The mystery of the sacred
The town of Cabeza del Buey sits on the northern slope of the Sierra del Pedregoso (foothills of the Sierra Morena) which crosses the municipality from east to west with 18 km and from north to south with 35 km in length. The Sierra del Pedregoso forms a mountain range with important elevations, such as Tiros (957 masl), Sierra de la Rinconada (844 m), Collado de la Nava (831 m), Majada de las Vacas, Majada de la Peña (895 m), Cruz del siglo XX (866 m) and Almonacid. The strategic situation of this city is of the first order, since it is located to the east of Extremadura and a few kilometers from Andalusia and Castilla la Mancha.
Reference in the railway communication for the regions of La Serena, La Siberia and Los Pedroches in the province of Cordoba.
During the first thirty years of the 20th century, detailed studies of the Paleolithic era were carried out, and thanks to the French Abbé Henri Breuil, the town of Cabeza del Buey owes it to this clergyman that today its ancient historical past is known. Since the region has been inhabited by the primitive Iberians since ancient times, who left their mark, due to the abundance of natural caves that provided them with a suitable habitat to shelter from the inclement weather and cover their primary needs in the surroundings near their settlements.
Skipping to other periods, such as the Neolithic, the Bronze Age and the Iron Age, it is necessary to establish an unspecified date to begin the known history of the region, which must have been similar to the surrounding territories. In addition to the cave paintings existing in the enclaves near Cabeza del Buey, there are also vestiges from the Roman period.
When the Visigoth invasion took place in the early years of the 5th century, Cabeza del Buey should have a certain commercial importance and be linked by regular transit roads with the Roman settlements of Medellín and Mérida, among other towns in the current region of Extremadura. But if the Iberian Peninsula had experienced an extraordinary development under Roman rule, development that slowed down in the Visigothic period until the eighth century.
During the Visigoth period and in the years preceding and following the beginning of the Reconquest, the region of Cabeza del Buey will lose its importance due to the isolation caused by the military border clashes. It will be from 1212, and due to the Battle of Navas de Tolosa when this region will undertake its resurgence to increase the military presence of the Castilian-Leonese tercios and the collaboration of the military orders that operated in Extremadura. From 1526 the area will be incorporated into the Castilian-Leonese kingdoms thanks to the collaboration of the Knights Templar.
After these dates, and with the consolidation of the Reconquest, the whole region of La Serena will be subjected to a decrease in its population due to its proximity to the border area between Christians and Muslims. In any case, it will be from the third decade of the thirteenth century when this urban center will begin to be known by the new name of “CabeÇalbuey”; and for its subsequent development that begins in the first half of the fourteenth century, since this town is mentioned in the Book of the Montería of Alfonso XI. It seems that from those dates, Cabeza del Buey already began to be an important settlement in the region of La Serena.
Emperor Charles I granted this town a privilege, exempting it from the jurisdiction of Villanueva de la Serena in 1520.
At the end of the 15th century, a powerful and influential family settled in Cabeza del Buey, whose most prominent member was Don Frey Martín Rol Álvarez, knight of the Order of Alcántara and commander of the Almorchón encomienda and of the town of Cabeza del Buey, who came to it accompanied by other knights, all from Trujillo, such as the Arévalo and Calderón de la Barca families, who have given rise to a descendant of important families in the town.
According to the chronicles of the convents of San Miguel, of the Franciscan Order, written by Fray José de Santa Cruz in 1671, the convent of Franciscan Conceptionists of Cabeza del Buey, of which D. Martin Rol is founder, is one of the first convents that were created by the daughters of Santa Beatriz de Silva to honor the Immaculate Conception, in the service of God, comfort of their relatives and other maidens who wanted to take the habit of religious.
Data extracted from the book “History of Cabeza del Buey”.