The village of Gran Zulema, as it was called, is of Arab origin and it is known as the rainiest spot in Spain.
The Duke of Arcos reconquered it in 1485. Its economic peak was reached in the XVII centrury due to its textile industry that produced the famous Grazalema blankets. Grazalema, the legendary village in the Cadiz mountain range, is located North-East of the province, in the heart of the sierra that bears its name and is between the Andalucia Natural Park and the Natural Park of Sierra Grazalema.
LOCAL FOOD PRODUCE
The most relevant food produces are cheeses, honey and cured meats. One of the local delicacies is the asparagus soup made with a special local asparagus plant prepared by boiling it in water containing fried bread, onions, peppers, salt and garlic and finished off with a scrambled egg. It is served accompanied with the soft interior of bread (no crust).
ARTS & CRAFTS
Basket weaving: started with the manufacture of agricultural tools, using twigs from olive trees, in particular baskets of all different sizes for different purposes.
Esparto grass: this is one of the primary materials collected from the surrounding sierras and which, after a careful treatment (washing, drying and crushing) is used for making parasols, lining for bottles, mops, brooms, and other similar objects.
Palm: this material is taken from young trees and used to make the traditional bags, parasols, blinds, etc.
Blankets: This is the most important artefact handed down from the past, the famous "Manta de Grazalema", made by hand with sheep's wool. Other products made the same way and which can still be purchased are mainly ponchos, scarves, jackets and so on.
Cork: this is mainly used to make stool for sitting on and other decorative objects.
THE CHURCH OF NUESTRA SRA. DE LA AURORA
A religious monument dating back to the XVIII century characterised by its octagonal shape and its drum shaped dome. Historically, it is the most important local building.
PARROQUIAL CHURCH OF NTRA. SRA. DE LA ENCARNACIÃ“N.
Another religious monument dating back to the XVII century. It was reconstructed after its partial destruction during the War of Independence and the Civil War. The only thing that still remains of the original building is the small chapel.
The vegetation of the Sierra de Grazalema is typically Mediterranean, mainly dense wooded areas.
The Pinsapo (Abies Pinsapo Boiss) is quite at home here and it is found in various places all over the Sierra.
It is a specie of Mediterranean pine that only grows at over 1000 metres above sea level. It is an ecological wonder, as it existed as far back as 1,6 million years ago, surviving the ice age and becoming a real live fossil.
At the Pinar you will find some 420 hectares of land dedicated entirely to the Pinsapo, a place of great ecological value.