Surface Area: 74.5 square kilometres
What the natives are called: Algaideños
Outstanding Sights: the Franciscan convent of Nuestra Señora de Consolación de las Algaidas, the cave church, Los Alcaides necropolis and the Museo Berrocal (Berrocal Museum)
Geographical Location: in the north-western part of the Antequera region, on the border between Málaga and Córdoba. The village is 540 metres above sea level. It is 11 kilometres from Archidona, 30 from Antequera and 70 from the provincial capital. The area receives 625 litres of precipitation per square metre and the average annual temperature is about 15.6º C. Villanueva de Algaidas is part of the northeastern end of Málaga, named NORORMA.
Most of the surface of the municipality of Villanueva de Algaidas, which on its northeast side borders the province of Córdoba, is pretty flat; this is a gently rolling country with a few hills interrupting here and there as though to prevent a completely level horizon. Well into the southern part of the municipality, the terrain becomes more rugged and rises to heights of around 1,000 metres as in the case of the Arcas and Pedroso mountains (948 and 1,024 metres, respectively).
On the highest elevations brush is plentiful and there are still a few remnants of ancient live oak forests, but the rest of the landscape is characterised by extensive olive groves and grain fields and by the numerous farmhouses that add scattered splashes of white to the lands devoted to those crops.
It appears that the caves in the El Pedroso mountains were inhabited in prehistoric times, which is to be expected as there were human settlements in this part of Málaga from such ancient times that their ages are hard to calculate. The age of the Los Alcaides necropolis, however, has been computed to be 3,500 years. This is an archaeological site that is, like the caves in the Arcas mountains and in the aforementioned El Pedroso mountains, proof of the passage of prehistoric man through this area.
These antecedents notwithstanding, the origin of the modern village is much more recent, in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, to be precise. Before that time the Duke of Osuna, owner of these lands at the time, had authorised the construction of a Franciscan convent adjacent to the Burriana stream. That building is in ruins today but is worth a visit.
As occurred in other places around a fortress or castle, here it was the Franciscan convent that attracted several incipient population centres. Over time, they developed the need for governmental organisation that could only be furnished by a municipal government that could arbitrate disputes between these communities scattered around what at the time was called La Rinconá.
The first village was located a little more than a kilometre from the modern one, at a place known today as La Atalaya, and other neighbourhoods sprang up adjacent to areas that were favourable for a particular type of crop. La Atalaya, La Rinconá, Zamarra, Albaicín and Parrilla are some of those neighbourhoods that eventually formed the modern village of Villanueva de Algaidas. Its Town Hall was established in 1843 after it was separated from Archidona.
Go to the city of Málaga via the Mediterranean Expressway (A-7; N-340) and there take the A-45 (N-331) expressway towards Antequera. On the outskirts of that city continue on the same A-45 to the A-92 and take it in the direction of Archidona. Shortly before you get to that village turn onto the A-6201, which goes to Villanueva de Algaidas. All the changes are very well marked all the way from Málaga and it is hard to go wrong.
Full graphical path: http://bit.ly/tWC0iK
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