Montilla


Montilla can be compared to a boat set adrift in a green sea of vineyards, Such is the aspect offered to the visitor entering the city from the north. Its dwelling stretch out along the riverbank away from the slopes of the hills. The keel of this metaphorical ship is the ancient castle at whose foot stands the round tower of the parish church of Santiago.

USEFUL INFORMATION:

The city is situated to the south of the province alongside the N321 road.

Distance from Córdoba: 44 K
Altitude:
379 m.
Geographical Area: 167,4 Km2
Population: 22.581
Local Inhabitants: Montillanos.
Area code: 957
Townhall: Puerta de Aguilar,10 Tel.650141

Accomodation:
H*** USA Don Gonzalo
Ctra Córdoba-Malaga Km 448 Next to BODEGAS ROBLES
Tel.650658
H* Alfar Ctra Córdoba-Málaga Km 442 Tel.651120
P* Ntra Sra del Carmen, c/Escuelas 3 Tel.650734
Restaurants and taverns:
Los Arcos, Plaza La Rosa, 1
Las Camachas. Cuatro Caminoss/n Tel.650004
Don Gonzalo. Tel. 650722 Next to BODEGAS ROBLES
Don Quijote. C/ Ballen 4 Tel.651271
El Horno. C/ Horno 40,42 Tel.654446
Parque. Avda Andalucia, 36
Wineries:
BODEGAS ROBLES
ROAD CORDOBA-MALAGA KM 447 Next to Hotel Don Gonzalo
Tel. 957650063
Visit: Monday to Saturday 9 to 13 A.M. and 15 to 19 P.M. You can taste all wines made in Montilla and see how make wines in Montilla.
Transport:
Carrera. Tel. 231401
Travel Agencies:
Munda. C/Puerta de Aguilar,54 Tel.651822


HISTORY:

In 1257 Alfonso X awarded Gonzalo Yáñez Dovinal feudal governorship of the town and castle of Aguilar whose territory included present-day Montilla. The town remained under the jurisdiction of he house of Aguilar until 1343. According Prof. J. M. Escobar the oldest documented reference to Montilla dates to 1.333 mentioning the town´s castle. After successive changes in ownership of this territory Enrique II awarded the land, in the form of an entailed estate in 1.371, to Lope Gutiérrez, the mayor of Córdoba. Some four years later he handed the territory over to Gonzalo Fernández de Córdoba in exchange for lands to Guadalcázar. From the onwrds Montilla remained in the power of the Fernández de Córdoba family who later became Marquesses of Priego making Montilla the centre of the feudal territories of Aguilar. In 1508 Fernando el Católico demanded that the castle of Montilla be demolished in order to punish Pedro Fernando de Córdoba (the first marquess of Priego, head of the house of Aguilar) for his disloyalti to the Crown.

PLACES TO VISIT:

