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Candeleda, Spain
View of Candeleda
View of Candeleda
Flag of Candeleda, Spain
Official seal of Candeleda, Spain
Candeleda, Spain is located in Spain
Candeleda, Spain
Candeleda, Spain
Coordinates: 40°9′9″N 5°14′22″W / 40.15250°N 5.23944°W / 40.15250; -5.23944Coordinates: 40°9′9″N 5°14′22″W / 40.15250°N 5.23944°W / 40.15250; -5.23944
Autonomous communityCastile and León
 • Total215 km2 (83 sq mi)
428 m (1,404 ft)
 • Total4,998
 • Density23/km2 (60/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+1 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+2 (CEST)

Candeleda (Spanish pronunciation: [kandeˈleða]) is a town and municipality located in the province of Ávila, in the autonomous community of Castile and León, Spain.Is also known as "La Andalucía de Ávila" According to the 2011 INE census, the municipality has a population of 5,213 inhabitants, making it the fifth largest municipality in the province after Ávila –the capital–, Arévalo, Arenas de San Pedro and Las Navas del Marqués;[2] the town is located on the southern hillside of the Gredos mountains, 432 m above sea level, giving it a microclimate with a thermal regime of mild winters and hot summers and average summer temperatures of 26 °C.

Candeleda is related, economically and culturally, with the neighbouring town of Arenas de San Pedro and the Tiétar valley in Castile and León, the region of La Vera in Extremadura, as well as the Campana de Oropesa region and the city of Talavera de la Reina in Castile-La Mancha. Due to the relatively long distance between Candeleda and Ávila, links with the capital are limited to administrative and medical matters; the village festival and processions in honour of the town's patron saint, the Virgin of Chilla, are held annually on the second and third Sunday of September.

Identitary elements[edit]


According to the Official Gazette of Castile and Leon the heraldic blazon is:

Shield with Spanish form, cut and half way broken. First of Dávalos, on an azure field a golden castle, with tree towers on it and the central one being higher than the others, battlements, sable stone mansory and gules windows and doors, with a silver and gules compony bordure. Second of Estúñiga, which is of silver, a sable ribbon highlighted by a gold chain placed as an orle. Third, in azure, a silver hermitage with an oak, grass in vert; as crown at the top, the Spanish Royal Crown.[3]

And the description of the flag is:

Square flag of 1x1 proportion, of crimson colour, and in its centre the municipal coat of arms in their colours.[3]

Toponymy and demonym[edit]

The most accepted theory about the origin of the town’s name states that it is a combination of the Latin Candela –not in the sense of light or candle, but in that of chestnut blossom or Holm Oaks present in the municipality– together with the -etum suffix, which denotes abundance;[4] the demonym for the inhabitants is candeledano/a.

Physical geography[edit]


Candeleda municipality is located in the south west of the Gredos mountains, Ávila province, bordering the provinces of Cáceres (Extremadura) and Toledo (Castile-La Mancha), it is located 101 km from the province’s capital. The closest cities are Talavera de la Reina (Toledo), 61 km away, and Plasencia (Cáceres), 120 km away; the altitude of the municipality ranges from the 252 m of the Rosarito reservoir and the 2592 m of the Almanzor peak, the highest point of the Central System mountains range.[5]


Sierra de Gredos as seen from Candeleda.

On the south end of the municipality, at the border with the province of Toledo has its course the Tiétar river; the Tiétar river runs along the border with the province of Toledo, south of the municipality. Several tributaries –the Santa Maria, Chilla and Alardos gorges– have their sources in the Gredos mountains and descend perpendicularly to the mountains and the Tiétar river and join the latter at the end of their course.

The Rosarito reservoir, between the provinces of Ávila and Toledo, holds Tiétar’s water before it enters into Extremadura; this reservoir built in 1958 is used for water supply, hydropower generation and recreational purposes, and has a capacity of 82 hm3 and an area of 1475 ha.[6]


The broad altitude range of the municipality results in different climate zones. According to the Köppen climate classification, in the main urban area at 428 m the climate is classified as Csa, a Mediterranean temperate climate with mild winters and hot summers with average temperatures of around 26 °C; the peaks of the Gredos mountains, the highest of which is the Almanzor peak, have a Dsb continental climate.[7] Total rainfall in the municipality is very abundant, influenced by the geographical position of Candeleda, located south from the Sierra de Gredos mountain range.

