Montoro is a municipality of Córdoba located between Sierra Morena and the countryside, inside a meander of the Guadalquivir river that is a Natural Monument.
Montoro is 41 km from Córdoba and is declared a Historic Artistic Site. A large part of its extension is protected space since it belongs to the Sierra de Cardeña y Montoro Natural Park.
In Montoro you can demonstrate the presence of human settlements from prehistory through archaeological remains. It is believed that it began as an urban nucleus in the time of the Greeks, under the name of Aypora or Eipora, but this has not been fully demonstrated.
It is true that remains of an Iberian nucleus were found in Montoro, specifically in the Llanete de los Moros, dating from between 4500 and 5000 B.C. and that are today in the Provincial Archaeological Museum of Córdoba.
In Roman times, the Montoro town, called Epora at that time, was involved in a war in the third century B.C. At the end of the 1st century B.C. the city of Epora had great importance in the area.
The name of Montoro was born from the Goths, when it was established on the hill next to Epora and making the city known as Mount Gothorum (Mount of the Goths), the name of Montoro ended up being coined.
Montoro was reconquered to Muslims in 1238 by Fernando III the Saint on St. Bartolomé's day, so he began to be the patron of the city.
It belonged to the Council of Córdoba until the seventeenth century that passed into the hands of the Marquis of El Carpio until the nineteenth century.
In the French invasion, the inhabitants of Montoro carried out a strategy of deception by being hospitable to them and then ending them. For this reason he received the title of "Very Noble, Loyal and Patriotic City of Montoro". However, this was not easy because it was a great cost in lives and Montoro would not recover the population level until more than thirty years later.
In Montoro you can see different monuments of its heritage that cover the history of this municipality, from churches to stately homes.
Church of Carmen: This church of Montoro belongs to the seventeenth century and is an old baroque church that belonged to the convent of the Barefoot Carmelites. Although it is the Church of Carmen, its owner is St. Juan de la Cruz. It has two side covers carved in molinaza sandstone. Inside you will find a set of baroque altarpieces both in the main chapel and in the collaterals.
Box House: This is a 17th-century building that was used as a box to witness the shows that were held in the España Square from Montoro to which it gives its facade. These balconies were accessed through two stairs, one for women and one for men.
Torre Mocha Door: Door apparently of Roman origin and renovated in medieval times. It is one of the gates that connected the walled area of Montoro with the Guadalquivir river through the Vaguada de la Paloma.
Hermitage of Saint Ana: This hermitage of Montoro is dated between the 16th and 17th centuries. It suffered enough damage during the Civil War, so after its completion it was reformed. It stands out for its double porch of arches pointed on columns.
Church of Saint Sebastián: Church of the 16th century where Saint Francisco treated its patients in Montoro. Its cover is modernist style and on it stands a baroque belfry of the eighteenth century.
Church of Saint Juan de Letrán: This is the old hermitage of the College of Girls Educandas, founded in 1764 by Juan Antonio del Peral y Buenrostro. It is the work of Francisco Luis de Mora. It has three short ships and a square head with dome and Rococo plasterwork.
Bullring: The regulation published in 1884 tells us that in the past there was another place in Montoro. The current bullring was destroyed during the Civil War but was rebuilt in the fifties. It has a capacity of 3500 spectators and in it the bullfighting shows of the Fair of Our Lady of the Rosary are celebrated.
Shell House: It was built in 1960 by its owner, Francisco del Río Cuenca. It is made up of more than 45 million shells from different parts of the planet.
Hermitage of the Virgin of Grace: It was built on another hermitage in the 18th century. It has a single ship where the dressing room of the Virgin of Grace is located.
Nazarene Jesus Hospital: It began to be built in the 17th century under the invocation of Nazarene Jesus, but it lasted until 1778. It is the work of Francisco Hurtado Izquierdo, which followed the scheme of his Church of Saint Juan de Dios of Priego de Córdoba. It should be noted its unique ship church. At present, its function is as a residence for the elderly in Montoro.
Tourist Office: This is an old Montoro inn that has been renovated to become the Montoro Tourist Office.
Manor House: House of the 16th century that stands out in Montoro for its Renaissance-style cover with padded molinaza ashlars and is topped with a split pediment on which a small balcony flanked by noble shields sits.
Church of Saint Bartolomé: It is of Gothic style and began to be built in 1483.
Tercias Building: It was built in 1784 by Francisco Luis de Mora with the objective of storing the products of the ecclesiastical tithes of Montoro. It has three naves and is in height with two floors. The cover is neoclassical and accesses an entrance courtyard.
Church of Saint María of the Mota: This is the chapel of the old Castle of the Mota, which has already disappeared. His style is Gothic-Mudejar. Inside it houses the Municipal Archaeological Museum.
Main Bridge: This bridge began to be built in 1498 during the reign of the Catholic Monarchs, becoming one of the most important in the province of Córdoba. The legend says that it could be built thanks to the donation of the jewels and the salaries of the residents of Montoro. However, the reality is that these jewels were certain lands from which the inhabitants of Montoro detached themselves.
If what you want is to learn more about the history and traditions of Montoro, we recommend that you visit one of the museums offered by this fantastic municipality.
Antonio Rodríguez Luna Museum: This Montoro museum is located inside the old Hermitage of Saint Jacinto and the current Church of Carmen. It is a museum dedicated to the painter Antonio Rodríguez Luna where you can appreciate 15 of his latest works.
