What to do and what to see in Écija

The municipality of Écija is located in the Region of Écija, east of the province of Seville. It is located in the Genil Valley, bordering the province of Córdoba, with the Sierra Sur de Seville and the Campiña de Carmona. At the same time it borders with different municipalities, such as Palma del Río, Fuente Palmera, Fuente Carreteros, Guadalcázar, Santaella, La Carlota, La Guijarrosa, Marinaleda, Herrera, Osuna, Lantejuela, El Rubio, Marchena, Fuentes de Andalucía, La Luisiana and Cañada Rosal.

Écija has approximately 40,270 inhabitants and in its municipal area includes the entities of La Aceñuela, Los Arenales, Cerro Perea, Isla de Vicario, Isla Redonda, San Antón, Villanueva del Rey and Navalagrulla.

Due to its temperature, Écija is popularly known as the frying pan of Andalusia, although it is also known as the City of the Sun or the City of Towers and it is considered one of the most important artistic centers of Andalusia.

History of Écija

The origin of Écija dates from the 8th century B. C. with the Tartessian civilization, however, until the conquest of the Romans by 200 B. C., it was a small town located on an elevation next to the Genil River.

It was with the Romans when Écija obtained its period of greatest splendor and, by the year 14 B. C., was constituted as Colonia Augusta Firma Astigi, being the capital of 49 cities, covering part of Córdoba, Granada and Jaén. Écija concentrated its main source of income then in the cultivation of the olive tree and the export of oil that it allowed.

After Roman times, Écija was also important in Visigothic and Islamic times. In the latter, the fertility and richness of the territory of Écija stands out, where an important Berber village was located that introduced the irrigated crop, obtaining in importance the cotton of Écija.

In 1240, Écija was conquered by Fernando III and distributed to different Castilian groups. The eighteenth century was the golden age of Écija, different civil constructions and churches were built that make the historic center of Écija today one of the best legacies of architecture and baroque art in Andalusia and the Iberian Peninsula.

In 1996 the city of Écija was declared a Historic-Artistic Site.

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What to see in Écija

In Écija stands out the multitude of constructions with historical value that we can find. In this city we can find different types of architecture.

Among the religious architecture we find an endless number of constructions where those most passionate about worship and faith will be able to enjoy during their visit to Écija.

Church of Saint María: It is located in the Saint María Square. It is from the eighteenth century and is located next to a monument of the Virgin of the Valley and Saint Pablo, patrons of Écija.

Church of Saint Bárbara: It is the first building of neoclassical style in Andalusia. It is located in the Spain Square of Écija and below is an old mosque.

Church of Saint Francisco: Also located in the Spain Square in Écija, it contains two external altarpieces and a chapel in the courtyard. Its initial dedication was the Convent of Saint Antonio de Padua and is currently governed by its own rector without being the parish of Écija.

Church of the Hospital of the Concepción: This church of the sixteenth century is originally from what was Hospital of the Concepción. It is located on Conde Street, very close to other historical constructions of Écija such as the Church of Saint María, the Church of the Discalced, the Convent of the Teresas and the Town Hall.

Church of the Pure and Clean Concepción of Our Lady: Also well-known like Church of the Discalced since it comprises of the old Convent of the Discalced Carmelitas. After a restoration of fifteen years, it was reopened to worship in 2010. It is considered the jewel of Écija for being the most baroque church.

Convent of Saint José: In Écija it is popularly known as Convent of the Teresas. It is a Mudejar palace that is located on Conde Street, very close to the Spain Square. In 1931 it was declared an Cultural Interest Asset.

Convent of the Saint Trinidad and Pure Concepción: It is known as the Moroccans and is located a few meters from the Church of the Discalced. In 2009 it was declared an Cultural Interest Asset. Despite the struggle of the residents of Écija, the convent was closed in 2014 due to the lack of nuns who suffered.

Church of Saint Cross: It is located in the Our Lady of the Valley Square of Écija, quite important in the past. It is neoclassical in style, although the oldest remains are of the Visigoths.

Royal Monastery of Saint Inés of the Valley: It is a home of Franciscan nuns located in Écija. Its origin was in the fifteenth century, while its church, which is Baroque, was built at the beginning of the seventeenth century.

Church of Santiago el Mayor: Also known as the Church of Santiago in Écija. It is considered an Cultural Interest Asset since it is considered as a Historic-Artistic Monument. It is a 15th century church considered, with its Gothic-Mudejar style, one of the most elegant in Andalusia.

Church of Saint Gil: It is located in the highest part of Écija, in the Saint Antonio Street. It was founded in 1479 with a Mudejar style that, over the years, was camouflaged in a Baroque style. It is necessary to emphasize in the nave of the Gospel, where is the Sacramental Chapel, the Saint Christ of the Health.

Church of Saint Juan: This church is located in the Saint Juan Square of Écija. Here the writer Luís Vélez de Guevara was baptized. It is worth noting its tower of great beauty.

Church of Our Lady of the Carmen: It is well-known like Church of the Carmen de Écija and is in the Saint Juan Bosco Street. It was founded in the 15th century.

