Priego de Cordoba's exceptional setting was valued by the Iberians and Romans, as confirmed by the ruins here from those periods of history.
Priego's historic quarter is in the highest part of the town. This is where the defensive system of the Castle was built, of which some curtain walls and three towers are preserved. Horseshoe arches and Mudejar capitals tell of this site's important legacy from Moslem El-Andalus. A pitched roof crowns the Keep.
Beside it lies the La Villa district, the oldest residential part of the town, a set of cobbled streets with peaceful squares, whitewashed facades decorated with plant pots of geraniums and petunias and narrow alleys. The doors and windows are neatly painted in blue or green. There are even rainwater gutters and drain pipes which is unusual for Southern Spain. The narrow lanes open out onto Balcon de Aldarve this beautiful square affords marvellous views from the escarpment across the rolling countryside.
Some beautiful baroque buildings and churches were made possible by the town’s 18th Century silk-production boom, the main monument of this is the Fuente del Rey a fountain centred with a statue of Neptune in a leafy park where we sometimes stop for a picnic.
The tour of Priego’s Baroque art begins at the Mayor de la Asuncian parish church, where the exterior Gothic-Mudejar features become Baroque wood and plasterwork inside. One of its artistic gems is the Sagrario chapel, where building work started in the 17th century. Another good example is the church La Aurora, designed by Juan de Dios Santaella on the site of an earlier 15th century building.
In Spain olive oil is classified as being either from a cooperative or from a specific area, in which case it is allowed to have a Denomination of Origen ñ rather like French system of wine identification ñ and the quality olive oil from Priego de Cordoba is one such area so this is a great opportunity to obtain some samples of this wonderful oil.
Lots to character to paint here, and places to wander. There are quite a few bars with shaded terraces and cafes to find refuge from the hot sun, for a cool drink or those lovely ice creams….I thoroughly enjoyed our excursions