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Chapel Trail: Alanís - S. Nicolás del Puerto

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Alanís

On entering the Natural Park, you will see the silhouette of Alanís standing out against a gentle slope. Its medieval castle at the top and, next to it, the chapel of San Juan are the most distinctive landmarks of the town.

Although some historians place its origins in Celtic settlements, it is not until the Moorish period that the seeds of the present-day town can be seen. The Moors shaped its toponymy, calling it Al-Haniz (fertile, prosperous land). This name may explain how hotly disputed and coveted this territory has been throughout history. The Castle has experienced events such as the Christian reconquest in 1249, carried out by Fernando III, the siege in 1472 by the Duke of Medina Sidonia against the defence of the Marquis of Cádiz and its reconstruction and arming by the French in 1808.

The chapel of Las Angustias was erected in commemoration of the victory won by the Christians against the Moors, 200 metres from the town, in the so-called valley of Matamoros. Its construction consists of three sections and an entrance. The first section was built in the 17th century and contains a tombstone inscribed with the date 1656. Inside, the image of Nuestra Señora de las Angustias, patron saint of the town, is kept and venerated. The original image was destroyed during the Civil War and was later replaced by the current one, the work of the sculptor Castillo Lastrucci. It was rebuilt in the 18th century.

In the town itself there are several chapels, such as that of Jesús Nazareno. This building belonged to the old Hospital de la Caridad, which no longer exists, and has a Baroque-style altarpiece. In this simple and austere but beautiful chapel, which is an invitation to meditation and devout prayer for locals and visitors alike, you will find the patron saint of one of the most popular penitential brotherhoods in the town. There is also the chapel of San Juan, considered to be the first parish church in the town and erected in the shade and shelter of the castle. Architecturally, it is a building with a single nave, with a rectangular floor plan divided into four sections by means of pointed transverse arches - an architectural model widely used in the medieval architecture of the Sierras of Córdoba, Seville and Huelva - and rounded off by a curious semicircular apse, more typical of Romanesque than Andalusian Mudejar architecture, all covered by a wooden roof. It is currently the headquarters of La Casa de las Artes, a place dedicated to the performing arts.

For much of the route, you will walk through flat dehesas of holm oaks (Quercus Ilex) and cork oaks (Quercus suber), shaped by the hands of man since ancient times for the use of livestock. So, you can spend the day enjoying the walk, meditating or learning about the tasks typical of the rural world. Depending on the season in which you follow the route, you will be able to observe the different tasks carried out in the countryside, from the pruning of the olive tree to the harvesting of the fruit, generally in December or January. In the dehesa, autumn is the season of greatest splendour in this outstanding mountain landscape, also coinciding with the ripening of its fruit: the acorn. If you walk at this time of year you will be witness to a spectacular shower of acorns that will be the delight of the Iberian pigs during the traditional "montanera" (free-range pig rearing). A large part of the route is along the Carril de Fuente Robledo and the Carril de Los Cascajales, which offers a good surface and a clear path that is difficult to miss.

San Nicolás del Puerto

You enter San Nicolás del Puerto along Calle Charca de los Fresnos and a few metres further on you come across the only river beach in the province of Seville. This beach is located on the banks of the Arroyo de los Parrales, where, if the weather is suitable, you can cool off in its waters or have some refreshments in its themed beach bars before moving on to visit the chapel of San Diego.
 

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Length
14.17Km
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