by Saskia Mier

Castellar offers a beautiful and rich historical and artistic heritage, as well as being a favourite spot for the practice of rural and sports activities such as small game hunting in the Sierra del Oro. It has about 3,300 inhabitants.


The first occupation of Castellar is thought to date somewhere between the Final Copper and Bronze Ages. An important archaeological site which has illuminated this history is the Iberian Sanctuary of Cueva de la Lobera and the surrounding Altos del Sotillo, where figurines known as “mingos” have been found, bronze votive offerings deposited in the two sanctuaries. These vary in form, from male and female devotees and priests to abstractions that are only subtly recognisable as human figures. More>


Museo de Arte Ibérico
The Archaeological Museumb> was established in 1998 and exhibits various donations offered by residents of the town, as well as pieces donated by the Provincial Museum of Jaén. It also houses many of the bronze votive offerings found in the Iberian sanctuary of Altos del Sotillo. The Iberian Museum of Castellar is unique in Spain, situated inside a sixteenth-century homage tower, known as Castillo de Pallarés. This new museum opened its doors to visitors in July 2010, offering a wide collection of more than a hundred bronze votive offerings from the Cueva de la Lobera. Through its two exhibition halls, visitors can find information about local ancestors, the Oretanos, supported by advanced audiovisual media, such as interactive kiosks and projections on stone. Located in Plaza de la Constitución.
Opening Times: Tuesday-Friday, 09:00-14:00hrs. Saturday, 10:00-14:00hrs
Price: Individual, €2 Groups, €1,50

ExColegiata de Santiago Apóstol
The Renaissance Excolegiata de Santiago Apóstol is one of the most emblematic buildings of Castellar, built between 1642 and 1648 by order of Don Mendo Benavides. It was elevated to the rank of Collegiate Church by Pope Innocent XII in 1692. Oriented to the southwest, the building is composed of a church and school with a patio, which are beautifully proportioned but sober in style. The dome of the tower stands out, topped with polychrome tiles. The floor plan of the church is a Latin cross with a barrel vault roof. In the presbytery, there are side balconies that would have allowed privileged locals to participate in liturgical acts. Its sacristy contains an impressive collection of 54 oil paintings with portraits of Popes, recently restored, which happens to be one of the most important in the peninsula. The courtyard has a double gallery of semicircular arches supported by columns of the Tuscan order. The recently restored patio also features a monumental staircase with two sections and a wide landing covered with a dome. Located on Avenida de Andalucia.

Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de la Encarnación
The proto-Gothic church tower, the oldest monument in the town, served as a defense for a primitive Visigoth (and later Arab) fortification. Its construction commenced in the fourth century in the old defensive enclosure. After the re-conquest, it was repurposed as a bell tower for the church erected between the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. In 1952, the façade was rebuilt, raising its walls about two metres. The flat-fronted presbytery is linked by the basilica plan through three arcades, supported by powerful stone pillars with a square section, whose central bay offers greater height and light than the lateral ones. Parallel to the presbytery is the Sacristy, covered by a barrel vault with four lunettes and in which the only existing coat of arms of the time is preserved, that of Bishop Baltasar Moscoso y Sandoval (1619-1646). Externally, the church presents a Baroque portal on the main façade (carved from the seventeenth century) with a semicircular arch, a sketchy molding and a key highlighted with acanthus. Declared a Site of Cultural Interest (B.I.C), with the category of monument, by decree 226/1992, of December 30, 1992, under the protection of the generic Declaration of the Decree of April 22, 1949, and Law 16 /1985 on the Spanish Historical Heritage. Located on Pasaje la Iglesia.


Ermita de Nuestra Señora de Consolación
The medieval chapel is situated on the hill of Montesinos, a single nave with an altar and choir, which has undergone various reforms. Its tower was declared a monument of Cultural Interest on June 25, 1985. Located 4.8km south east of Castellar.

Santuario Ibérico de la Cueva de la Lobera
The Iberian Sanctuary of Cueva de la Lobera is a place of worship more than 2,300 years old. It is an emblematic settlement of Iberian archeology located on an important communication route, the Via Heracleia. The Sanctuary is built on a rocky ledge with niches between them, the largest called Caverna del Ídol, and visitors can explore the natural caves, most notably Cueva de la Lobera. Located 1.5km from Castellar.

Almazara Ecológica Aceites Nobleza del Sur
The Aceites Nobleza Del Sur olive oil mill offers guided tours of their organic olive groves in the Vistalegre Estate, where in the spring you can enjoy a green carpet of native plants that grow at the feet of centuries-old olive trees. Visitors can also enjoy the Oleotour program and the extra virgin olive oil tasting pack. Located on JV-6023.


Sierra del Oro
This mountain range is home to a typical Mediterranean forest, with areas of steep rocky outcrops, river vegetation, and the striking mountainous landscape typical of the Sierra Morena. This natural jewel can be enjoyed by locals from Castellar thanks to the Escrituras de Concordia signed by the three towns and the Marquesas. The area also offers hiking and cycling routes through the Parajes de Majadascabras, el Colmenar, el Salto del Fraile, la Tinada de Arrayanes, la Tinada del Realejo and Paraje de Las Minas.


There are various bus services from Castellar. More>


When visiting Castellar try local dishes such as calandrajos de liebre o bacalao (wild hare or cod pasta stew), ajoharina (potato mash served with anchovies and clams), ajo blanco (cold almond and garlic soup), conejo en salsa (rabbit stew), esparragos en salsa (asparagus) and guisos de caza (game stews). Sweet treats include mantecados (lard cakes), roscos de viento (profiteroles filled with custard) and roscos fritos (aniseed doughnuts).


Popular festivals in Castellar are Fiestas de San Antón, Fiestas y Romería de San Benito, Festividad de San Marcos and Romería de Nuestra Señora Santísima Virgen de Consolación. More>


The weather forecast for the next few days for Castellar. More> More>


The tourist office of Castellar is located in the Town Hall.More>


The neighbouring villages to Castellar are Santisteban del Puerto and Sorihuela de Guadalimar.