This town's archaeological remains
from the Palaeolithic, Neolithic and Aeneolithic periods bear
witness to the fact that Carmona has been settled since prehistoric
times, due to its strategic position on a promontory in the
area of the Alcores hills. You can visit the false-dome dolmen
under the Plaza del Mercado and Aposentos street.
The Gate of Seville contains remains of the Carthaginian period,
which lasted until the roman conquest in 206 BC, when the city
became one of the main fortified towns of the Hispania Baetica
province of the Roman Empire; it was encircled with walls and
took the shape which, to some extent, it still has today.
The city fell under Moorish control when the Arabs invaded
Spain in 711, until it was reconquered on 21 September 1247
by King Ferdinand III of Castile, and placed under the rule
of Don Rodrigo Gonzalez Giron.
In 1630 it was given status as a city by Philip IV, in exchange
for a payment of 40,000 ducats. Two centuries later, during
the Peninsular War, its brave horsemen helped drive back Napoleon's
elite (and hitherto unbeaten) Imperial Dragoons, taking part
in the decisive battle of Bailen, as described in the Episodios
Nacionales by Benito Perez Galdos, and event which the townspeople
of Carmona still remember with pride.
1. ALCAZAR DE ARRIBA
The fortress was the favourite residence of King Peter 1;
a great part of it was destroyed in the earthquakes of 1504
and 1755, leaving only the Entrance Gate and the towers called
Torre de la Polvora, Torre del Triunfo and Torre de los Infantes.
Rebuilt as a Parador in 1976 (and inaugurated by the King and
Queen of Spain), the castle is now a genuine oasis of beauty,
comfort and fine food.
2. PUERTA DE CORDOBA
This gate was first built by the Romans; it is composed of
two octagonal-shaped towers with additions made during the
Muslim and Christian periods, including a Baroque central part
with Tuscan columns on balusters; the upper balcony is topped
by a triangular frontispiece. The nearby fortress which was
located next to this gate, known as the Alcazar de la Reina,
was destroyed by order of the Catholic Kings in 1478, as part
of their policy to weaken the local nobility.
3. PARISH CHURCH OF SANTA MARIA
Built in 1424 on the foundations of the Great Mosque, of which
the only part left standing is the Patio de los Naranjos, adjacent
to the left wall. It is believed that the mosque, in turn,
was built on the ruins of the roman Temple of Hercules.
This lovely Gothic church, with its rectangular floor plan,
is divided in three tall and gentle naves with sexpartite ribs
forming stellar vault, some of them of great complexity. The
polychromed 16th century main altarpiece contains painted scenes
from the life of Christ, the Coronation of the Virgin and the
4. PARISH CHURCH OF EL SALVADOR
This monumental Baroque church, with its grand façades,
was built between 1605 and 1720 by the Society of Jesus. The
main altarpiece was built by the local artist Jose Maestro,
and is decorated with figures of Jesus, Saint Theodomirus,
Saint Michael and Saint Gabriel.
5. PARISH CHURCH OF SAN FELIPE
Although this church was believed to have been built on the
foundations of a Moorish mosque, recent archaeological research
indicates that in fact it stands on the ruins of an earlier
Christian church. It still has some of its original 14th century
lancet arches; the façade was built in 1468 and the
tower in the 16th century. The central nave has a remarkably
well preserved coffered ceiling.
6. CHURCH OF SAN BARTOLOME
This is one of Carmona's oldest churches; its tower was used
as an artillery position by Fray Luis de Godoy, the alcayde
or garrison chief of the Gate of Marchena, in his war against
Gomez Mendez de Sotomayor, the alcayde of the Gate of Seville.
7. PUERTA DE SEVILLA
This imposing, majestic arch is considered to be the Best
preserved Roman gate in Spain, although it has undergone several
modifications over the centuries.
8. PARISH CHURCH OF SAN PEDRO
With its majestic steeple and bell towers, this church stands
near the Gate of Seville, outside of the city walls. The sacramental
chapel in the epistle aisle is extremely beautiful; it lovely
altarpice of the Virgen de la Merced, by the artist Francisco
de Ocampo, was destroyed by fire in 1984.
The church was begun in the 15th century, and remodelled in
the Baroque period, with the addition of many new elements.
9. ROMAN NECROPOLIS
Archaeological site originally containing 800 tombs from the
1st century BC to the 4th century AD, excavated in 1868. The
site currently has some 200 tombs; the nearby museum has mortuary
chests, with a statue of Servilia and the marble figure of
a child, and a large variety of cinerary urns.
10. OTHER INTERESTING SITES
The church of Santiago, convent of Santa Clara, convent of
La Concepcion, Madre de Dios Convent.
There are many fine aristocratic homes scattered throughout
the town. One has been turned into a hotel, conserving many
details of its original 16th and 17th century architecture,
in styles ranging from the Baroque to Mudejar and Renaissance.
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