What to do and what to see in Setenil de las Bodegas

The village of Setenil de las Bodegas is located in the northeast of the province of Cádiz, on the White Villages Route in Sierra de Cádiz. Its quaint urban framework with houses at different heights, many of them embedded in the huge rocks that rise on both sides of the Guadalporcún River, have made this village one of the most unique and most sought after places as tourist destination in the Sierra de Cádiz, originating such beautiful places in the town as Cuevas de la Sombra Street and Cuevas del Sol Street, where houses have been built just under the rock. Its declaration as an Historic-Artistic Site in 1985 supports this.

History of Setenil de las Bodegas

The first settlements in its environment were in the Neolithic era, as evidenced by important archaeological discoveries. But its origin was in the Almohad period, in 14th and 15th centuries.

During the conquest of Al-Andalus by the Christian troops, Setenil de las Bodegas played an important role, being very strong the Nasrid resistence. Up to seven times the Spanish crown had to try it to win the victory, hence its name, "Septem Nihil" which means seven times nothing.

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What to see in Setenil de las Bodegas

Apart from its beautiful streets under the rock, Setenil de las Bodegas has a heritage worthy of admiration.

Castle of Setenil de las Bodegas: From the Almohad period, located in the highest part of Setenil de las Bodegas, it keeps its Tower of Tribute, a cistern, more than 500 meters of wall and all its medieval urban fabric.

Church of Our Lady of the Encarnación: In the same town of Setenil de las Bodegas, located next to the castle. It is a sacred group formed by two churches, one of Mudejar style and another of Gothic style (XV-XVII centuries).

Hermitage of Our Lady of the Carmen: It is one of the most emblematic buildings of Setenil de las Bodegas because of its location on top of the peña of the Cerrillo neighborhood. It is from the eighteenth century with a nave floor plan with a small transept, which covers a hemispherical dome like a dome without a drum. The interior has a very simple decoration with different sculptural carvings and the image of Our Lady of the Carmen located in the altar-altarpiece. Outside we find the main facade between pilasters of Tuscan order under split triangular pediment, and the belfry that crowns it.

Hermitage of Saint Sebastián: It is located to the outskirts of the town, in the highest part of Setenil de las Bodegas due to where the military camp was located during the reconquest by the Christians and it is the first Christian construction that was made in Setenil de las Bodegas. It was built at the end of the 15th century after the Christian conquest. It is a small hermitage of rectangular plant with characteristics of the Spanish gothic tardo. It is under the dedication of Saint Sebastián, patron of Setenil de las Bodegas. At present, it has the function of a place of penance on the night of Good Friday, processioning what is known as the Procession of the Silence.

Hermitage of Saint Benito: Located in the historic center of Setenil de las Bodegas and, although it is not known when it was built, reforms were made at the end of the 19th century and during the 20th century. It has a rectangular plan divided into three naves through two transverse porticos that, through semicircular arches, rest on pillars also rectangular. On the outside, the cover is classic, finished in half bulrush. On its side you can see two plaques honoring the legion and the Group of Regulars of Melilla No. 52, which are already common in the processions of Setenil de las Bodegas.

Old Town Hall: Built at the beginning of the 16th century, it contains a rich coffered ceiling of Mudejar tracery of par and knuckle, in whose lower band you can see an inscription about the date on which the Catholic Monarchs conquered Setenil de las Bodegas. Nowadays, it is destined to tourist information office.

Saint Román Caves: This is a set of caves in the rock excavated by the Martín stream, which conserve the appearance of semitroglodyte houses from the 15th century of Setenil de las Bodegas.

Triana Bridge: This is the oldest bridge in Setenil de las Bodegas and dates back to the 13th century. It is unknown if its origin is Roman, however its current architecture reminds us of the Nasrid period. This bridge served as a link between the Arrabal of Triana and the Arrabal of the Mina, as well as allowing access to the main thoroughfare with Ronda.

