Chauchina is situated in the Vega of Granada, among poplar groves and manicured gardens on the banks of the Río Genil. This natural enclave and riverside forest offers great hiking opportunities around Chauchina and the surrounding towns of Romilla and Romilla la Nueva. It has a mainly agricultural landscape with many tobacco-drying factories, which are some of the most interesting buildings in the area, together with the local farmhouses and farmsteads. You will notice that the plots of land are neatly divided – the result of the successive divisions of the land.
The airport Federico Garcia Lorca Granada-Jaen is located in this municipality.
In the 14th century Ibn al-Khatib mentions the town as Yayyana. More references are made to a fortress called the Torre de Roma, which was built in the town in the turbulent late Middle Ages.
The name Chauchina reputedly derives from the Latin word sancius, a corruption of salix (willow), because of the many willow trees along the riverbank. There is evidence of human presence in the Neolithic and Iberian times, as various ceramic artefacts and coins have been found here.
The settlement grew in the Muslim period. The legendary Torre de Roma, in the words of Washington Irving, “was a retreat built by the count Julian as a consolation for his daughter Florinda” and played an important role in many battles. Muslims occupied the area from 711 and drained great parts of the wetlands near the river. Chauchina was one of the many farmsteads in the area, with between 500 and 1,000 inhabitants.
After the Reconquista and the later expulsion of the Moors the town was almost deserted. In the 18th century new people arrived to grow flax and hemp. After the War of Independence it came under the jurisdiction of the Duke of Wellington. The present town centre was built in the middle of the 19th century and grew quickly thanks to the sugar beet industry.
Specialities include Vega squid, onion rings, frogs legs, fried cod and asparagus omelette. The homemade sweets here are delicious, particularly the Virgen del Pincho made by nuns.