Convent of Saint Pablo and Saint Domingo: It contains a great artistic heritage of Écija and is very close to the Church of Saint Cross and the Church of Saint Juan.

Chapel of Saint Ángela de la Cruz: It is located in a place in the Alcarrachela neighborhood of Écija.

Other religious constructions that we can find in Écija are: the Parish of Saint Juan de Ávila (Hermitage of the Humilia of the Valley), the Church of Saint Felipe Neri, the Chapel of Our Lady of Bethlehem, the Convent of the Visitation of Saint Isabel, the Convent of the Divine Shepherd, the Convent of Our Lady of Mercy, the Convent of Saint Florentina, the Convent of Our Lady of Victory and the Church of Saint Ana.

On the other hand, among the civil architecture of Écija we find another list of interesting constructions to see.

Peñaflor Palace: It was built in the 18th century and is considered a Historic-Artistic Monument as well as a Cultural Interest Asset. It was the residence of the Peñaflor family in Écija and it is currently under restoration. It contains the longest balcony in Spain, known as "The Long Balconies" or "The Balcony of the Pussy".

Benamejí Palace: Also declared a Cultural Interest Asset, it is also considered a National Monument. Its construction began at the beginning of the 18th century. It is one of the jewels of Écija and belonged to the marquises of Benamejí, to later pass the property to the Counts of Valverde. It is currently the headquarters of the Municipal Historical Museum.

Valdehermoso Palace: This palace located in one of the best areas of Écija, noted for its plateresque cover related to the rebirth of Córdoba of the sixteenth century; century in which it was built.

Santaella Palace: The main facade is of great importance due to the elements and structure it presents, although the carpentry of this Écija palace with its magnificent doors is also interesting.

Ecija Supply Square: It was founded in 1844 to centralize the commerce of Écija supplies and end the inconvenience caused by the traditional daily market in the Main Square to the residents of Écija. It is located in the center of Écija.

Sanjuan Theater: This is the Municipal Theater of Écija. It is located on Comedias Street, in the center of Écija.

In Écija we can find other constructions and places to see in a visit to the city, such as: the Garcilaso House-Palace, the Royal Butchers, the House of the Silk Guild, the House of the Wool Guild, the Royal Ark of Water, the Peñaflor viewpoint, the Benamejí viewpoint, the Bullring, the Cintería Street, the Arch of Saint María, the Spain Square, the City Hall and Conde Street.

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What to do in Écija

In Écija you can enjoy the visit to one of the museums of different themes that we find in the city.

Municipal Historical Museum: This museum of Écija is located in the Benamejí Palace. In it you can carry out the organization of congresses, conventions, commercial presentations, workshops, etc.

Palace-House Palma Museum: Located in the heart of Écija, it is a 16th century palace declared Cultural Interest Asset. From your patio you access the patio of the orange trees where we find a stone fountain and an old conventual water well that, according to an ancient legend, connects with a passage that leads to the Genil River.

Museum of Sacred Art: Located in the Church of Saint Cross. It stands out for contemplating a large collection of eighteenth-century goldsmiths from Écija.

Parish Museum of Saint María: It is located in the courtyard of the Church of Saint María and in it we can find prehistoric, Roman and Arab archaeological remains. One of the most valuable pieces is a head made of marble of Germanic, from the time when the Romans occupied Écija.

House-Museum of the Brotherhood of Saint Gil: Located in the Saint Gil Square of Écija, allows the coexistence of the activities of the brotherhood that resides in it with an exhibition related to the brotherhood and that is allowed to visit.

Museum of chivalry: This museum, located inside the military reciaries and dressage horses of Écija, has a collection of horse-drawn carriages from Spain, as well as traditional costumes of coachmen and lackeys.

Apart from visiting the proposed museums, we can make some of the different routes that exist in the city of Écija, such as the monumental route, the archaeological route, the route of legends, the Écija route in history and the Baroque route.

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Traditional festivities and celebrations in Écija

In addition to all the things to see and do in Écija, we can enjoy one of the different festivities that are celebrated in this city.

September Fair: It is the Écija fair and the second half of September takes place. It is one of the oldest in the province of Seville.

Festivity of Saint Pablo: It is celebrated on January 25, when Saint Pablo, patron saint of Écija, is paraded through the streets of the city.

May crosses: It is early May. In this celebration the children are the protagonists since they carry out processions for children in Écija.

Holy Week: It is considered of National Tourist Interest and the largest in all of Seville. In Écija procession 14 brotherhoods, being the cities with more brotherhoods by inhabitants of Andalusia and the oldest in Spain.

Other festivities that we can find in Écija are the Festivity of the Virgin of the Valley, the Corpus Christi and the Carnivals.

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Gastronomy of Écija

The gastronomy of Écija is based on natural ingredients and among the typical dishes we can highlight the cat soup, the salmorejo, the gazpacho and the flamenquines. In confectionery, Ecijano yolks, oil cakes, shortbread cakes, Moroccan cakes, Conde rolls, midnight noodles, grandson cakes, martinitos and muffins stand out.

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