Diego el Bandolero

Grazalema Arrival to a 10 Gun Salute!

Grazalema set in the Natural Reserve of the Sierra de Grazalema range of mountains, is a very busy little White Village of Andalucia. Arriving here today I found myself in the midst of a 19th Century re-enactment of “Blood and Love in the mountains” set in 1832, the main subject of this festival is the highway bandit José María “El Tempranillo”, who gained folk hero status, Robin Hood style, after having fled his own town in Cordoba, having committed a murder, to the mountains, to become a highway robber. Eventually he formed his own gang of bandits and had lookouts in each village along the route. His popularity was gained by helping those who were less fortunate than himself. The Love part of the festival’s title comes from when his pregnant wife, María Jerónima Francés, was attacked by vigilantes and died giving birth to their son who only survived to be Christened. Accompanied by loud explosions and fire crackers I wended my way through the village and met some of the locals.

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