Santiponce Itálica

Heritage

An immense legacy waiting to be discovered

La Barranca, los Hornos y la Fuente Salobre

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La Barranca is a clay soil ravine in which runoff water has carved out numerous gullies. This erosion was compounded by the extraction of local clay over the centuries to manufacture bricks in the nearby kilns.

La Barranca is a natural balcony that offers scenic views over the Guadiamar river basin. Despite long years of neglect, the area boasts an extraordinary diversity of ecosystems and species, making it well worth a visit. Situated on the outskirts of Albaida del Aljarafe, it once served as a clay pit for the manufacture of bricks. Indeed, the remains of the old brick kilns can still be found nearby.

The kilns are already mentioned in documents from the Middle Ages and later centuries. However, archaeological studies date the bricks found in the remains of several settlements in the area surrounding the town to the Roman and Al Andalus periods. It can be argued that the clay used was sourced from La Barranca and probably fired in these kilns.

Clay has always been a popular raw material owing to its unique properties when mixed with water. It becomes malleable and can be moulded into different shapes and dried to hold its shape. It was widely used in ancient times owing to its abundance, strength and impermeability. It is no coincidence that the kilns are located near La Barranca since the potter’s workshop was situated close to the source of the raw material or ensure ease of transport.

In the centre of the Barranca is a spring-fountain called Salobre Fountain, commonly known as “El Pilar”. This fountain from the Roman period is now used as a watering place for livestock. Several paths start from here, two of which lead to the Guadiamar Green Corridor. This fountain of endless drinking water, which rises through detrital rocks, is believed to have been a more monumental structure in the past.

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