Monday, 7 May 2018

SPAIN: Carmona, Well Known For Its Wine, Olive Oil, Grain Cattle And Gastronomy

Carmona is a town of southwestern Spain, in the province of Seville; it lies 33 km north-east of Seville.

Carmona is built on a ridge overlooking the central plain of Andalusia; to the north is the Sierra Morena, with the peak of San Cristobal to the south.

The city is known for its thriving trade in wine, olive oil, grain and cattle, and holds an annual fair in April.

Carmona was originally a Tartessian-Turdetani settlement.

With the arrival of Phoenician traders from Tyre, Carmona was transformed into a city, and centuries later became a Roman stronghold of Hispania Baetica.

It was known as Carmo in the time of Julius Caesar.

The city was made even more impregnable during the long occupation of the Moors, who erected walls around it, and built fountains and palaces within.

In 1247, Ferdinand III of Castile captured the town, and bestowed on it the Latin motto Sicut Lucifer lucet in Aurora, sic in Wandalia Carmona, as the Morning-star shines in the Dawn, so shines Carmona in Andalusia.

Carmona has a Mediterranean climate with a sunny spring and typically some rain in that season.

In October, the average temperature ranges from a minimum of 13 °C to a maximum of 26 °C.
The city experiences a moderate level of annual precipitation and has pleasant winter temperatures.

Main tourist sights in Camona

- Palace of King Don Pedro, built in the 13th century by Peter I of Castile. It was damaged by an earthquake in 1504.

- Moorish alcazar

- Palace of Rueda

- Palace of the Marquess of Torres

- Seville Gate Palace

- Baroque palaces of Alonso Bernal Escamilla, Aguilar, Dominguez, and Lasso

- Cordoba Gate, the gate on the road to Córdoba, partly of Roman construction

- Seville Gate, of Carthaginian origins, has the remains of later Roman additions, and was modified in the Middle Ages by the Moors and the Christians.

- Marchena Gate, built during the Almohad domination of Spain

- Roman Bridge

- Remains of the Via Augusta

- Tree-lined avenue of Alfonso XIII

- Roman Necropolis, discovered in 1881. It is located close to the town, beside the Seville road, and contains more than nine hundred family tombs dating from the second century BC to the fourth century AD.
Enclosed in subterranean chambers hewn from the rock, the tombs are often frescoed and contain a series of niches in which many of the funeral urns remain intact.

Some of the larger tombs have vestibules with stone benches for funeral banquets and several retain carved family emblems.

- The Tomb of the Elephant and the Tomb of Servilia in the necropolis

- Roman Amphitheatre, also discovered in 1881, together with a group of tombs, all belonging to the first four centuries AD, near the original necropolis.

- Ayuntamiento (Town Hall)

- Cave of the Batida

- Fountain of the Lions

- Hospital of the Mercy and the Charity Church of Saint Bartholomew

- Tower of the Peak

- Market

- Cerezo Theatre

Religious buildings in Carmona

- Church of San Pedro. Its tower is a medieval replica of the Giralda bell tower of the Cathedral of Seville.

- Church of Santa Maria de la Asuncion

- Church of El Salvador, in Baroque style

- Church of the Convent of Santa Ana

- Church of San Blas

- Church of San Felipe

- Church of Santiago

- Convent of the Immaculate Conception

- Convent of the Trinity

- Convent of Las Descalzas Discalced Carmelite Nuns

- Convent of Santa Clara, with a Mudejar church renovated in 1664 in Baroque style

- Hermitage of San Mateo

- Hermitage of Our Lady of Real or San Anton

- Ermita de la Virgen de Gracia (Our Lady of Grace, the patron saint of Carmona)

Carmona's restaurants and bars demonstrate a variety of Spanish cuisine including tapas and other dishes.

The city is known for its traditional Andalusian cooking.

A pub crawl of various bars, called the Ruta de las tapas or Tapas Route is noteworthy; it is marked with blue and white signs, and even appears in the seal of the city.
Salmorejo is a puree consisting of tomato and bread, originating from Cordoba in Andalucia, south Spain.

It is made from tomatoes, bread, oil, garlic.

Normally, the tomatoes are skinned and then pureed with the other ingredients.

The puree is served cold and may be garnished with diced Spanish serrano ham and diced hard-boiled eggs.

Salmorejo is more pink-orange in appearance than gazpacho, and is also much thicker and creamier in texture, because it includes more bread.

There are several variations in Andalusia, including ardoria and porra antequerana with bits of tuna as topping.

Salmorejo is also the name given to a marinade typical of Canary Islands cuisine.

It is used to flavour meat before cooking, especially rabbit or conejo en salmorejo which is a specialty of the islands.

Typical marinade ingredients include salt, garlic, paprika and hot peppers.

Typical Carmonan dishes include: sopa de picadillo a chicken soup, pringa, chickpeas, snails, salmorejo, spinach, tagarnina or thistles, Serrano ham, partridge from the mountains, gazpacho, chickpea soup, tomato soup, potatoes, and cuajados or curdled eggs.

Sweets include: torta inglesa, hojaldres or puff pastry, rice with milk, torrija or fried toasted bread with wine, milk or honey, polvorones or shortbread, almond cakes, chestnut stew with cinnamon, porridge sprinkled with cinnamon, and cortadillos or sweet cakes.

A variety of desserts are made in the convents of the city, mainly by the nuns of Santa Clara.

A common alcoholic beverage is Anise Los Hermanos, which is distilled and packaged in Carmona; it comes in three degrees of dryness: crisp, sweet and semi.

With its rich historical and artistic patrimony lending the city an especially atmospheric appearance, Carmona has been the setting of numerous films,and continues to attract movie crews.

The Location Managers Guild of America, an association that coordinates shoot locations for movie and television production companies from the United States, has shown special interest in the city centre.

Tourism Observer

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