Climate data for Candeleda
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Daily mean °C (°F) 7.90
Average precipitation mm (inches) 157.70
Source: Ministerio de Agricultura, Alimentación y Medio Ambiente. Datos de precipitación para el periodo 1967-1987 y de temperatura para el periodo 1961-1987 en Candeleda[8]

Flora and fauna[edit]

The municipality’s different bioclimatic floors allow a great variety of vegetation. Chestnuts, Pyrenean oaks and maritime pines are abundant in the middle floor, while holm oaks and cork oaks occupy the lower floors; the flatter lands are most suitable for agricultural use.


El Raso[edit]

El Raso is a village dependent on Candeleda located in the western part of the municipality 10 km away from the town core and at an altitude of 720 m. According to the INE, El Raso had a population of 482 people in 2011, it was founded in 1934 as a town devoted to intensive goat farming on the southern slopes of the Gredos mountains.[9][10] The village is now devoted to goat husbandry, agriculture and rural tourism, its patron saint is St. James, and it holds an annual festival on 25 July featuring heifers, fire bulls and popular dances.


In 2011 Candeleda had 5,213 inhabitants.[2] 24% of the total population was above 64 years of age.[11] 239 residents (4.6% of the total) originated from foreign countries, most commonly Romanian (91 people) and Colombian (20 people).[11] In total, 101 people came from South America (42.3% of all foreign residents).[11]

Historical population of Candeleda
(Source: INE)
Population entities forming the municipality of Candeleda
Population entity Inhabitants
Candeleda 4.484
El Raso 482
*Scattered* 247
Source: Caja España: Ficha Municipal de Candeleda. Datos de 2011,[12] Google Earth.

Administration and politics[edit]

Mandate Mayor Party
1979–1983 UCD
1987–1991 PSOE
1991–1995 José Antonio Pérez Suárez PP
1995–1999 Ladislao López López PSOE
1999–2003 José Antonio Pérez Suárez PP
2003–2007 Miguel Hernández Alcojor PSOE
2007–2011 Rosa María Sánchez Infante (2007-2008)
Miguel Hernández Alcojor (2008-2011)
2011– José María Monforte Carrasco PP
Municipal elections in Candeleda
Party 2011[13] 2007[14] 2003[15]
Votes % Town councillors Votes % Town councillors Votes % Town councillors
People's Party (Spain) Logo (2008-2015).svg Partido Popular (PP) 1.846 50,85 7 1.198 32,55 5 1.537 42,55 6
Logotipo del PSOE.svg Partido Socialista Obrero Español (PSOE) 1.114 30,69 4 1.591 43,23 6 1.342 37,15 5
El Partido de Castilla y León - Candidatura Independiente (PCAL CI) 466 12,84 2 - - - - - -
None of the above 58 1,60 - 36 0,98 - 46 1,27 -
Spoilt vote 146 4,02 - 89 2,42 - 55 1,52 -
Abstention 667 15,52 - 739 16,72 - 730 16,81 -


The municipality relies heavily on the tertiary sector of the economy (56.3% of workers in 2011) and it is largely dependent on tourism.[11] In 2011, right in the middle of the Spanish financial crisis, the total number of unemployed people was 512 (15.5% of the active population).

Primary sector[edit]

In 2007 19.9% of the working population was employed in the primary sector.[11]

64.2% of farmland (13,737.3 ha) was devoted to pasture. 4.2% of land (899.4 ha) was devoted to fields of tree crops, 50.3% of which were olive groves (452.2 ha) and 49.3% (442.9 ha) orchards. 13.8% of land (2960.6 ha) were forest species (no orchard species).[11]

Livestock is of great importance in the municipality. Candeleda is the town with the largest number of goats in the province of Ávila; the 22,000 goats of the municipality provide employment for 130 families and generate economic activity based around the production of fresh, cured and semi-cured goat´s cheese.[16][17]

