The Sierra Morena of Córdoba
The large northern area of the province of Córdoba is take up entirely
by the Sierra Morena and has regions steeped in character such as that
of Los Pedroches. The countryside abounds in meadows and oak woods and
in parts is dark and grey with granite. The villages also offer a sharp
contrast between the hardness of the granite and the softness of the lime.
Hinojosa del Duque, as an example, has a very large parish church, the
Gothic-Reniassance San Juan Bautista, which is of cathedral - like dimensions
and a Mudéjar stuccoed ceiling and Baroque altar-piece. This church
is justly considered the best religious building in this region.
In the same region, Belalcázar is surprising for its medieval castle "de
los Sotomayor" and its parish churches like that of Santiago. In
Torrecampo we can admire the casino, which was once a site of the Inquisition
and the Moor's Dwelling - a characteristic building with some excellent
picture collections -, as well as the parish of San Sebastián.
The regional capital - previously Pedroche - which is famous for tis cheeses
and possesses and elegant parish tower, is Pozoblanco. It is an acitve,
farming town, with both agrarian and livestock farming. The surrounding
countryside combines pastureland with olive groves and even vineyards.
Its parish churches such as Santa Catalina and San Sebastián are
large. There is small museum which displays moments of the famous local
baritone, Marcos Redondo. The festive calendar is very varied and includes
many pilgrimages like that of the Virgen de la Luna in Pozoblanco and
also many amateur bullfights which take place in various locations including
Adjoining Extremadura lies another part of Cordoba's Sierra Morena. It
was previously a mining region and today, the mines still dominate the
landscape. Here we can find mythical villages such as Fuente Obejuna which
has many lovely buildings including the parish church of Nuestra Señora
del Castillo, and where the modern architecture from the early XX century
can also be seen. In Belmez, the castle, which is built on a rock, is
impressive. The centr of the old coal-field is Peñarroya-Pueblonuevo.
This region is ideal for hunting, fresh-water fishing, and climbing. A
good example is Hornachuelos with its enclosed pastures, reservoirs ,
fields of cork trees and brooks. Not far away we meet up again with the
history when we come to the monastery of Santa María de los Ángeles
where the Duke of Rivas set his romantic drama "Don Alvaro o la fuerza