Olvera White Village

Olvera declared a national monument and was another Moorish stronghold. It played a major role in the defense of Granada, until it too fell to troops of the Catholic monarchs. Its two chief monuments are its castle and its cathedral, but even better is the view of the town and the surrounding countryside. Olvera comes at you like an explosion of little whitewashed houses tumbling down a hill crowned by the twin towers of its church and ancient castle. Climb the hill by walking up the town’s long main street.

In the town’s Muslim heyday, El Castillo de Olvera, Plaza de la Iglesia 3, was one of the most impregnable fortresses in Andalusia. But even such a mighty bastion fell to the troops of King Alfonso XI in 1327. After the citadel was conquered, the castle and the surrounding village became part of the feudal estate of Pérez de Guzmán, a local nobleman. As late as the 19th century, the castle was still in private hands, the home of the dukes of Osuna. The castle is open Tuesday to Sunday from 10:30am to 2pm and 4 to 6pm. Admission is 2€ ($3.20) and tickets can be purchased at the tourist office.

Adjoining the castle is Iglesia de San José, an 18th-century church with a clock tower. It is open only for Mass. The village is known for its handicrafts, and you can see little shops on the narrow streets selling esparto and other hand-woven straw products. Foodies may want to stock up on Olvera’s pure virgin olive oil. Its aceite de oliva virgen is among the best in Andalusia. You can stop in at the Oficina de Turismo, Plaza de la Iglesia s/n (tel. ; ), for what little information is needed. Hours are Tuesday to Sunday 10:30am to 2pm and 4 to 6pm. It can be open at other times as well, so check locally.


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