The municipality is within the area of designation of origin of Carne de Ávila (Meat of Ávila), beef from the species Avileña-Negra ibérica.[18]

Secondary sector[edit]

The secondary sector, especially if construction is excluded, is not of great importance for the economy of Candeleda. In 2007, at the height of the housing bubble, construction employed 21.6% of workers. In the same period 6.6% of the labour market were employed in industry (excluding construction).[11]

Tertiary sector[edit]

This is the main economic sector employing 56.3% of the active population, with a great reliance on tourism. In 2011 the municipality (including the town itself, El Raso and the disseminated areas) had 158 retail establishments, 25 restaurants, 71 bars, 5 banks, 3 drug stores, 3 gas stations and 10 hotels or hostels. Rural tourism has been the fastest growing industry in the last few decades.[11]

By the 1990s the annual number of visitors to the Tiétar Valley region was estimated at 100,000;[19] the majority of visitors were from Madrid. The municipality has developed a number of regulated facilities to accommodate tourists, either hotel accommodation (7 establishments with a total of 154 beds)[20] or cottages (146 beds).[21] More than half of the companies in the region providing activities related with rural tourism –9 of a total of 15– are based in Candeleda, they offer house riding, summer camps and caravan parks. [20] The real estate sector is also important since many people have second homes in the region.[22]

Social Facilities[edit]

Candeleda's Municipal Auditorium

Education and Culture[edit]

For nursery and primary education, the municipality has the Almanzor Public Primary School,[23][24] in the town itself, and the Vetonia Primary School in El Raso.[25] Secondary education is provided by the Candavera High school in the town itself.[26]

Candeleda has a municipal library with two floors (the first floor is a study room and the second a children’s room). Built in 1993, it is located in the Camilo José Cela street close to El Castillo square.

The town has a municipal auditorium located in the La Cañada area. Opened in 2010, there is a main room with 310 seats and two smaller rooms, one of which is used for rehearsals; the construction of the auditorium had a total cost of around 570.000 €.[27]


Candeleda has a health centre run by the Castile and León Health Service (SACYL).[23] SACYL have signed several agreements with the Junta of Communities of Castile-La Mancha so the population of Candeleda can be treated at the Talavera de la Reina (Toledo) hospital in emergency cases, births, oncology, same day surgery and in the specialists units of neurology, endocrinology and rheumatology.[23]


Candeleda has a small covered arena close to the Candavera High School, which is used as a municipal basketball court and five-a-side football pitch.

2.7 km west of the village is the municipal stadium "El Llano". This is a football ground, with dimensions 103x68 m and open air stands, seating around 500 people.[28] Next to the stadium is the municipal campsite, which has a heated swimming pool.[29]

The municipality also has a golf course located 7 km west of the urban core,[30] it is open all year round.[31][32]

Architectonic heritage[edit]

  • Castro Celta de El Raso
  • The shrine of Our Lady of Chilla
  • The church of Our Lady of the Assumption
  • The San Blas hermitage
  • The Pillory
  • Sights[edit]

    • Ethnographic Museum
    The museum, located in a building on Corredera Street that was once the local school and an antimalarial dispensary, has two floors each of 100 m2 with three different exhibitions, two of them temporary (in 2012 «Candeleda, a royal visit "and" Celts in Southern Gredos'). The third is permanent and ethnographic in nature and you can see a coat of arms from the sixteenth century, as well as items donated by townspeople, such as two millstones from the Iron Age and an apothecary pestle; the museum, which opened in April 2012, cost € 377 000 to complete.[33][34]
    • Casa de la Judería (Jewry's House)
    The House of Jewry is a small museum and cultural space used to publicise the history, culture and traditional cuisine of Candeleda. Paintings, photographs, sculptures and other art forms are displayed in the exhibition; the Inquisition in Candeleda was held in this building several centuries ago. It was opened as a museum on Juderia Street on August 2010.[35][36]
    • Tin Toy Museum House of Flowers
    It is a museum which houses more than 2,000 pieces of tin toys. It is located in one of the most striking traditional buildings in the town's Main Square.[37][38]
    • Vado de los Fresnos
    The Vado De Los Fresnos is an animal reserve with a variety of local species living on the banks of the Rosarito reservoir.[39]

    Village festival and folklore[edit]

    The village festival and processions in honour of the town's patron saint, the Virgin of Chilla, are held annually on the second and third Sunday of September; the event has been declared a Fiesta of National Tourist Interest. Of lesser importance, Las Candelas are held on 2 February, with traditional "iluminarias" (bonfires that young people jump over); the following day, 3 February, is Saint Blaise,[40] known colloquially as chorizo day, where people gather to eat Spanish donuts and chorizo obtained from pig slaughters at farms in the town.

