|• Mayor||Manuel Andrés González|
|• Total||129 km2 (50 sq mi)|
|Elevation||18 m (59 ft)|
|• Density||200/km2 (520/sq mi)|
|Time zone||CET (UTC+1)|
|• Summer (DST)||CEST (UTC+2)|
Lepe is a Spanish town in the province of Huelva, in the autonomous community of Andalusia. It is near the Portuguese border. According to the 2009 census, the city has a population of 25,886 inhabitants.
Until the late 1970s its economy was based on fishing but Lepe is now one of the wealthiest villages in the region thanks to its intensive farming of strawberries, which are exported all over Europe.
Although deposits have been found of Neolithic and Bronze Age, there is not evidence of stable settlements in the municipality of Lepe. The influence of Tartessian people did not arrive to Lepe, except for a meager remains in the Tower of Catalan pointing to the silver trade. During the initial period of Roman rule, Lepe there was a rustic villa. There were fish farms at the present location of Lepe, Valsequillo and El Terrón. The retreat of the coast caused the abandonment of the settlement of Valsequillo, while fishing by El Terrón has continued until today. It is during the heyday of Roman rule when it blooms Lepe settlement located in a small village, linked to farming their fields and fishing port of El Terron. Based on classical texts, several authors have identified the current location of Lepe settlements with Laipe Megala (Rodrigo Caro, 1634), Laepa (García y Bellido, 1947; G. Bonsor, JP and E. Garrido Orta, 1922) and Praesidium (Luzon, 1975). Of all these options is Laepa which has more support among historians, although as a small country villa rather than a village itself. It is after the second wave of Arab conquests when Lepe becomes the economic center of the area, growing from a small farmhouse to a "city about the Ocean Sea," as was described by the geographer Yaqut al-Hamawi later in the 1229. The name given during the period of Arab rule is Labb, which derives in the current name.
In the late 16th century, Marcos Alonzo left Lepe and settled in what is today the Mexican state of Durango, beginning a line of descendants, including Cpt. Blas Maria de la Garza Falcón, a conquistador of the state of Nuevo León.
In the village is the 14th-century Iglesia de Santo Domingo de Guzmán built in the Mudéjar style. It houses Lepe's patron saint, the Virgen de la Bella (Beautiful Virgin). Just outside the village, off the road to El Terrón, is the Ermita de Nuestra Señora de la Bella, a 14th-century hermitage dedicated to the Virgin. On the second Saturday in May there is a pilgrimage from Lepe to the hermitage, where the figure of the Virgen de la Bella is carried from the Iglesia de Santo Domingo to the Ermita.
Built under Philip II of Spain is the Torre del Catalán, a 16th-century lookout tower, used to warn of an impending invasion by Berber pirates. One can climb the tower for views of a nature reserve, the Paraje Natural Marismas del Río Piedras y la Flecha del Rompido.
Lepe's main beach is La Antilla, 5 km south of Lepe. Located 5 km northeast of La Antilla and 5 km south of Lepe is the small fishing port of El Terrón. It has fine views across to El Rompido and the a nature reserve of the Marismas del Río Piedras. At El Terron is also the environmentally educational Aula Marina de El Terrón (El Terrón Marine Centre).
Lepe is home to San Roque de Lepe who play in the third division of Spanish football in the Segunda División B Group 4. The club play at Estadio Ciudad de Lepe, a purpose built stadium opened in 2011.
- Official website
- Lepe - Sistema de Información Multiterritorial de Andalucía
- Asociación Naturista de Lepe ANUDENU