Antonio Machado visited the Sanctuary of the Virgin of Tíscar, Patron Saint of Quesada, on excursions to the springs of the Guadalquivir.
The Sanctuary is located fourteen kilometers from the town, at the foot of the Peña Negra, with access through a winding mountain road. The Sanctuary has been a pilgrimage site for centuries (the current building that houses the Sanctuary was rebuilt throughout the 20th century on the remains of a primitive medieval hermitage). Inside the temple we will find the image of the Virgin of Tíscar, carved by the sculptor Jacinto Higueras.
In recent years the City Council of Quesada has been holding concerts of different musical genres on the first Saturday in August in the Esplanade of the Sanctuary. In addition, the villages of Tíscar, Belerda and Don Pedro celebrate the Fiesta de los Cargos or Dios Chico during December 26, 27 and 28.
Inside the Sanctuary, on the entrance esplanade to the temple, in homage to Antonio Machado, there is a stone poem dating from 1959 that refers to the Cordillera or Cuerda de los Agrios, a mountain thorn that collapses over the port from Tíscar and which runs parallel to the Cabañas hill, one of the main heights of the Sierras de Cazorla, Segura y las Villas Natural Park:
In the mountains of Quesada
there is a giant eagle that is
greenish, black and gold,
with its wings always open.
It’s of stone and never tires.
The remains of the rock castle, built in the fourteenth century under Christian rule stand above the Sanctuary, in the Peña Negra, of which only the donjon is preserved. Cueva del Agua -declared Natural Monument of Andalusia by the Junta in April 2019-, is few meters down the road, with waterfalls and spectacular cascades, considered one of the most dazzling geological wonders of the province of Jaén, and which, without a doubt, Machado visited in his search for the sources of the Guadalquivir.