Outside The Walls Route
Vejer was declared a Historic-Artistic Site in 1976 and it was also awarded with the First National Embellishment Award in 1978. The geographical location, 190m above the sea level, forced the population to adapt its construction to the slopes in the land giving Vejer a strong personality.
Along the Adapted Route, you will discover the area outside the walls and will admire the walled town with its wonderful views. Welcome to one of the most beautiful towns in Spain.
The route “Outside the walls” has a lineal layout and starts at Plaza de España (16th and 17th centuries). In the past, it was devoted to the celebration of bullfighting events due to the initiatives led by the most relevant noblemen and knights of Vejer. It was also the meeting point for commercial exchanges. In 1955, 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’. Nowadays, it hosts the principal events of the most important feasts in the town, as the feast in honour of the Virgin Oliva, the Patroness of Vejer. Two steep ramps give access to the square.
At the square, you will see the Town Hall and nearby, the Villa Arch (15th century), one of the four original gates of the town’s wall. It was the most important gate, since it was a communication point between “La Barca” slope and the “Concejo” fountain (not preserved in its original form).
Moving forward to the Plaza del Padre Caro. This path has a minor difficulty: the sidewalk is too small to walk through, so you must circulate through the roadway. On the left side of the street, you will see a canvas of the Wall (13th) and at the corner, the Mayorazgo Tower – its function was to protect the town from possible sieges.
In Plaza del Padre Caro, at the façade of the Merced Church (17th century), you will find a relief in honour to the typical women dress from the town, El Cobijado. Its origins are Castilian with some Islamic influences. It began to be used during the 16th and 17th centuries. It is formed by: a white petticoat with embroidered slices, a white laced blouse, a black skirt tightened at the waist and a black mantle that completely covered the women, except the left eye. The dress was banned for illegal uses in 1936. It was retaken in 1976 and nowadays it is used in the Patronal feasts.
Crossing the pedestrian walkway from the square you will get to LaCorredera Street, a great natural viewpoint to the countryside. The first part of this street is very narrow and with a little slope. Although pedestrians have priority, please circulate with caution. At your left, you will find the statue in honour to Juan Relinque, local counsel of the Hazas de Suerte – common lands given to the civilians of Vejer by the Castilian Kings in order to repopulate the area after the Reconquest. The Duque of Medina wanted to take the lands but after some litigations, the citizens of Vejer won the fight. Las Hazas de Suerte is one of the longest-standing traditions and every 4 years on the 22nd of December a raffle is hold. Next to the statue, you can see another gate, the Sancho VI Arch (14th and 15th century).
Following the route, at the right, a cinematograph is presented as a statue. It was where the old Corredera Cinema was situated. It was opened between 1950 and 1970. Further ahead, the street becomes wider. On the left side you will be able to see the old wall’s layout and another of the watch towers, the Corredera Tower. On your right, you can enjoy the splendid views to the countryside and La Janda county. There took place the Battle of La Janda or of the Guadalete (year 711). The north African tropes of Tarik defeated Don Rodrigo, fall which led the town of Vejer to Islamic dominion during more than five centuries.
At the end of the street, turn left direction to La Plazuela (this section has a small difficulty due to the narrow sidewalk and the slope). This square connects the old town with the new one. Here you can find the old Convent San Francisco (16th century), now a hotel, and La Casa de la Juventud where you can request information about different tourist and cultural activities.
From there, follow the street Juan Relinque, popularly known as Calle Alta. It is a pedestrian street in its first part. You will find different stores, bars, ice-cream shops... At your right, crossing the arch, you will be at the San Francisco Square. Here the municipal Cinema-Theatre and the gastronomic Market is to be seen. (Both accessible).
Continue the walk through Juan Relinque street. You will enjoy the beauty of the typical houses with white facades and typical Andalusian courtyards (doors n° 25,18, 22, and 53.
They are not accessible, just able to be seen from the outside). Great views to the monumental area are also enjoyable, highlighting:
The crossingroad with the Santisimo street. From there, the Parish Church of the Divine Saviour (16th century) can be admired. Since here, cars are circulating but pedestrians have priority.
The crossingroad with the Sagasta street. Here the dome of the old Convent of the Concepcionist Nuns (16th century) can be seen. Today, it hosts the Museum of Traditions and Customs. Besides, the Nuns Arch (one of the most emblematic streets in the town), the Castle (10th and 11th century) and part of the town walls can also be admired from there.
DISTANCE: 800 m ACCESSIBILITY: 80%
ESTIMATED TIME: 45 min
START: Plaza España.FINISH: Juan Relinque street corner Sagasta street.