Other interesting places to see in Setenil de las Bodegas are the Ronda Street Bridge and the Hermitage of Our Lady of the Concepción.

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What to do in Setenil de las Bodegas

In addition to the beautiful route that involves a tour of the urban framework of Setenil de las Bodegas, living every corner of the urban core, we propose some other routes that will be of your interest.

Route of the Bandits: So called in memory of the mythical bandits who frequented these lands. With 11 km of route, it goes from Setenil de las Bodegas to the ruins of the ancient roman city of Acinipo in the town of Ronda. During the way with medium difficulty, you can enjoy a diversity of landscapes, gifted with farmhouses, holm oak forests and other roads, which in previous time were important communication routes with Ronda.

Route of Travelers: It runs along the Ronda cattle road to Osuna, between Setenil de las Bodegas and Alcalá del Valle. With a route of 5.5 km and a low difficulty, its main attraction are the groves of Mediterranean forest and meadows, with beautiful views to Setenil de las Bodegas along the route.

Route of the Cañada of Málaga: The way through the cattle route Camino de Málaga, connects the urban center of Setenil de las Bodegas with the Ronda cattle road to Osuna. Its route is about 4 km and with low difficulty.

Route of the Mills: It runs along the Vereda de Alcalá del Valle cattle road, next to the riverside of the Stream of the Mills, an affluent of the Guadalporcún River. It connects the town of Setenil de las Bodegas with the road that goes to Alcalá del Valle. The way is 3.5 km and low difficulty, its attraction is in the great landscape richness with a wide variety of flora and fauna, and with amazing points as Salto de la Molinilla. Its name comes from the two old cereal mills and the olive oil mill that we will find next to the river.

Route of the Edge of the Trejo River: It crosses one of the most beautiful natural sites of the region. A spectacular scenic route where you can see the cliffs and escarpments drawn on the rock by the Guadalporcún River, called Trejo River in this area. With a distance of 5 km and a medium difficulty, it connects the town of Setenil de las Bodegas with the Trejo farmhouse, running along the edges of the Guadalporcún River.

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Traditional festivals in Setenil de las Bodegas

If you decide to visit Setenil de las Bodegas, we recommend some of the typical celebrations of this town.

Holy Week: Declared a Festival of National Tourist Interest in Andalusia, with a deep popular roots and cultural tradition, the rivalry between the two brotherhoods, the Saint Vera Cruz, white and Our Father Jesus, black, splintered from the first. Rivalry that has been translated in the "war of the bands", in its attempt every year to contract the best band of music of Setenil de las Bodegas.

Pilgrimage of Saint Isidro: It takes place in May. Every year, the inhabitants of Setenil de las Bodegas move on a pilgrimage to the farm of La Escalanta, a natural place with beauty spot where pilgrimage takes place.

August Fair: During the day the people of Setenil de las Bodegas celebrate the fair in Cuevas del Sol street and at night in the fairgrounds. Usually spend a day riding the horse where they walk around the fairgrounds and other areas of Setenil de las Bodegas.

Saint Sebastián Day: Celebrated in January with a mass at the Church of Our Lady of the Encarnación and with a subsequent procession along the streets of Setenil de las Bodegas.

Patron Saint festivities in honor of the Virgin of the Carmen: They are celebrated on different days of July and during these days different events take place in Setenil de las Bodegas.

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Gastronomy in Setenil de las Bodegas

If you highlight a typical dish for its excellence in Setenil de las Bodegas, this is the cortijeras soup, made with bread, olive oil, asparagus and poached egg.

Other typical dishes are tuna with onions, goat cheese with quince, asparagus scrambled, blood sausages scrambled or mushrooms scrambled, sweet potatoes with honey, craft preserved meats, cabbage salad or pencas salad and serrana rabbit.

All of these dishes are available to taste in any of the tapas bars and restaurants located in the shelter of the large rock of Setenil de las Bodegas.

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