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Spain Inland Locations-Guide

Information about Archidona

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(8.246 inhabitants) Màlaga province

Escua, Phoenician village, is the origin of the actual city. The Romans, who inhabit the village after the Carthaginians, called it Arcis Domina, “lady of the heights”. Those days, the village was on the top of the hill of Gracia and consisted of a fortress strongly walled.
The Arabs, under whose dominion it knew the old Archidona its biggest splendour, the walls were enlarged turning the point into a powerful alcazaba (citadel) where Abderramàn I was proclaimed independent emir in 755. The Arabs called it Medina-Arxiduna, where its name comes from. From the taifas kingdoms the village gets into a mild, but long decay. From this age is the legend of the peña de los enamorados (lovers’ rock).Tagzona, daughter of the wali or governor of the fortress, engaged by her father to the governor of Alhama, escaped with her lover Muhamad. They felt lost under the prosecution of her father, both jumped from the top of the rock and from that day it took its name.

In the year 1462 the citadel was conquered by Pedro Tèllez de Giròn, big master de Calatrava and count of Osuna.
From that moment, under the sponsorship of the county and afterwards the duchy de Osuna, which kept its dominion until century XIX, the city comes out of its walls and spreads at the foot-hill of the hill, until getting the place that it has nowadays.

Gastronomy

of vast variety, traditional dishes are the porra archidonesa, the sopa ochavada, the cazuelita moruna, cooked dish made of anchovies and clams¸the guisillo de huevos, cooked dish made of small omelettes of egg and bread, and the gazpachuelo, soup made of fish with the white of egg and mayonnaise. As desserts they have the pestiños and the gachas de mosto, made of must of grapes, almonds and grinded nuts.

Craftsmanship

In Archidona is typical the ceramic called “a la cuerda seca”. Also there is some artisan who works the streetlamps.

Festivities

The Cabalgata de los Reyes Magos (the 3 wise kings parade), takes place the 5th of January, it is a colourful festival mainly for children. The Carnaval takes place the prior weekend to the Lent. The Semana Santa has very important pasos, as the one of Jesùs Nazareno or the one of the Virgin de la Paz. From 15th until 18th August celebrate the festivities in honour of the patron saint the Virgen de Gracia, it stars with a romerìa (pilgrimage) to the sanctuary of the Virgin.

Visit

On top of the hill of Gracia, where initially was the city of Archidona, raises the Castillo, surrounded by 2 wall belts out of the 3 that it had before. From the ensemble stands out the puerta del Sol, recently renovated.
Inside the fortress we can find the ermita de la Virgen de Gracia, built using an old Arab mosque. The sanctuary was remodelled in the XVIII century with combination of red brick with white mortar. From the distance the tower ended on a belfry can be seen.
In the centre of the new city it is the Plaza Ochavada, named as this because is built on an eight side’s polygon. It is a beautiful architectonic ensemble where the arcs and columns are of red bricks and the façade is white. A long balcony full of flowers gives it the colour and the andalucian accent.
At the south of the plaza we can find the Iglesia de Santa Ana. Finished in 1505, it is the 1st religious building of the new city, where we can find the figures of Cristo del Descendimiento and Amarrado a la columna.
To the east of the plaza, in the paseo de la Victoria is situated the building of the Cilla, the Town Hall today, construction of the XVI century with a baroque façade of XVIII.
The convento de las Mìnimas,  in the Calle Nueva, inhabited yet by the nuns of the Orden de San Francisco de Paula, it is to emphasized its magnificent baroque doorway and beautiful polygonal tower of red brick ending in a capitel covered in white and green ceramic.
By the Town Hall appears the iglesia de la Victoria, that belongs to the old convent of the Mìnimos demolished after the Independent war.
The iglesia de las Escuelas Pìas, XVII century, it is in the calle Carrera and it is dedicated to Jesùs Nazareno, of whom it keeps the image which is very valuable artistically.