Since Prehistoric times, Sierra Morena has had strategic important and different civilisations have settled here, the prehistoric remains and cave paintings are evidence of this. Fortifications were erected here: Iberians, Carthaginians, Romans, Moor
The rich wealth and diversity of heritage in Sierra Morena offers a total of 206 elements that have been declared to be Heritage of Cultural Interest and 23 Historic Artistic Complexes. All this heritage is well conserved and accessible to visitors.
The base of the local cuisine is olive oil, game and the black Iberian pork fed on acorns. We can point out typical dishes like the marinated or pickled meat from the mountains, cooked meat from the mountains, black Iberian pork preserves, shoulder of pork, cured hams, Rulahuevos salad, camuña brazed lamb, ajoblanco cold soup, Salmorejo (a kind of gazpacho), mountain breadcrumbs, scrambled eggs, bollo de papas (Mashed potato with fried onion, garlic, pepper and tomato), ajogañán (bread, garlic, potato, cod, onion and red pepper), winter gazpacho… Dried fruits and nuts like almonds, walnuts, chestnuts; wild plants, mushrooms, asparagus, strawberry tree fruit, blackberries; herbs like thyme, rosemary; and honey, these are also ingredients that are often used in the local cuisine. For dessert you have a kind of porridge called gachas, fig loaf with almonds, marzipan, fried wine cakes called soplanos, olive oil tarts…
Ironwork stands out among the local crafts (scales, harnesses…), saddlery, hand sewing with hemp yarn, work with rushes, embroidery, basket making, ceramics, woodwork, leather work, esparto grass and wicker work, hunting crafts mainly articles made with horns (chairs, coat hangers, walking sticks, lamps) as well as the cuisine that includes cakes and conserves, not forgetting everything related to olive oil, wine, honey, anisette liquor…
Festivals and Traditions
Local folklore, festivals and customs are closely linked to agriculture; most of the festivals have their origins in the celebration of good harvests. Also it is worth mentioning the pig slaughtering, bonfires and hunting activities.
Religious festivals also have great importance here, with romería type pilgrimages and processions of religious images that are famous all over Spain, like the Romería to the sanctuary of Our Lady of the Head (Virgen de la Cabeza) in Andújar, the oldest in Spain, Holy Week in Montoro with the traditional procession of Roman soldiers, festivals commemorating the Battle of Bailén, the cavalcade of the Three Wise Men in Higuera de la Sierra and the Romería type pilgrimage in honour of the Queen of Angels, all of these celebrations have been declared to be of National Tourist Interest.
There are also some local dances worth a mention like La Lanza or Hinojales dance, the dance of El Pandero de Encinasola, Los Fandangos from Almonaster la Real and the sword dance from Obejo.
- Castles in perfect condition for visits
- Churches, parishes and convents
- Historic Heritage complexes by municipalities
- Remains of settlements and relics of mining activities
- Archaeological sites
- Cave paintings
- Battle sites
- Trenches and a shelter from the Civil War
- Baroque urban complexes
- Roman roads.
- Festivals that have been declared to be of National Tourist Interest (Romería type pilgrimage of Our Lady of the Head, Holy Week in Montoro…)
- Peculiar Folk Expression the legacy of other cultures.
- 6 Nature Parks. (Special Protection Areas (SPA) and Sites of Community Importance (SCI)). (Sierra de Aracena and Picos de Aroche Nature Park, Sierra Norte of Seville Nature Park, Sierra de Hornachuelos Nature Park, Sierra de Cardeña-Montoro Nature Park, Sierra de Andujar Nature Park, Despeñaperros Nature Park)
- 3 Parks that have been declared to be Reserves of the Biosphere "Dehesas de Sierra Morena" (Sierra de Hornachuelos, Sierra Norte of Seville, Sierra de Aracena and Picos de Aroche)
- 3 Nature Areas (la Cimbarra waterfall, Las Peñas de Aroche and Sierra Pelada
and Rivera del Aserrador)
- 5 Natural landscape monuments (the Organs of Despeñaperros, Cerro del Hierro,
Huéznar waterfall, the oak trees in the de San Francisco meadows and the loop in the Guadalquivir river at Montoro)
- The Puerto Moral Nature Reserve in Aroche (Huelva).
Installations for public use
- Visitors’ Centres
- Nature classrooms
- Recreation areas
- Farm schools
- Vantage points
- Camping areas.