Baena (Córdoba)

It is a region belonging to the city of Cordoba, bordering the Alto Guadalquivir region to the north, Jaén to the east, the southern Campiña to the west and the Sierras Subbéticas to the south. The Campiña de Baena is an olive-growing area, so olive oil production is the most important activity in the area; so much so that Baena oil has a designation of origin due to its high quality.Órgiva stands at the beginning of the road that leads up to the Alpujarra Alta. Nesting in a valley created by the Sierra de Lújar and Sierra Nevada, between the River Chico and the River Guadalfeo, its old quarters still retain their Moorish flavour. The highlights of this distinguished town crammed with monuments are the Castle-Palace of the Count and Countess of Vástago, the Benizalte windmill, San Sebastián Hermitage and the parish church. An ancient city with important archaeological sites, the most significant of which is the Torreparedones Archaeological Park. Part of its old town centre still preserves part of its fortress and the network of streets of the Arab almedina. It is a land of olive-growing tradition, with the oldest Designation of Origin in Spain. Its name comes from Baius, owner of a "villae" located in the area. It became very important from the 8th century onwards, when a large part of the population scattered in the surrounding area regrouped here, leaving the ancient Iberian and Roman settlement of Iponuba, 3 km away. In 1241, Baena was handed over to King Ferdinand III and a community of Castilian-Leonese, Mudejar and Jewish repopulators was formed, who were subjected to the hardships of frontier life, given its location opposite the kingdom of Granada. It currently has 21,000 inhabitants.

The province of Cordoba is divided into three clearly defined geographical regions. The Sierra, to the north, the Campiña to the south, and separating the two is the Guadalquivir valley. The countryside is one of the most outstanding elements of the Cordovan landscape; large areas of crops that have represented, over the centuries, the greatest source of wealth in the economic activity of Cordoba. Its lands are gently rolling hills that the Romans called Campania (countryside or land on the outskirts of the city that is easily cultivated) and the Muslims called Qampinya. Our Campiña, as a geographical unit with particular characteristics, was described by Muslim geographers in their studies of al-Andalus. This area, south of Córdoba, on the borders with the provinces of Jaén, Granada, Málaga and Seville, has been an area of conflict for the control of its property since ancient times. Some of Caesar's most famous battles against the Pompeians (Ategua or Munda) took place here. And during the Middle Ages there were various clashes between Muslims and Christians that did not end until the conquest of the city of Granada in 1492. It was precisely in the Campiña that the border line separating the kingdoms of Castile and Granada was situated, almost unalterable for more than two hundred years, which meant that troops from both sides sacked villages alternately depending on who was occupying them. The raids against Baena, Castro del Río, Espejo, Lucena and Cabra throughout the 13th, 14th and 15th centuries are well known. The large estates into which the lands of the Campiña were distributed were succeeded by private properties and large land leases in the 18th century, which gave rise to a large number of farmhouses that today form the most characteristic image of the area. The arrival of industrialisation in the 19th century brought with it improvements in agriculture and the creation of cooperatives, which encouraged the extensive cultivation of these lands, mainly olive trees and vines, irrigated by two tributaries of the Guadalquivir, the Guadajoz to the north and the Genil to the south. Today, the Campiña of Cordoba has been divided administratively into two large associations of municipalities: the eastern Campiña and the southern Campiña. Comprising a total of sixteen municipalities, the towns and villages of the Campiña have an important cultural and archaeological heritage made up of castles, churches, palaces and other constructions that represent the mark left by the different cultures that have lived in these territories. The Campiña, in general, has historically been a very important crossroads for the different peoples who have settled in these regions, leaving an important cultural legacy that represents the diversity of its tourist offer. But it is not all about cultural heritage; industry and craftsmanship have brought the Cordoba countryside to the forefront in the manufacture of domestic furniture and ceramics, not to mention the agri-food products famous beyond its borders, such as the preserved quince jelly from Puente Genil or the exquisite wines with the Montilla-Moriles designation of origin. Today the countryside is a new world to be discovered even for the people of Cordoba. Don't see so far away what is so close to you, visit the countryside!

• Hiking and Trekking • Gastronomic Tourism • Cultural & Heritage Tourism • Mountain Biking & Adventure tourism • Cities sightseeing