Estepa – Seville

Estepa in Seville province is an ancient town and is famous for its renowned biscuits. Known as mantecados and polvorones which its bakers make each Christmas and which are eaten across this region of Andalucia.

Local information

Ayuntamiento de Estepa
Avenida Badia Polesine, 28, 41560 Estepa (Seville)
Telephone: 955-912-717
http://www.estepa.es/

Residents
14000
Health Clinic Bars, shops, restaurants Schools Municipal pool Beach
1h 15min
Golf nearby Antequera 40km Malaga 95km Granada 140km Seville 110km Bus and train
services
Malaga airport
95Km
Granada airport
140Km
Seville airport
110Km

Gallery

Main information

The Romans re-populated the town from their settlements elsewhere in the region and called it Ostipo. In the eighth century, the Moorish armies who had invaded the south-western tip of the region in 711 CE took the town and renamed it Istabba.

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The Arabs renovated an abandoned pre-Roman castle at the top of the San Cristobal hill on which the town sits. They began fortifying it against the incursions during the Reconquest. Shifts in power between various caliphates saw it fall under the control of various caliphs, including the kingdoms of both Granada and Seville. The renowned poet Al Zawwali lived here before returning to Marrakech in 1220 shortly before his death.

Estepa in Seville province was taken quite early in the Reconquest, by King Fernando III, ‘The Saint’, in 1241. But it was the subject of regular attacks from Granada. Life in the town stabilised following the Conquest, and like its larger neighbour Osuna. As the town expanded, downhill from the castle, it effectively departed the protective bailey.

As the town expanded, downhill from the castle, it effectively departed the protective bailey. Estepa Andalucia bandoleros most notorious was Jose Maria Hinojosa Cabacho, ‘El Tempranillo’, who once issued what was in effect a press statement saying that while the King may well rule Spain.

The central Plaza El Carmen was as the name suggests built in honour of the Virgin Carmen. It was expanded in 1745 to accommodate a plaza de toros, bullring. Spain’s shifting political fortunes have seen it baptised with various names over the centuries: Constitution Square, Royal Square, Republic Square, Generalisimo (General Franco) Square among them.

The city walls of Estepa in Seville that still surrounding the old town on the San Cristobal hill were first built in the 10th century by the Moors. The old town also conceals a number of notable religious buildings. Franciscan monks built a convent in the north-east corner of the hill in 1603, and the convent, its church and house of novitiates still stand.

The Church of Santa Maria

Behind the church of Santa Maria is the Baroque convent of Santa Clara, built by two of the local marqueses and the Franciscans. A central niche contains a sculpture of Santa Clara, and around it the coats of arms of the two families. The Centurion en Fernandez de Cordoba families, as well as the coat of arms of the Franciscan Order. The opulent interior features a single nave with barrelled vault supported by arches, with an onion-shaped dome above scalloped details over the altar.

Estepa in Seville smells like a cake factory in the run-up to Christmas, as local bakers and even home cooks work to meet the demand for its favourite icing-covered polvorone biscuits. Some bakeries allow visitors to observe the baking process, and there is a small museum to the history of Estepa’s biscuit tradition in the La Estepena biscuit factory.

Fiestas

    • February 2 – large bonfires are lit to celebrate the Candelaria and to warm people observing the night-long religious vigil.
    • May 1 – the town celebrates the local Romeria (procession) de San Jose Obrero.
    • On the third Sunday of every May – the neighbourhood known as the Octava (eighth) de los Remedios celebrates its own festival around calle Roya.
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  • La Vela (candle) de Santa Ana religious festival has been celebrated around July 26 in the barrio, neighbourhood, of La Coracha since before the 18th century.
  • 15 August The fiesta of Our Lady of La Asuncion – Estepa’s main summer fair is celebrated. Finally, around feria time Our Lady of Carmen sees a procession of people carrying torches and flares along calle La Puente and environs.

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