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Las Cabezas de San Juan

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Las Cabezas de San Juan, the first constitutional town in Spain

Las Cabezas de San Juan, a town in Seville’s Bajo Guadalquivir, marked a turning point in the history of Spain. It was here that the Constitution sworn in Cádiz in 1812, popularly known as ‘La Pepa’, was officially proclaimed in 1820. This brave act was led by Lieutenant Colonel Rafael de Riego, who put an end to the absolutism of Fernando VII and the Holy Inquisition. This was how Spain’s first Constitutional Monarchy was proclaimed. 

To learn more about this historic event, head to the Plaza de la Constitución in the town centre. The place plays tribute to this revolutionary event that influenced the idiosyncrasy of Las Cabezas de San Juan. The townspeople have always been welcoming and open-minded with the travellers passing through this town, a strategic place between Cádiz and Seville.

Flamenco is intrinsic to this town. It is expressed in major national events, including the La Yerbabuena Festival and La Zambombá navideña. Come and enjoy the art that permeates the town and sample the traditional cuisine, especially the habas heladas.

If you are looking to reconnect with nature, take a stroll around the Lebrija-Las Cabezas lagoon system. You can watch a variety of endangered species in this protected nature reserve. This area next to the River Guadalquivir and its marshes makes Las Cabezas de San Juan a place of high environmental value. 

Come and discover all that Las Cabezas de San Juan has to offer, a town at the forefront of Spain’s constitutional history. 


Getting to Las Cabezas de San Juan

If you travel by car from Seville, the quickest route is the AP-4 motorway. Take exit 44 to enter the A-471 leading to Las Cabezas de San Juan. 

You can travel by train on the C1 Cercanías line from Santa Justa Station in Seville. Alternatively, take a bus from Plaza de Armas Station in Seville. 


Getting around

Discover the beauty of this town on foot. Walk on a hiking route or explore the natural surroundings on horse or by bike. 


Reasons to visit

  • Visit picture-perfect spots such as Rincón Malillo, the birthplace of local art, and Pasaje de Doña Mercedes with beautiful views. 
  • Admire the natural landscape at Lebrija-Las Cabezas Lagoon Nature Reserve. You can see flamingos and other protected species in the six lagoons. 
  • Try the typical pan de kilo. Dip the bread in traditional dishes like the habas heladas or caracoles en ‘mojiganga’. You will surely want more. 
  • If you want to learn about Spain’s constitutional history, be sure to come to the Recreación del Levantamiento de Riego in March. It features many exhibitions, market stalls and artworks. 
  • Experience Christmas at Las Cabezas de San Juan’s Live Nativity Scene or the Zambombá flamenca. 
  • Live the best flamenco at La Yerbabuena Festival in June. It has been taking place for over 20 years. 
  • Enjoy spectacular sunsets as you explore the natural surroundings on horseback. 
  • Are you a sports enthusiast? Compete in the Duathlon Cross in June or the Cycling Route in April.


What to see 

Begin your visit at the Plaza de la Constitución. Just as its name suggests, this is where the first Spanish Constitution was proclaimed in 1820. The first constitutional Town Hall in Spain is in this square. You will find artefacts and information on the uprising of Lieutenant Colonel Rafael de Riego.

Nearby is one of the most picturesque places in the town, Rincón Malillo. It is the birthplace of local artists such as the painter Paco Cotto and the flamenco dancer Pepa Montes. Experience the best flamenco at the La Yerbabuena Flamenco Festival. It has been taking place for over 20 years.

The San Juan Bautista Church, a late baroque temple, is a two-minute walk away. This religious building, located uptown, can be seen from afar. The church is unusually large and has an impressive Crucified Christ by the famous sculptor Juan de Mesa. 

Another religious monument worth visiting is the baroque-style San Roque Church located in the Plaza de los Mártires. The square was so-called because Lieutenant Colonel Rafael de Riego was executed here in 1823 after King Fernando VII restored absolutism. There is a bust in his honour in the centre of the square.

If you want to admire some beautiful views, head to Pasaje de Doña Mercedes, one of the most picturesque places in town. Last but not least, stroll around the Lebrija-Las Cabezas lagoon system. Explore the route on a horse and wait until sunset to enjoy the most picture-perfect views. 


Places to visit

  1. Casa de la Cultura, neoclassical building
  2. San Roque Church 
  3. San Juan Bautista Parish Church
  4. Shrine to Jesús Cautivo
  5. Lebrija-Las Cabezas Lagoon Nature Reserve
  6. Plaza de los Mártires
  7. Remains of Montújar Castle
  8. Santa Ángela de la Cruz Convent
  9. Pasaje de Doña Mercedes 
  10. Plaza de la Constitución 
  11. Casa Valcárcel, former 18th-century house, today a museum


Surroundings

Las Cabezas de San Juan is 60 kilometres from Seville in the Guadalquivir-Doñana tourist region. It is located atop one of the last foothills of the Sierra de Gibalbín. Its municipal district includes part of Las Marismas and the Lebrija-Las Cabezas de San Juan lagoon system, a protected area. 

Comarca
Guadalquivir-Doñana
Extension
229.70 Km²
Altitude
69.00 m
No. of inhabitants
16.379
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