A protectted heritage
The important heritage of many villages in the mountain region is under perfect guarantee and protection. The historical centres of fourteen villages in the region have been classed as Places of Cultural Interest (BIC), a protection plan that covers the town centres of Alájar, Almonester la Real, Aracena, Aroche, Castaño del Robledo, Corteconcepción, Cortelazor la Real, Fuenteheridos, Galaroza, Higuera de la Sie-rra, Linares de la Sierra, Los Marines, Valdelarco and Zufre.
In Almonester la Real, for example, the passing of Islamic culture left the mosque as its main legacy (10th century) and houses with gothic, renaissance and Mudéjar elements.
In Castaño del Robledo, the narrow cobble streets and renaissance and baroque-style houses take us to the ‘Monu-mento’, the unfinished 18th century church and the Church of Santiago el Mayor (16th century) with its baroque organ.
Fuenteheridos also conserves its historical centre with its famous Twelve Spout Fountain (1903), the Espiritú Santo Church (18th century) and its spectacular bell tower.
In Alájar, Los Marines, Valdelarco and Higuera de la Sierra, the popular architecture of narrow cobble streets live in perfect harmony with elements of great architectural beauty, like their churches or fountains and washing areas.
We cannot forget the popular ‘flat stones’ with decorative paving in Linares de la Sierra, nor the Saint Brígida chapel (14th century) which overlooks Galaroza from its privileged position.
The heritage of Cortelazor la Real also includes a century-old elm tree under the shade of which the local public authorities used to meet for the celebration of trials or plenary sessions, making this tree a popular character in the village.
Aracena, Aroche and Zufre also have their castles, streets and churches as the best exponents of their wealth.