Visitor who enter Montilla from the Málaga road can visit one of the most old and famous winery from Montilla: (BODEGAS ROBLES) where the wines are aged and its could be tasted: Dry wines, Cream, Sweet, Olorosos, Young wines, Amontillados and Pale Cream from the D.O. Montilla-Moriles. The Visitor could admire the elaboration and where the wines are making and aged. After to visit the winery they will pass through the streets Andalucia and La Corredera. Towards the end of the latter street one can admire the facade of the town hall with its enlarged atrium, a XIX Century building situated on the site of the old hospital of San Juan de Dios, where Cervantes set one of the chapters of his novel "El Coloquio de los Perros". The old hospital church still stands to the side of the town hall, completed in 1770, today it is used for cultural purposes. A short distance away in plazuela one finds Corredera street in which the Jesuit church of La Encarnación stands with its two identical towers. Althought construction work began in the XVIII Century, the church was not opened to the public until 1.944. It has a Latin cross base with chapels on either side and high galleries, the main altarpiece contains a silver chest in which the remains of the missionary San Juan de Avila are guarded. Corredera street leads us to Plaza de la Constitución also known as La Rosa which is the name of the church which stands in the square. This is a Gothic-Mudejar temple dating from the XVI Century and renovated in the XVIII Century, to which period its Rococo altarpiece corresponds. Also within the square one finds the Garnelo theatre built in 1917 and la Tercia errected in 1921. The street Arcipreste Fernández Pasado, directs one towards the highest point of the town where the Salesiano College is situated, with its Neo-Gothic chapel dedicated to Maria Auxiliadora erected in 1927. Near to the college one can admire the huge granaries built in 1723 upon the site of the old castle by the duke of Medinaceli. The street Iglesia leads us to the principal parish church of Santiago, a Gothic-Mudejar building constructed out of stone originating from the demolished castle. Built in the XVI Century, the church is comprised of three naves separated by pointed arches, the presbytery, porchway and some brick tower were added during reformation work in the XVII and XVIII Centuries. This temple has been embellished with some interesting chapels, that of San Juan Bautista dating from the XVI Century is outstanding. The Baroque chapel of La Virgen del Rosario dates from the XVII Century and contains an attractive XVIII Century chamber decorated in Rococo style, the work of Pedro de Mena Gutiérrez. Amongst the church´s religious images the most noteworthy is that of el Cristo de Zacatecas, originating from the mexican town of the same name and brought to Montilla in 1576. Other interesting images include el Cristo Amarrado a la Columna by Juan de Mena "El Mozo" and San Pedro de Alcántara by Pedro de Mena. On leaving the church one should stroll through the narrow winding streets of the typical neighbourhood of la Escuchuela. Then take the steep street of el Gran Capitán, following the adjoining street Capitán Alonso de Vargas on the right in order to visit the house where Inca Garcilaso de la Vega used to live, and where he wrote parts of his literary masterpieces, it is now a museum. A short distance away in Paz street one finds the house and oratory of San Juan de Avila which contains some interesting works of art. Once again in Gran Capitán street one should walk down to el Llano del palacio which the palace erected by Dukes of Medinaceli in the XVI and XVII Centuries gives its name. Its beautiful porchway and balcony stand out to the right of the palace´s domed facade, while to the left throught a narrow archway, stands the Franciscan convent of Santa Clara. In the austere patio of the convent one finds an attractive Gothic Mudejar temple comprised of a single nave decorated with magnificent panelings. The church contains some valuable works of art, amongst them the Baroque altarpiece designed by an unknown artist in 1730. The twin altarpieces of San José and Santa Ana date from the same period. Contained within the building are several images by Pedro de Mena, the most outstanding being that of San Pedro de Alcántara and the valuable pictorial altarpiece of el Buen Pastor which was created by Baltasar del Aguila in the XVI Century. The streets Benedicto XIII and San Sebastián lead us to the parish church of San Sebastián, the oldest temple in Montilla constructed in the XIII Century. It is Gothic Mudejar desing comprised of three naves, separated by pointed arches supported by Romanesque columns. The building´s antiquity is also reflected in the doorway on the envagelical side, its main altarpiece by Lope de Medina Chirinos dates from the midl XVII Century. Following Enfermería street to the street Santa Ana one finds the convent church of the same name, completed in 1645. Situated in the same street one finds the parish church San Francisco, erected at the end of the XVII Century upon the site of a house where the Franciscan missionary, Montilla´s patron saint, was born. The temple has a Latin cross base with chapels on either side and its transept is covered by a dome. There are also some interesting XVIII Century altarpieces, the most splendid being the work of Gaspar Lorenzo de los Cobos in whose central vaulted in 1689. The beautiful image of La Virgen de la Aurora is also Granadan attributed to José Mora. The church also houses a small museum displaying religious relics of the saint. Finally, along Ancha street one finds the old convent church of San Agustín. An XVII Century temple with a Latin cross base, its transept is crossed by large columns which support an oval dome.

GASTRONOMY:

Traditional dishes in Montilla include las alcachofas guisadas, los riñones al Montilla, la naranja picada, el picadillo de tomate, los pies de cerdo estofados, el salmorejo and el gazpacho blanco. The pastry shop of Manuel Aguilar offers two renounded specialities, los finos alfajores de almendra and el pastelón. Amongst homemade desserts one should mention las gachas de mosto, el arrope, las gachas del dia de los Santos, las tortillas de pascua, los pestiños and los hojaldres. The nuns of Santa Clara prepare mostachones, galletas, suspiros, roscos lustrados, magdalenas, tocinitos and brazos de gitano. But Montilla´s most famous produce is its wines, which are slowly matured in shady bodegas and BODEGAS ROBLES is the most representative ot its. In BODEGAS ROBLES you can find the various types of wine; Fino (Pale Dry), Amontillado, Oloroso(Medium Dry), Cream, and The most sweet wine in the world the Pedro Ximenez.

FIESTAS:

The Roman Century called "Munda" takes part in some of the processions during Easter week with an attractive military display. The evening of Easter Thursday is brought to close with a performance of Judas´ betrayal and the arrest of Jesús which takes place in La Plaza de La Rosa. On Good friday morning the image of Jesús Nazareno is placed in the paseo de Cervantes.
Prendimiento Nazarenos en Semana Santa

The main feria in Montilla is dedicated to the town´s patron San Francisco Solano celebrated from 9 to 14 July.

At the end of August and beginning of September the grape harvest is celebrated with La Fiesta de la Vendimia.