    Livestock markets, which were once so important, still take place in April and August, but are now more of a spectacle than a real sales opportunity.

    Candeleda is an ancient and rural population centre that preserves traditions and forms of social relationships like rondas, informal groups of neighbours and friends who come together during the village festival or at Christmas to sing, play music and dance in the street with guitars, lutes, cauldrons, mortars and pestles, Anisette bottles and also zambombas (rustic drums) at Christmas. Traditional musical genres have been preserved especially rondeñas, malagueñas, and jotas for dancing, and also tonás and round or wedding songs;[41] the Pedro Vaquero Festival of folk, named after the Candeledan musical anthropologist, is held every August. 2012 was the eighteenth year that the town held the festival.[42]


    The town shares many of the traits of the province’s cuisine but has some particularirties due to its location next to the region of Extremadura and La Vera. One of the most outstanding products cultivated in the town is the paprika of Candeleda,[43] similar to that of the neighbouring Extremeñian region of La Vera and its paprika with designation of origin.

    It is used to flavour a wide variety of traditional dishes, such as Riojan potatoes, Galizian octopus, patatas bravas and chorizo.

    Candeleda-related celebrities[edit]


    1. ^ "Municipal Register of Spain 2018". National Statistics Institute. Retrieved 11 April 2019.
    2. ^ a b Instituto Nacional de Estadística Archived 2013-10-02 at the Wayback Machine Población, superficie y densidad por CCAA y provincias. Fuentes del Instituto Geográfico Nacional y del Padrón de 2011. Consultado el 25 de octubre de 2012.
    3. ^ a b Boletín Oficial de Castilla y León núm. 202/1994 del 19 de octubre de 1994. Decreto 256/1990, de 13 de diciembre de 1994.
    4. ^ Celdrán, Pancracio (2002). Diccionario de Topónimos Españoles y Sus Gentilicios (in Spanish). Espasa. ISBN 8467001461. Retrieved 2012-10-24.
    5. ^ Junta de Castilla y León Archived 2013-06-13 at the Wayback Machine Estudio de Necesidades Formativas en Ámbitos Rurales de Castilla y León II. El relieve de Candeleda es tan original y único, dentro de la Península, que su término municipal de 215,51 Km2. es TECHO -con 2.592m. en sus cumbres del Macizo Central- y al mismo tiempo "depresión o desnivel más grande de Castilla" -252m. sobre el nivel del mar, en el embalse de Rosarito y riberas del río Tiétar. Consultado el 24 de octubre de 2012.
    6. ^ Estado de los embalses y pantanos de España. Pantano de Rosarito. Consultado el 24 de octubre de 2012.
    7. ^, Atlas climático ibérico.
    8. ^ "Promedios mensuales - Candeleda, ESP". Archived from the original on 2012-07-09. Retrieved 2 October 2012.
    9. ^ "La creación del poblado del Raso en Candeleda" (PDF). El Periódico del Tiétar. Diciembre del 2011 (44).[permanent dead link]
    10. ^ "El Raso comienza esta semana la celebración de su 75 aniversario". Diario de Ávila. 24 June 2009.
    11. ^ a b c d e f g h Caja España – Ficha municipal de datos económicos y sociales 2012 – Candeleda Archived 2015-06-10 at the Wayback Machine Consultado el 1 de enero de 2013.
    12. ^ Caja España Ficha Municipal de Candeleda. Datos de 2011[permanent dead link]
    13. ^ "Resultados Elecciones Municipales 2011 en Candeleda". May 2011. Archived from the original on 2011-09-05. Retrieved 2013-03-05.
