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Castellar de la Frontera

border Castellar de la Frontera border
The old village of Castellar de la Frontera is perched high on a hilltop in the province of Cadiz, with commanding views over the Guadarranque reservoir. The village is easiest reached from the C111 road that leaves the coast at San Roque, branching off to Castellar after just 10 kilometers. This historic fortress village is famous for its castle - the word 'Castellar' meaning literally, 'site of the castle'.
Castellar de la Frontera   Castellar de la Frontera   Castellar de la Frontera   Castellar de la Frontera   Castellar de la Frontera
Castellar de la Frontera   Castellar de la Frontera   Castellar de la Frontera   Castellar de la Frontera   Castellar de la Frontera
Castellar de la Frontera   Castellar de la Frontera   Castellar de la Frontera   Castellar de la Frontera   Castellar de la Frontera
Castellar de la Frontera   Castellar de la Frontera   Castellar de la Frontera   Castellar de la Frontera   Castellar de la Frontera

The history of the village goes back to prehistoric times and the Bronze Age, after which the place became a medieval fortress. The prehistoric presence is still evident in the many caves around the area, where enthusiasts can see the wonderful cave drawings as proof of its heritage. It played an important role in the wars between the Spanish and the Muslims. In such a high up advantageous strategic position, peoples of many cultures wanted to control this strong vantage point.
The village was conquered and won back between Fernando III, the Moors and then Juan II, who described it as "such a wonderful, strong town". After the many battles of medieval times, by October 1650 Teresa María Arias de Saavedra, the Countess of Castellar, took possession of the town and later it was in the hands of the Medinaceli family until 1973, when the Rumasa Group acquired it from them. Then in 1983 the Spanish Government expropriated Castellar and declared it a 'Historical and Artistic Monument'. By this time, the place was in a state of neglect and abandonment and the Town Hall invested the equivalent of around £100,000 in restoration to the old castle and village. The area within the municipality of Castellar, next to the train station, known as Almoraima, is now a protected natural area, which is teeming with wildlife. Agriculture and farming are still main industries in this area, where a vast quantity of cork is produced from the cork trees. Wheat, sunflowers, cotton and hay are also harvested each year and there are over 500 beehives, providing excellent natural honey. Although with the advent of the Guadarranque reservoir in the early 1960's, other jobs became available to the local population, many are still involved in farming and cattle breeding. In 1971 the few remaining inhabitants of the old town were re-housed with modern amenities in Nuevo Castellar in the valley, about 7 kilometers away. For a while the old town became a hippy colony and some bohemian people still live there. New Castellar, with its well-appointed modern houses, wide streets and avenues and open green zones, is quite a contrast to the old town. The inhabitants of the old town were pleased to move into these new living conditions, since the old mountain village houses lacked all the 'mod cons' we tend to take for granted, such as efficient water and sewage systems. The striking new white houses are distinctive against the green of the well-tended gardens. The town's inhabitants, while forward looking, are also proud of their heritage, which is being preserved in the mountain castle village.
The luxury hotel trade of nearby Costa del Sol has not yet exploited this very rural atmosphere and there are few places to stay overnight. There are some modest hostels and various local restaurants in the vicinity, where you can sample local dishes.
The fiesta of "La Boyal" day - 15th February. The town celebrates the day that the Spanish took back land, which previously belonged to La Almoraima.
Semana Santa (Easter Holy Week)
'Romeria' and annual Fair celebrating the Holy Christ of La Almoraima on the first Sunday in May, with days of festivities, including dancing, etc. leading up to it. The Sunday Romeria and procession used to be called "el Domingo de los ingleses" (Sunday of the English people) because of the number of Gibraltarians who came along to join in the celebrations.
In July there is an important Flamenco Festival.
The Evening of the Divino Salvador is held on the first weekend of August, when there is flamenco singing, traditional dancing and other events organized at the Castle of Castellar, to commemorate the festival of San Salvador, the patron saint of the town.

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