Archidona is a beautiful, historical town situated in the northern part of the Malaga province and borders with the province of Granada.
The town of Archidona lies 943 metres above sea level at the foot of the Sierra de Gracia. During the Roman times, it was known as Arx Domina, then the Arabs modified this to Arxiduna, which is the origin of its present name.
The Sierra de las Grajas has been declared one of the nature reserves of Andalucia. There are two excellent nature trails, the Hoz del Arroyo Marin and the Lagunas (lakes) de Archidona. The area caters for every kind of country sport including trekking, cycling, and mountain climbing. The Nature Reserve, Lagunas de Archidona, is a humid zone, full of saline water, rich in sulphates and of enormous ecological value. From here we can see the Sierra de Gibalto, located in the province of Granada and the Mountains San Jorge and Gorda, in the municipality of Villanueva del Trabuco. There are numerous bird species to be seen, all of which are protected.
Archidona is approximately 40 minutes from Malaga Airport, 50 km from Granada town centre and about 20km from Antequera and there is a good bus service linking all the towns in the area.
The village dates back to prehistoric times, as shown by artefacts linked to the Palaeolithic period. The first major settlers in the area were the Turdulos. The town was an important strategic location for the Carthaginians who reinforced the walls making it a strategic point in the war against the Romans.
Archidona's Salinas (salt mines) or Las Lagunas (lagoons) are located in the north west of Malaga province, inside Archidona's municipality, and in the south west of Estacion de Salinas.
The centre of Archidona has many religious buildings mostly dating from the 18th century. One of the oldest is the Hermitage of the Virgen de Gracia, now used as a church, but it was originally a Moorish mosque. It is the only one of its type still in existence in the entire province.
Close to the hermitage are the old castle walls that have been partly restored. Other important churches in the area are the Church of the Nazarene and the Escuelas Pias. The sound of chiming bells is a traditional and common sound to be heard at various times of the day.
The Church of Santa Ana was the first church of the Villa Baja built at the beginning of the 16th century and reconstructed in the 19th century. It is richly decorated and has an interesting triangular tower.
Also well worth visiting is the Convento de las Mínimas. The main square in the town is Plaza de la Victoria and in this square is the Town Hall which was the old granary. It has a stone Baroque entrance.
. It is richly decorated and hasNot far away there are a number of caves and petroglyphs, including the Cuevas de Jumandy and the Museo Mundos Amazonicos. One of the museum’s prize exhibits is a large sacred stone scarred with petroglyphs that is thought to be over two thousand years old. Inside the museum is a wide range of artefacts.
The most important festival in Archidona is undoubtedly Holy Week – Semana Santa – a time of processions when statues are carried through the streets.
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