    14. ^ "Resultados Elecciones Municipales 2007 en Candeleda". May 2007. Archived from the original on 2011-09-14. Retrieved 2013-03-05.
    15. ^ "Resultados Elecciones Municipales 2003 en Candeleda". May 2003. Archived from the original on 2011-09-18. Retrieved 2013-03-05.
    16. ^ "Queseros de CLM participarán en la I Feria Regional del Queso de Cabra". Diario ABC. 2 December 2012. Archived from the original on 12 October 2013. Retrieved 5 March 2013.
    17. ^ Portal del Medio Ambiente (ed.). "Contra la macro-urbanización en Candeleda: ¡Gredos para las cabras!". Archived from the original on 2013-04-11.
    18. ^ IGP Carne de Ávila: Ámbito geográfico. Consultado el 1 de enero de 2013.
    19. ^ Troitiño Vinuesa 1995, pp. 156-158.
    20. ^ a b de la Calle Vaquero & García Hernández 2006.
    21. ^ de la Calle Vaquero & García Hernández 2006, p. 84.
    22. ^ de la Calle Vaquero & García Hernández 2006, p. 92-93.
    23. ^ a b c Junta de Castilla y León Archived 2013-06-13 at the Wayback Machine Estudio de Necesidades Formativas en Ámbitos Rurales de Castilla y León II. Consultado el 24 de octubre de 2012.
    24. ^ Plataforma Educativa CP Almanzor. Consultado el 1 de enero de 2013.
    25. ^ Plataforma Educativa CRA Vetonia. Consultado el 1 de enero de 2013.
    26. ^ Plataforma Educativa IES Candavera. Consultado el 1 de enero de 2013.
    27. ^ "Inaugurado el nuevo Auditorio con capacidad para más de trescientas personas". Diario de Ávila.
    28. ^ Estadio municipal «El Llano» Archived 2013-03-03 at the Wayback Machine, Atlético Candeleda, Último acceso: 3 de enero de 2013.
    29. ^ "La piscina climatizada del camping de Candeleda alargará el periodo del baño". Diario de Ávila.
    30. ^ de la Calle Vaquero & García Hernández 2006, p. 81.
    31. ^ "Candeleda aprueba convenio con regantes para el abastecimiento del campo golf". Diario ABC. 8 October 2012.
    32. ^ "Clases de golf en Candeleda". Diario de Ávila. 19 December 2012.
    33. ^ "El Museo Etnográfico de Candeleda abre sus puertas este miércoles tras nueve años de espera". Diario de Ávila. Retrieved 3 January 2013.
    34. ^ "Un paseo por la historia de Candeleda". Retrieved 3 January 2013.
    35. ^ "Una casa convertida en espacio cultural". Diario de Ávila. 28 February 2009.
    36. ^ "Web oficial de la Casa de la Judería". Retrieved 3 January 2013.
    37. ^ "La Casa de las Flores presenta hoy el Museo del Juguete de Hojalata". Diario de Ávila. 28 February 2009.
    38. ^ "El Museo del Juguete de Hojalata abre sus puertas en Candeleda con cerca de 2.000 piezas". El Norte de Castilla. 28 February 2009.
    39. ^ Página Ofickal de Turismo de la Provincia de Ávila (ed.). "Candeleda". Archived from the original on 2013-11-11. Retrieved 2013-03-06.
    40. ^ "El Valle celebra San Blas".
    41. ^ "La asociación Los Jherrizos sacará a la calles de Candeleda la tradicional Ronda de Boda".
    42. ^ "El Festival Pedro Vaquero arranca en Candeleda con talleres sobre la tradición musical y cultural".
    43. ^ Diputación de Ávila. Productos de la Tierra: Pimentón de Candeleda. Consultado el 26 de octubre de 2012
    44. ^ El actor Daniel Guzmán llama a manifestarse contra una urbanización, artículo en diario 20 minutos, 29 de mayo de 2008
    45. ^ a b Un Lord en Candeleda, artículo en diario ABC, 3 de mayo de 2009
    46. ^ "El primer ministro británico llega a Candeleda de veraneo".
    47. ^ "Cortesía británica en tierras candeledanas".

    External links[edit]