Municipal Archaeological Museum: It is located inside the Church of Saint María of the Mota. In it you can learn about the history of Montoro from prehistory, as well as see the different epochs through its collection of archaeological remains.
Oil Museum: This museum is dedicated to the olive grove culture in Montoro. In it you will find mainly utensils that were utilized and are utilized by workers for their collection among other tasks. You will discover the history of Montoro influenced by its olive groves. This museum is located in the Tercias Building.
Holy Week Museum: Located inside the Church of Santiago, this museum aims to show you the prominence of this festival in Montoro, so that you know everything about this traditional festival.
In the event that you prefer to enjoy Montoro outdoors and make a visit following a theme, we recommend some of the routes that exist through the urban part of Montoro.
Route of Montoro in Roman times: This route borders the urban area of Montoro, crossing the wall that ran through the city in Roman times. This route has an approximate length of 3.5 km. Among the outstanding places through which this route passes you will find the Meandro del Guadalquivir Viewpoint, the Llanete de los Moros, the Torre Mocha Door and the Archaeological Museum of Montoro.
Route of Montoro in the Middle Ages: This route tries to cross the different buildings of Montoro, which have their chronology in the Middle Ages. Start at the Church of Saint Bartolomé and go through the Torre Mocha Door, the Santa María de la Mota Square, the Church of Saint María of the Mota, the Julia Castle, the Church of Saint Bartolomé and the España Square. The route has 2.77 km.
Route of Montoro in the 16th - 18th Centuries: In this route you will be able to appreciate different churches and buildings of these centuries in which Montoro had a great population development. It is a route of 2.57 km.
Heraldic Route of Montoro: The route takes a walk through Montoro showing all the buildings that have a heraldic shield on its facade as a sign of the manor houses of Montoro, especially of 17th and 18th centuries. This route has a length of 3.22 km.
Montoro Route in the 19th and 20th Centuries: Another route through which you can enjoy the architecture and monuments built between the 19th and 20th centuries in Montoro. It has 1.86 km of travel.
But if at the time of doing a hiking route what you like is to enjoy the natural environment, Montoro has the Sierra de Cardeña and Montoro Natural Park where you can do one of the following routes:
Route from Cardeña to Aldea del Cerezo: Its difficulty is low, it has a length of 7.4 km and an approximate completion time of 2 hours.
Route from Aldea del Cerezo to Azuel: It has a medium-low difficulty, with 12 km and a duration of about 3 hours and 45 minutes.
Route from Aldea del Cerezo to Venta del Charco: With a low difficulty, 6.6 km long and 1 hour and 50 minutes long.
Vuelcacarretas Road Route: It has a medium-low difficulty, a distance of 7 km and a necessary time of 2 hours and 15 minutes approximately.
For the part of the mountain range that belongs to Montoro you can find these routes.
Valle del Yeguas Route: It has medium-high difficulty due to the unevenness on the way back and is 9 km.
Colada del Arenosillo Route: Its difficulty is medium-high and is 8 km long.
And if you want to take a bike route, we recommend the following.
Valle del Corcomé Route: With a medium-low difficulty and a distance of 15 km.
Route from Cardeña to Montoro: Its difficulty is medium-high and complete it has a distance of 32 km.
Another alternative offered by Montoro is to make a donkey route, where you can enjoy these friendly animals as they did and some continue to do.
In Montoro you can enjoy both religious and gastronomic parties.
Verbenas: These are parties between May and August in honor of Saint Fernando, the Virgin of Carmen, Santiago, Saint Ana and Saint Bartolomé, patron of Montoro. They are held in different neighborhoods of Montoro and in them musical performances, games, children's activities and many other events take place.
Crosses and patios: It takes place the first week of May, in which the neighborhoods, streets and facades of Montoro are dressed by the May Crosses and the Contest of Patios and Typical Facades.
Fair of Our Lady of the Rosary: Patroness of Montoro, has its party from October 7 to 12, where a lunch is held in homage to the elderly people of Montoro, an act in homage to the inhabitant of Montoro, to companies of the place and the association of the year. The cattle fair, sports competitions, concerts and fireworks are held.
Olive Fair: This fair aims to collect the human and economic values produced by the olive tree, not only in Montoro, but also in all the places where it is located. Therefore, every two years in the month of May this fair is held in Montoro, where there is a series of conferences to deal with the problems of the olive tree, oil tastings, poetry contest to the olive grove, prize in technological innovation, etc. It is the second most important fair in Spain related to the theme of the olive tree and is that it represents a magnificent place to present technological and scientific innovations of the sector, establish business relationships, exchange of information, analysis of trends, among many other opportunities.
Pilgrimage of Our Lady of Fuensanta: It takes place on the last Sunday of April in the hermitage located in the Valle del Corcomé, about 8 km from Montoro. After the cults are celebrated, the virgin moves to her hermitage. This day the neighbors of Montoro and Villa del Río join that day to celebrate a day together.
The cuisine of Montoro provides you with dishes such as garlic sopeao, pheasant omelette, rice with thrushes, partridges in sauce, rabbit with garlic and potatoes in coña with sopeao. Among the sweet dishes of Montoro you will find the shortening cake, the soplanos and the marzipans of La Logroñesa.
Thanks to the typical oil of Montoro you can delight, apart from any of the aforementioned dishes, with white garlic, crumbs, milled toast, salmorejo, homemade almond cakes, honey pestiños and cinnamon soplanos.