Comarca de Subbética - Cabra

The famous, Arab poet " Al- Cabri"
The famous, Arab poet " Al- Cabri"

Cabra is the modern Spanish word for goat, but the origin of this town’s name is probably not found in local flocks. In fact, Cabra more likely descends from “Al-Cabri” a local poet from the 10th century whose full name was Muqaddan Irn Muafaa. This would take us back to the town’s arab heritage. The history of Cabra, however, goes even farther back with experts tracing it to the Palaeolithic age. Later it became an important part of the Roman empire.

During the Visigothic period, the town reached new heights of splendour and became an Episcopal see. However, when the Muslims came, Cabra became the capital of the province and an important centre of olive oil production.

In 1240 the town became part of Castille until 1455, when it was given to Don Diego Fernandez of Cordoba as a "condado", roughly the equivalent of an earldom (or county), by Henry IV.

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moorish castle

Take Cabra’s main street (calle mayor) uphill to visit the Condes de Cabra castle which is built inside a walled area. This amazing structure dates back to Morís rule of southern Spain and – as if that didn’t offer sufficient history – it’s built over the site of a Roman fortress. On that same hill, fixed to a column, you can see the “Tizona”, which is the ancient sword of “el Cid Campeador”.

architecture

The Castle of the Counts of Cabra
The Castle of the Counts of Cabra

Cabra is also rich in churches, including the spectacular Asuncion y Angeles converted from a mosque to church, but still retaining its 44 dramatic red marble columns, reminiscent of the mosque in Cordoba, and its five naves. This magnificent church has an 18th century red marble altarpiece by Melchor de Aguirre.

Across the Plaza Vieja is the church of San Juan de Dios, founded in 1568, and extensively rebuilt in the 18th century to feature some extraordinary baroque interior design: a high balustrade worked in an undulating formation to suggest the walls are moving.

The town is also full of convents and senorial houses, one of which is the seat of the Cabra Philharmonic Orchestra. Meanwhile the Condes de Cabra palace is now used by nuns as a convent.

Another point of interest not far from the park is the Aguilar y Eslava College, a pioneering school housed in 17th century mansion, and boasting a red marble facade. Opposite, is Los Remedios church, formerly a sixteenth century shrine to Santa Ana, and rebuilt in the early eighteenth century.

city Parks

The Palace of the Condes de Cabra
The Palace of the Condes de Cabra

Having woven through the whitewashed streets, the traveller can rest a while in the Alcantara Romero park, with its flowers and fountains, and statues to its famous sons, Juan Valera (author), Pedro Iglesias (poet) or Cayetano Muriel (singer).

Other features of note include the Casa Consistorial, and the Parque de la Tejera, a large green area crossing the city.

museums

Cabra’s  Museo de Aceite (olive oil museum), well worth a visit. It was built in the middle of the nineteenth century, and now traces the 2,000 year history of olive oil in the area, including life-size reconstructions of Greek and Roman presses.

The famous Andaucian diplomat, politician and writer Juan Valera was born in Cabra and his home has been turned into a museum which is open to the public.

The Villa Vieja district can trace its roots back to the sixth and seventh centuries AD, when it was an important enclave for the Iberian people, and known as LICABRUM. Many of the Iberian remains in the area can be found in remarkably good condition in the Museo Arqueologico Municipal, along with fascinating statues, mosaics and artefacts from an important Roman villa in the area.

Cabra is part of the Sierras de Subbéticas Natural Park which makes this area ideal for “active tourism” and adventure tourism. In fact, the highest point in the Sierra de Cabra mountain range has been set aside as an official view point and is known by many as the “Andalucia’s Balcony”. The “Subbética Green Pathway” also passes through Cabra’s municipal territory using the old train route as a passage way.

The Town Hall of Cabra
The Town Hall of Cabra

gastronomy

Every town and village in Andalucia offers local specialities worth trying and Cabra is no different. If you’re just visiting for a short time, stop for a coffee and a pastry in the Plaza de España which offers an excellent selection of local “pasteles”. The best are supposed to be the “bizcotelas” by the Madres Agustinas. Also highly recommended are the pestiños and the gajorros. If you’re planning to enjoy lunch or dinner in Cabra then ask your waiter for a local speciality (“un plato típico) and you’ll surely be served a savoury meat and vegetable plate.

natural parks

Cabra is part of the Sierras de Subbéticas Natural Park which makes this area ideal for “active tourism” and adventure tourism. In fact, the highest point in the Sierra de Cabra mountain range has been set aside as an official view point and is known by many as the “Andalucia’s Balcony”. The “Subbética Green Pathway” also passes through Cabra’s municipal territory using the old train route as a passage way.

 

Cabra Gypsy Festival

The "Romería Nacional de los Gitanos", or National Gypsy Pilgrimage" traditionally takes place the third Sunday in June and attracts not only gypsies, but also "payos" (non-gypsies). In fact, this event which was founded in 1969 by Jose Córdoba Reyes, draws participants from across Andalucia, Spain and even beyond national borders with the aim of both uniting gypsy communities and bridging the gap between gypsies and non-gypsies. More on the Cabra Gypsey Festival       More on other festivals at Cabra

 

TOURIST INFORMATION

Oficina de Turismo
Casa de la Cultura
Martín Belda, 21
Tel. 957 520 110

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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