban life

The city is very culture orientated from the intense popular activity in carnival parties to  an interesting International Festival of theatre in the street, celebrated between end of July and beginning of august. The leisure offer is vast, in the centre from the plaza de Arriba to the Victoria, in the Barrio Alto and in the San Francisco there are many bars which offered attractive tapas at good prices.

The avenida de Pèrez del Alamo has some nice terrazas ( terraces) for the summer evenings.

In between a number of pubs and discos is attractive el Molino World, inavenida de Andalucía and Mediterràneo, out of the village.

Visit

The Arab origin of the village is clear, mainly in the alcazaba, on a hill from where there are stunning views. The neighbourhood around it, with steep streets, white houses, small squares, confirm this nice impression. Coming down the Tenerìas we get to the popular fuente de los 25 caños ( fountain with 25 pipes). In San Francisco neighbourhood, in the Cuesta de las Monjas, it’s situated the convento de Santa Clara (Santa Clara’s convent), founded by the archbishop of Granada Hernando de Talavera and built in 1527.

Close to here, in the square with its name, it is the iglesia de San Gabriel, renaissance temple from XVI century with magnificent facade of the Anunciaciòn, attributed to Diego de Siloè. From this square we reach the square Abajo, where it is situated the puerta de Jaufìn, which was access to the village. From the street of the Tiendas we get to the Arriba square where the Biblioteca Municipal is situated, the General Narváez statue and the fuente de los cuatro caños ( fountain of the 4 pipes). The Post office square keeps the traditional lojan architecture, one of the most beautiful areas of the city.

Surroundings

4 kms Sevilla direction we get to Riofrìo, beautiful spot. In the direction of Ventorros de San Josè, in the area of Sierra Martilla, there is a megalithic group formed by a dozen of magnificent dolmens. In Plines direction it is situated the  casa de campo del general Narváez. The river Genil forms towards Huètor Tàjar a beautiful frame of waterfalls named Los Infiernos.