monuments-tourism

 

Monuments

 

Parish Church of El Divino Salvador

Parish Church of El Divino Salvador was built on the site of an old mosque. This church has a basilical layout, with a rectangular apse and three naves. The central is taller than the two lateral naves.

The architectural ensemble has two different parts, corresponding to two different construction phases. It has a Gothic-Mudéjar apsidal from the 15th century , and a later enlargement of the Late Gothic style built in the turn of the 16th century. The lateral naves have three chapels.

We should highlight the altarpiece of the high altar, created by the master Francisco de Villegas in the 17th century, and made of cedar and common laburnum wood.

Visiting hours: 

Tfno: 956450056

Mass hour:

Monday, Wednesday, Friday at 20.30h. Saturday, 21.00h.

Castle

 

The Castle dates back to the 10th and 11th centuries, the period of Abd al-Rahman I and his heirs. It is located on the highest part of the hill, which is probably the oldest inhabited area of Vejer, and on the location of a previous Arab castle.

The Castle has two patios: the main patio and the ‘patio de armas’ (patio of arms). The main patio has an old cistern to collect rainwater through a gutter. The ground of the Castle has the shape of an ear of wheat, to avoid that the animals in the barns may slip. From the ‘patio de armas’, we can see the battlements, go up to them, and enjoy the beautiful views of the town. Moreover, this patio also has the private housing, transformed by Pedro Muñoz de Arenillas in the second half of the 14th century, which was bough to the Marquis of Martorell.

In the 16th century, the Castle was the residence of the Dukes of Medina Sidonia, Lord of Vejer. This Castle is considered as one of the group of ‘minor Castles’, because it only has one entrance – located in the most accessible location, but of easy defence. Nowadays, the horseshoe door, defined by an alfiz, is the most remarkable remain of Arab origin.

There is a commemorative plaque of the twinning between Vejer and Chefchaouen inside the Castle. These two cities are closely linked because of historic and cultural reasons.

Visiting hours: from Monday to Friday. between 10.00 to 14.00h and 16.00 to 19.00h.

                        Saturday and Sunday: between 11.00 to 14.00h

                    

                       

Convent of Monjas Concepcionistas

This is the only vestige of the original ‘Convento de Nuestra Señora de la Concepción’, founded by Juan de Amaya in 1552 for burying himself and his wife. This church is classified as ‘de cajón’, that is, without crossing, and we can highlight the main façade in Renaissance style, the spherical dome erected on the Main Chapel, and the vaulted crypt of the founders.

Near this church, we can find the most emblematic street of the city: ‘Arco de las Monjas’. This street consists of a series of buttresses to bear the weight of the lateral wall. These buttresses were built after the 18th century earthquake.

Currently, this building houses the Museo Municipal de Costumbres y Tradictiones (Municipal Museum of Customs and Traditions in English). Admission fee: 1 Euro. Check the timetables.

Visiting Hours: Monday to Saturday from 10.00 to 14.00h, and from 18.00 to 21.00h. Sunday closed.

Casa del Mayorazgo

The Casa del Mayorazgo is a manor house in Baroque style, dated back to the 18th century. It has two patios, through which the house communicates with the ‘Torre del Mayorazgo’ and part of the town wall.

Nowadays, there are several families living in ‘Casa del Mayorazgo’, but you can visit it at an appropriate hour for not disturb the neighbours, and always asking for permission. It does not have an admission fee, although you may leave a tip in the mailbox in the main patio. All tips will contribute to the upkeep of the patios and the Tower.

Palacio del Marqués de Tamarón

This manor house was the palace of the Marquis of Tamarón, and dates back to the late 17th century and early 18th century. It was built near the ‘Arco de la Segur’, outside the town walls. Currently, it houses the ‘Casa de la Cultura’ but in this moment is closed for renovations.

Plaza de España

This square was built in the 16th century, when the town grew beyond its walls. During the 16th and 17th centuries, it was devoted to the celebration of bullfighting events due to the initiatives led by the most relevant noblemen and knights of Vejer.

In 1957, a fountain was built in the centre of the square, made of Sevillian tiles. Since then, this square is popularly known as ‘Plaza de los Pescaítos’. The Town Hall is located in this square, and we must also highlight the houses 12 and 13, the location of the Justice of the Peace Court.

Windmills

The silhouette of the windmills is one of the most representative symbols of Vejer. All the nineteenth-century flour windmills in Vejer worked with water. Among all of them, we should highlight those of the Duke of Medina Sidonia located in the quarter of Santa Lucía. 

The beginnings of the liberal regime triggered the construction of the first windmills of the town of Vejer. Nevertheless, the strong Levanter winds made the installation impossible. As a consequence, windmills of Carthaginian style were installed, since they are more robust than Manchegan windmills, so they can better resist strong gusts of wind.

The four windmills located in the quarter of San Miguel were built in the 1960s. Nowadays, they have been rehabilitated.

Sanctuary of La Virgen de la Oliva, Patron Virgin of Vejer

This Sanctuary is located on the Vejer-Barbate road, 5 km from Vejer. In the past, this place was a Roman villa, and later, in the Visigothic period – exactly in 674 – it was rebuilt into a Visigothic basilica. Thus, the Hermitage of La Oliva is erected on the same location of that ancient basilica, according to epigraphic sources. The Hermitage has a funerary monument, with a Pagan inscription, which contains relics of St. Stephen Protomartyr, the martyrs from Cádiz Servan and Germain, and the martyrs from Seville Justa and Rufina.

The sculpture of the Virgen de la Oliva was carved by Martín Alonso de Mesa in 1596, and is made of Segura pinewood, a type of wood that was really popular at that moment. Once carved, the sculpture was estofada (this technique implies covering the sculpture entirely in gold lead, except for the hands, feet and head), and then painted with a polychromic result. The Virgin holds the Child in her left side, while she holds an olive branch in her arm. The tunic is picked up in the same side, with easy creases falling heavily, and widening the figure in its lowest part, thus slightly showing the feet.

This place is a must for all the pilgrims every 7 May, when the ‘romería’ is celebrated to commemorate the proclamation of the Virgen de la Oliva as the Patron Virgin of Vejer.

Roman Aqueduct of Santa Lucía

This aqueduct is a water supply system that was improved by the Arabs, and has become one of the most emblematic symbols of Vejer. Near the aqueduct, there are five watermills dated back to the 15th century that were used to grind corn and produce flour. Nowadays, some original pieces have been preserved, such as remains of the buckets as well as some millstones. In the 15th century, the Dukes of Medina Sidonia were the owners of these watermills, so they charged a fee for using them.

At the beginnings of the 20th century, the Count of Villariezo inherited Santa Lucía from the ducal house, and he set up an electric power company to provide light and water to Vejer. As a consequence, the town of Vejer was one of the first with this type of services available in private houses. Currently, this company is part of Sevillana, a Spanish electricity generation company.

The rural centre of Santa Lucía was declared a Natural Monument due to the wealth of the landscape. Santa Lucía has exuberant vegetation thanks to its fertile soil and the existing amount of water, due to the fact that it is located on the slope of the Meseta de la Muela.

 

Vejer Tourist Office Avenida de Los Remedios, 2. 11150 Vejer de la Frontera, Cádiz. Telephone 956 451 736

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Tourism Office Opening times:  Monday to Friday: between 10.00 to 14.00 h and 16.00 to 18.00 h.

                        Saturday: between 10.00 to 14.00h and 16.00 to 18.00h.

Sunday: between 10.00 to 14.00h.