Length: between one hour and a half and two hours.
Distance: around 2 kilometres.
1. Historical and Cultural Tour
1. Firstly, you can ask for information about Rota and its monuments at the Tourist Office located at the Municipal Castle “Castillo de Luna”.
2. Disabled people can make this tour since the streets they will walk through are conditioned with ramps.
- It starts at the España Square and we will directly go to the Municipal Castle. On the way we will see some traditional and narrow whitewashing streets full of flowerpots which were built in the Middle Ages around the castle. The Municipal Castle “Castillo de Luna”, a rectangular plan building with five castellated towers, was built in the 13th century over an old Arab ribat (a fortress used as a place of prayer and to protect the area). We can see the historical importance of the castle reflected in a mural composed by 247 ceramic tiles which is at the entrance of the castle. This mural shows the Catholic Monarchs visiting the castle in 1477. Inside the castle, there is a courtyard of the 16th century which still preserves their original columns, balustrade and Mudejar style wall paintings.
- This castle was used as a hospital and a school and finally it was restored to be used as the seat of Rota Town Hall.
- Then you can visit Our Lady of the O Parish Church which was commissioned by Don Rodrigo Ponce de León in the 16th century. At the beginning, it was only built the central gothic nave. Later, during the 17th and 18th century, five adjacent chapels were added. You can find a brief description of each chapel at their main entrance. It is remarkable to mention that the choir was made of fine wood by Diego Roldán and the organ was designed by Juan de Bono in the 18th century.
- After visiting both monuments, you can head to the street which is just in front of the main door of the church. There you will find a little pointed arch which you can go through to get to the seafront promenade where you will enjoy a fantastic view of the golden sand beach called “Playa de la Costilla”.
- On the left, you will pass by “Duque de Nájera” Hotel and you will find the port. It was built in 1992 over the sea. If you look on the left, you will see the city of Rota surrounded by its Old Wall where there is a ramp to access the old centre. You will also see the remains of an old gate called “Puerta de Jerez”, one of the gates of the old wall which connected the town of Rota with Jerez. If you continue straight ahead, you will see the “Mirador de las Almenas”, a viewpoint from which you can enjoy a beautiful landscape of a beach called “Playa del Rompidillo” and the port.
- Behind this viewpoint you will find the Municipal Central Market, which was formerly a convent of monks called “Los Mercedarios”. It was built in the 17th century and only its tower (Torre de la Merced) remains today. You can see the tower mentioned before from the main door of the Municipal Central Market. On the left of Veracruz street you can see the Arch of the Villa, the most important gate of the Old Wall which connected the town to Sanlúcar. This was the busiest gate at that time and for that reason the Rota Town Hall was situated in this area.
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