The Legacy

The strategic situation  of the lagoon, in between Europe and Africa,  made it a  significant  meeting  point  not only for birds, but historically, for human beings having used it as a transit route between the two continents.  The many existing studies prove a human population since the half of Paleolithic era  in the neighborhood. Due to the abundance of its fresh water and the possibility in  hunting the great  variety and abundance  of animals who went to the drinking water there.


The importance of this enclave, was manifested by the prehistoric men by the cave paintings manifested in  shelters and  natural caves in the surroundings.  The most famous being the ‘Tajo de las Figuras’  very near the dam of the Celemin, in which you can recognize paintings representing Wolves, Wild goats, Swans, Cranes, Flamingoes, Ducks, Bustards, Avocets and many others, plus human figures. The whole  prehistoric relics exist since a period  which nearly  lasted about 20.000 years.  Apart from the paintings, it is frequent to find megalithic monuments. The most outstanding  ones being the Dolmens and Menhir and  other funeral structures.


The Battle of La Janda, the name with which the battle is known, according to the  Arab  historiography of the X and XI Century. It took place in the Iberian Peninsula  on the 19th and 24th of  July, year 711, near the River Guadalete, the outcome of which, was very decisive for the future of the Peninsula. In this war, the then King Rodrigo, was defeated and probably lost his life  to the forces of the Califato  Omeya under the command of Tariq ibn Ziyad. 


In respect  the ethnographic patrimony, one has to point out the traditional exploits and benefits, before the  drainage took place, were the use from its natural and dense  vegetation, sometime impenetrable. Mainly bulrush (Thypa latifolia), common club-rushes (Scirpus lacustris), bayonet grass (Scirpus maritimus); which at the beginning of Spring started to grow above the water.  In July and August the crop was  started to be reaped, the use of this being mainly for the manufacture of: seats for chairs, hampers, bags and other similar industries and for the thatching of roofs for the farms and huts of the area  and beyond.

mapa prehistoria

The first school in Benalup (CasasViejas) was built in the early 30’s of the last century with the straw of the bayonet grass (Scirpus maritimus), reaped from the laguna of Jandilla, this  was the traditional  way for the huts  to be built by the inhabitants who in those days worked  and lived  in the vicinity.

primera escuela con paja jandilla