The strategic location Utrera, where multiple roads converge, and its fertile lands have attracted different peoples over the centuries who decided to settle here.
Utrera had a large walled compound that served a defensive function against external attacks. The town’s location, halfway between different kingdoms, made it a strategic city during the many centuries that Christians and Muslims fought for dominance of Andalusia. The wall had four gates: Sevilla, in the Plaza del Altozano; San Juan, Jerez and Arco de la Villa. The latter is the best-preserved and marks the border between Utrera’s historic centre and the neighbourhoods outside the city walls, the “arrabales”, where citizens with fewer financial resources lived. Taverns, brothels and even vegetable gardens where the peasants grew produce were located here. In other times, entering this suburb was a risky adventure. Nowadays, Arenal and La Fuente Street are quiet neighbourhoods.
Although the remains of the wall can still be seen at the Plaza de la Constitución, Plaza del Altozano or Álvarez Hazañas Street, the best place is at the Arco de la Villa. The Arch, which is located at the end of San Fernando Street, gives access to the Fuente de Ocho Caños area, a place that was important, in the past, for the city’s livestock breeding tradition.
The Arco de la Villa is a pointed arch crowned with a small baroque chapel. It is a robust defensive structure. The pointed arch gives access to the city. The small chapel was added during the Baroque period.