Grazalema seen from the Sierra del Endrinal
Location of Grazalema in the province of Cádiz.
|Comarca||Sierra de Cádiz|
|• Mayor||María José Lara Mateos (PSOE)|
|• Total||122.41 km2 (47.26 sq mi)|
|Elevation||812 m (2,664 ft)|
|• Density||18/km2 (47/sq mi)|
|Time zone||CET (UTC+1)|
|• Summer (DST)||CEST (UTC+2)|
Grazalema is a village located in the northeastern part of the province of Cádiz, in the autonomous community of Andalusia, Spain. Situated in the foothills of the Sierra del Pinar mountain range (Sierra de Grazalema Natural Park), Grazalema had, as of 2009, a population of 2,205.
During Muslim rule in the 8th century, these lands were populated by people of Berber origin and from them, the area acquired the name of Raisa lami Suli, "town of the Banu al-Salim", place which passed to Ben-salama, "Son of Zulema and later Grand Zulema". During this period, its economy was organised around forestry, agriculture, farming and textile manufacture.
With the Christian conquest in 1485, Zagrazalema, as it was called at the time, became part of the lands of the Rodrigo Ponce de León y Núñez. It became economically important as of the 17th century thanks to the drapery industry which produced the famous shawls of Grazalema. In the first years of the 19th century, during the War of Independence, Grazalema suffered attacks and sieges from the Napoleonic troops who partially destroyed the village.
- Hermitage of the Sain
- Town Hall palace
- Parish church of the Incarnation (17 to 19th century)
- Church of Our Lady of Aurora, in Baroque style (18th century)
- Museums: Cloak factory, Our Lady of Carmen, textile handicraft
Traditionally, the economy of the village was generated by small-scale agriculture, sheep herding, cork harvesting, and handicrafts, like hand-weaving lambswool cloth and furniture-making. These activities are now quite limited and under-resourced. Due to the location of Grazalema in the middle of the Sierra de Grazalema Natural Park and the fact that the town is one of the pueblos blancos, the so-called White Towns of Andalusia, tourism now plays a major role in sustaining the village and its people. The mountainous area around Grazalema is popular with climbers and hikers, and local people make money by providing accommodations and hospitality to visitors.
Summer starts off the series of fiestas, spanning some five months of feasts and processions, ending in the early fall.
- Last Sunday in May: Romería of San Isidro Labrador, celebrating the arrival of summer.
- 13 June: Feast of Saint Anthony, honoring the village Benamahoma's patron saint, San Antonio.
- Third week of July: Fiestas of Carmen, leading up to the climax with the Monday of Bulls.
- First Sunday in August: Festival of Moors and Christians, celebrated in Benamahoma.
- Third week in August: Grazalema's agricultural festivals
- Eighth day of September: Day of the Virgin of the Angeles, celebrating Grazalema's patron saint.
- First weekend in October: Sangre y Amour en la Sierra, a costumed recreation of the story of Tempranillo and his wife, Maria Jeronima.
In popular culture
Some scenes in the Spanish horror movie Una vela para el diablo (1973) were shot in Grazalema.
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