Portada » What it was and what it is today the Victoria promenade.

What it was and what it is today the Victoria promenade.

Very diminished by the national road IV and the construction of a high school, its still magnificent grove, remnants of benches, and flower beds give us a glimpse of the grandeur of this space in the past.

It wasn’t until the moment when I had to come to this spot every day for a week to pick up and drop off a group that had enjoyed the province of Cadiz while staying in a nearby hotel, that I set my eyes on the place and curiosity struck me to investigate its origins.

Today, this space is triangular in shape, occupying about ten thousand square meters, and two areas are observed:

  • The promenade, which hosts a row of trees, benches, and flower beds.
  • The park, the most extensive area.

The access to it is made as it was done in the past, through four columns located along the promenade crowned by statues of beautiful classical ladies representing the four seasons of the year.

The creation of the area.

Regarding its location, the promenade is situated near the Monastery of La Victoria, known as the former prison; therefore, we could affirm that initially, this place was occupied by the park and the orchard of said monastery.

What it was.

During the hot afternoons and evenings in the town, the park was the ideal place for strolling and relaxing.

By the late 18th century, gardens began to appear in the homes of the wealthiest individuals to be in direct contact with nature.

This space provided all residents and visitors the opportunity to walk through the wooded area and delight in the fragrance of its aromatic flowers, sit and rest on its numerous benches decorated with colorful tiles and wrought iron with various motifs, walk under the vines that intertwined along a corridor built with rows of iron, listen to the sound of water emanating from its various fountains, water wheels, and ponds…

The enclosure included a beverage kiosk with tables served by five waiters and a pianist who entertained the summer evenings. There was also a wooden hut with tiles, known as the “Ventorrillo de las Delicias,” where one could purchase water, sugar cubes, and brandy.

Other buildings included the gardener’s house, the keeper’s house, the “Water Box” where the route bringing water from the Sidueña spring (between Jerez de la Frontera and the city) ended, and the hermitage of the Walkers.

The ermitage.

At the behest of customs agents, this small building was constructed to shelter the image of our Immaculate Conception Lady, which was suffering from vandalism.

A modest chapel, square in shape with a vaulted ceiling. In its heyday, the grille surrounding the small enclosure allowed passersby to observe the neoclassical altarpiece presided over by the image of the Immaculate Conception Lady; it remained there until the late 19th century when, following its restoration, it was moved to one of the town’s churches.

Nevertheless, the chapel still holds certain significance, especially for pilgrims who march each year to El Rocío.

It will remain in memory…

In the memories of the people of El Puerto de Santa María, the evenings held in this dreamlike place during the Livestock Fair and the festival of the Virgin of Miracles, as well as the “septembrina” evening, will continue to live on.


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