What to do and what to see in Castril

Castril de la Peña was declared a Historic Artistic Site in 1982 due to its outstanding historical, artistic and scenic values. It is comforting to walk through its intricate streets, among which Villa Alta, Villa Baja and the access arch to them, are the faithful reflection of the medieval era, offering magnificent panoramic views to the remains of Castril Castle on the Peña of Castril and the valley crossed by the Castril River.

History of Castril

The town of Castril throughout history was growing and extending following the slopes of a rock crowned by the Castril Castle, point of reference of the town and initial germ of it.

Like the rest of the towns of the region, it preserves an important number of archaeological sites, located along the Valley of the Castril River, and which account for the times when these lands were inhabited by man.

Castril was for centuries a place of artisan industries, now disappeared. The manufacture of spoons and stick ladles, copper boilers, manufacture of “espartoñas” and esparto tools; the old “tejera”, where Arab tiles and ceramic coating material were made, the flour mills, the distillery of schnapps, the making of “jarapas”, are some samples. However, from all manufactures, the most important was the manufacture of glass. It was the main point of the glass activity in southern Spain from the sixteenth to the nineteenth century. Nowadays, you can admire glass from Castril in the Archaeological Museum of Granada and in other European museums such as Victoria & Albert in London.

Currently Castril is the headquarters of the José Saramago Foundation.

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What to see in Castril

The heritage of Castril allows us to enjoy different attractions to see in our passage through this town.

Parish Church Our Lady of the Angels: Dating from the mid-sixteenth century with additions from the nineteenth century. Located next to the Peña of Castril, it has a rather sober Renaissance style and a great decorative simplicity. In her they emphasize the calls Door of the Sun, of Plateresque style and Door of the Lonja, that dates from 1612. In its interior it deserves special mention the central body of the greater altarpiece of Rococo style and the imagery of the 17th and 19th century.

Roquero Castle and Natural Monument of La Peña: The Peña of Castril is a unique geological formation that sits on the left bank of the river, in this space is also the Christ of the Sacred Heart, surrounded by the remains of the ancient Almohad castle of the 13th century. A place with magnificent views to the town and the surroundings.

House of Castril: It is a Renaissance palace that belonged to the family of Hernando de Zafra. On the upper part of the facade is recorded the date on which this palace was built, 1539. The construction of this palace was attributed to Sebastián de Alcántara, outstanding disciple of Diego de Siloé.

Sierra de Castril Natural Park: Located on the border with the province of Jaén and adjacent to the Sierra de Cazorla, Segura and Las Villas Natural Park. It is a mountain of great contrasts, with a spectacular karstic relief, fruit of the limestone nature of the soil, very rugged with peaks over 2000 meters and where the action of running water has originated abundant chasms, caves and galleries, among which the Cave of the Dead, in Sierra Seca, where you can see capricious formations of stalactites and stalagmites, and the Cave of Don Fernando, the deepest and longest in Granada, with numerous galleries and rooms of great beauty, such is the case of the Laundry Room. From north to south it is crossed by the Castril River forming a landscape of canyons and waterfalls and numerous chasms, caves and galleries. There are also many springs such as the Spring of Juan Ruiz, the Spring of Tubes, the Spring of the Magdalena or the Spring of Lézar.

El Portillo Reservoir: Located on the Castril River, belonging to the Guadalquivir Hydrographic Confederation and whose purpose is irrigation, supply and electricity.

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What to do in Castril

In Castril we can enjoy different trails to make, as well as visit some of its attractions.

Trail of the Cerrada of the Castril River: Spectacular walk that runs on a catwalk, made of wood anchored in living rock, on the Castril River. It is a magnificent place to walk, its access is free and you can enjoy the sound of water as it passes under the footbridge and the breathtaking views to the gorge where it is located. A place of obligatory step for anyone who approaches the region.

To access it, we descend to the lower part of the town, looking for the course of the Castril River, we cross the Park of the Lost Grove, at the end of this one is the beginning of the footbridge. The path runs, at first, by a wooden walkway over the Castril River, continues along a small path until it crosses the river bed by the hanging bridge. Finally it enters the tunnels where we can observe the waterfalls through the viewpoint. It is a short trip of about 15 or 20 minutes, but a spectacular ride.

Signposted trail Birth of the Castril River: It passes along the bed of the Castril River until it reaches the source inside the Sierra de Castril Natural Park. It allows to enjoy an environment surrounded by wicker, twigs, ash and poplar. You can also spot some such as otters or trout.

Its route is 2.4 km, it takes about an hour and is of low difficulty.

Trail of the Malena: This trail begins giving us the opportunity to enjoy a Mediterranean forest where you can appreciate panoramic views to a limestone landscape. This environment accompanies us until we reach the end of the path in the Cerrada of the Magdalena, where its walls are bathed by water that ends up in the Castril River. This water is pure and detoxifying.

Andalusian Glass Center: We can also visit this magnificent center where you can buy handcrafted glass pieces made using different techniques such as blowing, blowpipe and fusion.

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Traditional festivals in Castril

In Castril each season of the year is commemorated with at least one festival, like this, San Antón, on January 17th; the Feast of Candelaria, on February 2nd; San Juan, on June 24th; Virgen de las Trampas, on August 15th; Feast of the Immaculate, December 7th and Saint Lucia, December 13th.

The last Sunday of April is celebrated the Pilgrimage of the Virgin of the Head, patron of Eastern Andalusia in the area of La Solana.

In spring and summer, the festivities of the different districts located in the municipality take place on May 13th, the Virgin of Fátima, in Fátima; on May 15th, San Isidro, in Campo Cebas; on June 12th, San Antonio, in Almontaras and on the first Sunday of September, the Virgin of Tíscar, in Fuentevera.

Patron Festivities of Castril: They take place the first week of October in honor of Saint Christ of the Consuelo and the Virgin of the Rosario. In it one of the most popular acts and that have been celebrated since time immemorial are the confinements of wild heifers.

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Gastronomy of Castril

The segureño lamb and the trout of the Castril River are of exceptional quality in Castril. Other typical dishes are the maimones, the porridge, the noodles with hare or partridge, the wedding pepitoria, the buns with rabbit, the chickpea stew with chard in Lent, the paprika of potatoes, the rice or noodles stew or the crumbs of shepherd.

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