Exceptional buildings in Aracena mountains

Aracena Mountains, located north to the Huelva province and West from Seville’s province, are declared nature reserve, and is one of the biggest forest extensions in Europe. The region has a very low population density (13 inhabitants/km2). In this region you can find 29 towns of an extraordinary beauty. Many of them have been declared Historic-Artistic Complex due to the exceptional grade of preservation they have.  

The most peculiar populations in these mountains are, among others, Alajar, Linares de la Sierra, Castaño del Robledo, Valdelarco, Fuenteheridos, Galaroza, Almonaster la Real and Aracena, which is the most important town, head of the region. These towns have between 300 and 500 inhabitants, except for Aracena, which has 7,000 inhabitants.

Popular and traditional architecture keeps buildings from XVIII and XIX centuries, and it is combined with the impeccable preservation of the urban environment, in which outstand streets without pavement, cobbled, with geometrical and figurative drawings.  
Houses are built with stone or mud walls, whitewashed, wooden roofs covered with Arabic tile. Under the roof it is located the “doblao”, an open-plan chamber which adjusts the temperature acting as an insulating chamber, and was also used to storage the products from the garden and to dry the hams. The very thick walls, work as a big thermal isolation for the buildings. At the back of the house is located the courtyard or farmyard, which has been turned into a garden in many cases. Seigniorial houses from these towns have accessory constructions such as stables, winepresses, silos, etc.

In these villages, next to the modest architecture, we can find exceptional palace houses, mills, etc. with areas between 100 M2 and 500 M2 (1,076.391 ft sq and 5381.955 sq ft). But the countryside constructions are very interesting. Mills, country estate houses, buildings that have been abandoned by their owners, located in estates with holm oaks, cork oaks, chestnut trees, gardens, are the building patrimony of the rural world.