Santiponce Itálica

Heritage

An immense legacy waiting to be discovered

Pozos de la Nieve (Snow Wells)

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This is undoubtedly the most outstanding rustic building of a civil nature due to its historical importance. Located 2 kilometres away next to the crossroads of the roads to Cazalla de la Sierra and San Nicolás del Puerto (A-455), the building consists of a large hall, divided into three sections by two rows of semicircular arches.

Two more rooms are preserved here: those containing the two wells where the snow was kept, vaulted in 1760-1761. Until the beginning of the century there was a room used as the chapel of the Virgen de las Nieves ("Our Lady of the Snow"). The doorway looks like that of a religious building since it has a gable with classical elements and a belfry. On the façade there is a shield of Seville dating from 1696, since these wells traditionally belonged to that city, as shown by a tombstone that tells how during the reign of Carlos II these wells with their pools and water were purchased (1684), obtained the permission of His Majesty to store snow (1694) and ordered to be renovated (1699).

The ice that was naturally made and kept in its wells was transported by animals at night and sold in Seville, and the surplus was taken to the neighbouring towns and sold at a lower price. The municipality had a cold store for this purpose, where the ice was kept from melting by covering it with straw. The chronicles of the time tell us that from here the Communities, Tobacco Factory, etc., were served, as well as private individuals who bought more than a quarter of an arroba. Other people had to buy the ice in the street stalls.

This building, now privately owned, has been restored as rural accommodation with great respect for its original style and tradition, which has recently earned it a special mention at European level (2006), for its contribution to the Conservation of Cultural Heritage, as well as the Heritage Conservation Award granted by the Constantina Town Council (February 28, 2007).

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