The town of El Carpio is famous for local events such as Scarpia or Muestra Nacional de la Mantilla, but has an excellent reputation for its beautiful patios which are known even beyond the boundaries of Andalusia.
El Carpio is located about 30 kilometers (20 miles) east of the provincial capital of Cordoba. Situated just off the A-4 highway connecting Madrid and Cadiz, El Carpio is well-connected and quiet perfect for a side trip.
Historically, El Carpio became important at the time when the Christian re-conquered Spain. Though there is indication of the beginings of the settlement lasting back as far as to the first century before Christ, reliable evidence dates from the 15th century. At that time El Carpio gained importance due to its strategic location.
El Carpio’s present appearance goes back to that time. Protected by the massive fortress, the town experienced a strongly development. However, the ancient stronghold’s Garci Méndez Tower and scattered structures are the only rests remaining at present time.
El Carpio Attractions
Torre de Garci Méndez
This impressive three-story tower was built in the early 14th century by lord Garci Méndez de Sotomayor. The Mudejar style structure is one of the most interesting examples of Andalusian military architecture. Originally, the tower was the keep of the ancient castle, where the town of El Carpio had its origins.
Nuestra Señora de la Asunción Parish
This parish is of artless appearance, but its interior has several gems making it worth a visit. Especially the haunches, adorned by the emblem of the margraves of El Carpio, and the crypt under the main chapel should not be missed.
Found at the central Plaza de la Constitución (Constitution Square), the so-called Palacio Ducal (Duke Palace) is another highlight in town. Built in 1671, the spacious complex is made of three sections. The center part was the actual mansion, while the side tracts harbored accommodation for the staff. Currently, the buidling is a municipal facility used for cultural activities.
Recently renovated, the Municipal Theater is harbored by a building adjacent to the Garci Méndez Tower. Erstwhile the vault served as the castle granary.
Not far from El Carpio, located at the banks of the Guadalquivir River near the ruins of Castillo de Alcocer, there is a water hoist. It was built between 1561 and 1568 to lift water from the river to elevated acreage.
San Pedro Chapel
Found outside of the town at the left shore of the Guadalquivir there is a tiny chapel covered by a tunnel vault. Its plain interior blends harmonically with geometric stuccowork.
Dam and power station
Located right between the towns of El Carpio, Pedro Abad and Adamuz, there is a dam impounding the water of the Guadalquivir. Designed to generate electricity from the power of the water, the dam also serves as a crossing of the river. The large crossing gate, shaped like a horse-shoe arch, with a polygonal tower gives the dam a peculiarity of its own.
Just as in most towns and villages of Andalusia, many El Carpio homes have one or more courtyards (the so-called Patios), one of the main elements of traditional architecture of that region. The special charm provided by these special places is honored every year, when the provincial Patio contest is held. on the occasion of the 2017 edition of the contest, the patio of the house Calle El Centro 22 received the first prize.
The 2017 contest was joined by the following patios, as well:
- Callejón de la Torre, s/n
- El Centro, 22
- El Viento, 1 (Calle de los Escalones)
Folk festivals, customs and traditions
5 January: Epiphany pageant
2 February: Candlemas
28 February: Andalusia Day
Carnival with Carnival associations’ contest and pageant
25 March – 1 April 2018: Easter week
31 March – 2 April: Muestra Nacional de La Mantilla
Second to last Saturday in April: Pilgrimage honoring Nuestra Señora de la Virgen de la Cabeza
1 May: Fiestas a San José Obrero (Patron of the village of Maruanas)
1 and 2 May: May Cross contest
3 May: Pilgrimage honoring Nuestro Señor Ecce Homo (Patron of El Carpio).
Mid May: Pilgrimage honoring San Isidro
24 May: Procession of María Auxiliadora
4 – 16 July: Scarpia (Days of contemporary art)
3rd week in September: Fair
8 December: Day of Immaculate Conception
El Carpio is located about 30 kms (20 mi) east of the provincial capital of Cordoba, just off the A4 national highway. Travel time from Cordoba is approximately 20 minutes. To get there, take exit 374 (El Carpio).
There is a bus connection between Cordoba and El Carpio.
Departures Cordoba – El Carpio
Monday - Friday 9.30 AM – 11 AM – 12.15 PM – 1.30 PM* - 3.15 PM* – 5.00 PM – 6.00 PM – 7.00 PM – 8.00 PM*
(* with stop in Rabanales)
Saturday 9.30 AM – 1.30 PM – 6.00 PM
Sunday and holiday 9.30 AM – 3.15 PM
(On December 25, January 1. and Good Friday departure 9.30 AM only)
Departures El Carpio - Córdoba
Monday - Friday 7.00 AM – 8.00 AM – 10.00 AM – 12.50 PM – 2.30 PM – 4.30 PM – 7.00 PM – 9.00 PM
Saturday 8.00 AM – 10.00 AM – 2.30 PM – 4.35 PM
Sunday and holiday 2.30 PM – 7.00 PM
(On December 25, January 1. and Good Friday departure 2.30 PM only)
Single ticket: 2.85 EUR (Tarjeta Metropolitana 1.89 EUR)
The route between Córdoba and El Carpio is operated by Rafael Ramírez bus company.
El Carpio Accommodation
Hotel Macami offers accommodation. Located in El Carpio’s outskirts, it is perfect to start or finish a visit to the area. More Information
Municipality of El Carpio
Plaza de la Constitución 1
14620 El Carpio
Tel.: (+34) 957 – 18 00 21