Axarquia, Costa del Sol, Andalucia, Spain


Antequera is situated 50 kilometres to the north of Malaga, set on the edge of a 540 metre high plain, with a population of 40,000. Antequera has been inhabited since the Bronze Age with later periods of Roman and Arab occupation. It is an attractive town with a well preserved old heart whose architecture belongs to the Renaissance and Baroque period.

El Torcal

13 kilometres to the southwest of Antequera is the mountain of El Torcal reaching an altitude of 1336 metres. This is a Natural Park with 12 square kilometres of gnarled, fantastic and wierd serrated and pillared limestone formations creating a strange abstract landscape which was formed as a seabed 150 million years ago.

  • Archway of the Giants (Arco de los Gigantes) - built in 1585 to replace a Nazari gateway. The walls are decorated with numerous Roman statues and inscriptions.
  • AlcazabaThe Alcazaba whose walls were built in the 14th century by Arabs. Great views over the town and surrounding countryside. Open daily, except Mondays, with free entrance from 10.00h to 14.00h.
  • Palace of Marqueses de Villadarias (Palacio del Marqués de Villadarias) - has a monumental doorway built in red marble from El Torcal in 1716.
  • Palace of Nájera - built in the early 18th century by the Eslavas family. The Municipal Museum is housed here.
  • Malaga Gateway (Puerta de Malaga) - a Muslim art construction from 1410.
  • The Lobo Wolf Park.
  • Dolmens of Menga, Viera and El Romeral - The first two are at 1.5 kilometres from the town centre on the N-331 leading north-east. Some of Europe's largest megalithic dolmens (tombs made of bolders) built between 2500 and 1800 BC, they form enourmous passages that lead to a funeral chamber. Menga is 25 metres long, 4 metres high and composed of 31 slabs, the largest of which weighs 180 tonnes. At midsummer the rising sun rising shines directly into the mouth of this dolmen. open daily, except Mondays, from 10.00h to 14.00h and from 15.00h to 17.30 with free entrance. El Romeral is situated 5 kilometres from the centre.
  • Antequera at DuskChurch of Carmen (Iglesia del Carmen) - on Plaza del Carmen. A 16th century mudejar construction with lavish 18th century Baroque interior.
  • Collegiate Church of San Sebastián (Colegiata de San Sebastián) - built between 1540 and 1549. There is a Plateresque door by Diego de Vergara and a brick tower designed and built by Andrés Burgueño in 1701.
  • Convent of San Agustín (Convento de San Agustín) - has a vaulted ceiling over a Gothic transept with additional 17th century Mannerist Arabesque work.
  • Convent of San José (Convento de San José) - the church has a beautiful Baroque style facade with iconographic representations of pagan mythology.
  • Convent of Santa Eufemia (Convento de Santa Eufemia) - the church, built between 1739 and 1763 houses a statue by Andrés Carvajal.
  • Convent of Nuestra Señora de los Remedios - National monument with interesting 17th century Baroque retable.
  • Convent of Encarnación - the convent church is a typical example of Granada-Moorish churches with single nave and high main chapel, both with Mudejar vaulted ceilings dating from 1580.
  • Convent of Madre de Dios - one of the best examples of Andalucian rococo. Built between 1747 and 1761.
  • Church of Santa María de Jesús (Iglesia de Santa María de Jesús) - three Baroque retables in wood lined with gold-leaf were built in 1725 by Antonio Rivera.
  • Parish Church of Santiago (Parroquia de Santiago) - the main altar is decorated with Baroque arabesque work from 1765.
  • Royal Collegiate Church of Santa María la Mayor (Real Colegiata de Santa María la Mayor) - a National monument built between 1514 and 1550. In Renaissance style it once housed the first University of Grammar and Latin Studies.
  • Royal Convent of San Zoilo (Real Convento de San Zoilo) - a National monument founded by catholic Monarchs. Built in late Gothic style , it was restored in the 16th century.
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