…and its traditional game of “las Tacillas” (the tiny cups)

The name of Cozar comes from the Arab Word, HUNT, which in Spanish came to mean “Work of pit” or “cultivation of the bowl”, as farming was the basis of the economy of most of the neighbours of Cozar.  Cózar, throughout its history, has been involved in a large number of relevant events that have left their mark on it. In the year 1126 it was the setting of the  frequent battles between Moors and Christians, as a result of which, the Arabs  The Arabs took numerous castles in Campo de Montiel. Years later, Cózar was donated by Pelay Perez Belt, Master of the Order of Santiago, to the Council of Montiel. It is in the year 1554 when it reaches from Felipe II (after payment of three hundred and five thousand maravedies), the privilege of “First Instance” and becomes independent from Montiel.


Panoramic view over Cozar from the road to Torre de Juan Abad

The well-known game of “Las Tacillas” (the tiny cups)

The origins of this game go back to the 14th and 15th centuries, although the exact date of its inauguration is not known. Las Tacillas are publicly auctioned on the first day of the fiestas and the money that is collected is deboted to the Brotherhood of the Cristo for the hermitage maintenance.

The person who bids higher for the Tacillas at the auction, will became “El Tacillero” (the manager) and, at the same time, he will be responsible for managing the game, to keep the las tacillas clean, and to fix an order among all the players. bid for the tacillas in the auction, will be the Tacillero and, at the same time, the responsible for organizing the game, to keep clean the tacillas and establish order among all players. El Tacillero’s profit is based on the tips that the players with good fortune give him. These players, after playing and winning, must give generous amounts to El Tacillero to thank him for his help.

In the tacillas chance decides and skill is out of the game. It is the capricious fate that will decide which players will be the winners and which the losers. The game consists in throwing eight marbles; if the number of balls that fall inside the cup is even, you win the banking, if the number of marbles is odd, the bettors win. The winner (banks or bettors) double the money played.

The eldest in the village share anecdotes from the past, when Money was not t as accessible and some neighbours has to bet goods, or even, the pig that had been raised throughout the year and that was supposed to be their food for the next year. Este juego, original, curioso y de gran tradición es muy conocido en toda la provincia y cada año atrae a más personas.

The Fiestas of the Cristo and its famous Tacillas are just open Turing the five or six days of the fair. The rest of the year they are closed. Next to las Tacillas, there is the town stage that during these days it becomes the setting of a large open-air  popular party where some musical events take place. In the central stage, the neighbours and visitors keep dancing until late at night.

The “Toro de Fuego” (fire bull) and the “buscapies” (hint crackers), are another attraction at the Fiestas del Cristo. About at 22h pm, the sound of a rocket will tell us that the bull is about to leave…

Church of San Vicente Martir

It is dated in the 16th century and it was declared a Historic Artistic Monument in 1983. Rectangular quite elongated, with the square of the tower attached to the South end. It is built in ashlars stone with outside buttresses of Baroque profile, supporting the inside arches that rest on columns attached to the walls. In addition, symbols and shields of the Order of Santiago can be seen in different parts of the façades and the inside. It has a saddle roof with curved tile, supported by vaults.

Hermitage Chapel of Santisimo Cristo de la Veracruz

A sober construction which, in addition to the architectural value, has great sentimental value for the neighbours. The image of the patron Christ is inside. It is located in Plaza del Cristo, next to the Municipal stage and, at the rear part, the two Tacillas, which belong to the Cristo de la Vera-Cruz

Hermitage of the Virgen de la Soledad

The Virgen de la Soledad, together with the Cristo de la Vera-Cruz are the most revered religious images by the neighbours. The hermitage de la Soledad is at the end of the calle Mayor, and there is where we can see the beautiful image of the Virgin.

Hermitage and Park of San Anton

The third Hermitage that is inside the village is San Anton’s, dominating the park that is named after the Saint.

Blazon on Noblemen Home

In Santa Ana street, next to the Plaza and opposite the main door of the Church, we can see an old shield belonging to a family of nobles that lived there.

Las Tacillas (the tiny cups)

They take place during the four or five days close to the 14th September, when the fiestas to honour the Cristo de la Vera-Cruz are celebrated. The patron Christ of the village is the owner of the two “tacillas” which are located at the rear part of its hermitage, next to the Village Plaza Mayor.

Other Fiestas

San Antón, on the 17th January.  San Vicente, on the 22 of January, patron saint of the church named after him. San Marcos on the 25th of April, on this day it is typical to go for a picnic, and to eat the traditional “hornazo” (stuffed bread) and boiled eggs. There is another tradition called “se  ata el diablo” (to tie the devil) that consists on making a loop with grass. San Isidro, on the 15th of May, it is a local fiesta. An important pilgrimage takes place around the Hermitage, an open air space few kilometres away from the village. San Cristobal, on the 10th of July, traditional blessing of cars towards this saint’s Hermitage.  Las Fiestas de la Virgen, that take place on the 15th of August, to honour the Virgen de la Soledad.

A walk through Cozar