Antequera Information

This ancient city lies on a plain surrounded by fertile farms. Steeped in history, it is a town that draws many artists and tourists.


Antequera dates back nearly 5,000 years in time, beginning with the Bronze Age and the native Iberians. The timeline can be followed in this fascinating city's profusion of burial mounds, dolmens, Roman baths, a Moorish Castle, Gothic churches, Renaissance fountains and baroque bell towers.
 
The first sighting of Antequera in the distance is of a typical medieval town, with spires of her many churches silhouetted against the sky. Spread out in the valley below lie rich farmlands irrigated by the Guadalhorce River. For centuries this has been one of Andalucía's most fertile areas, and is currently a leading producer of asparagus, cereals and olives and during summer, its fields turn brilliant yellow with sunflowers.

The town and valley are overlooked by an enormous crag of limestone, 880 metres high, called La Peña de los Enamorados, or "The Lovers' Leap". The name comes from a local legend about an impossible love affair between a young Christian man from Antequera and a beautiful Moorish girl from nearby Archidona, who were driven to the top of the cliff by the Moorish soldiers, where, rather than renounce their love, they chose to hurl themselves into the abyss.

One of Antequera's most impressive sights is its dolmens, located in a park to the west of the town. The most spectacular one is in the Cueva de la Menga. The original Iberian people who created these megalithic mass tombs made of huge slabs of rock date back 5,000 years. There are many dolmens in Andalucía, but none as large as the Cueva de la Menga. When it was excavated in the nineteenth century many hundreds of skeletons were found in its inner chamber.

Other fascinating monuments to be seen in the town are:

  • The recently excavated Roman baths.
  •  The magnificent Renaissance church of Santa María la Mayor Church.
  • The Church of Nuestra Señora del Carmen.
  • The 19th century bullring.
The Arch of the Giants, built in 1585, which leads up to the 13th century Moorish castle.
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