Cuevas BajasAyuntamiento, C/ Real, 38, Cuevas Bajas, 29220
Do you want to travel back in time to the days of the Andalusian bandits? Then you have to visit Cuevas Bajas, a municipality located in a small valley northeastern region of Malaga, Noroma. By all accounts, known bandits such as Chato de Benamejí, Antonio Vargas Heredia or Luis Artacho could be found at the Juan González inn. And its geographical location has always been a strategic one; Cuevas Bajas is the junction point between the provinces of Malaga, Seville, Cordoba and Granada.
Comprised of three population centers (the municipality and the villages of Kidron and Moheda), Cuevas Bajas also features a necropolis of artificial caves of the Bronze Age. And do not forget to try the purple carrots, grown in this area for more than 1,300 years.
NOT TO MISS IN CUEVAS BAJAS
On the banks of the Genil river, we find one of the symbols of Cuevas Bajas: the Agusadera waterwheel. This nineteenth century waterwheel collected river water for irrigation and is undoubtedly one of the best examples in the municipality because of its monumental nature.
Cuevas Bajas is best enjoyed by walking the streets and observing the beautiful facades of the buildings. We recommend touring calle real and Calle Reja to discover the most noteworthy civil buildings. On this tour, we can find two shrines, with the Virgen del Carmen and Jesus of Nazareth, showing the great religious fervor of the town.
The church of John the Baptist was built in the eighteenth century and contains one of the most admired carvings in Cuevas Bajas, the Virgen de los Dolores ("Virgin of Sorrows"). Interestingly, the Sagrario chapel is not behind the high altar, but to the left, a very rare layout. This church was built on top of an older temple, from which you can still see the baptism font of red marble, dating from 1606.
The villages of Moheda and El Cedrón, which maintains its taditional architecture, finally involve us into the natural landscape of the area. These two villages were built during the Reconquest, in order to dedicate them to agriculture. Here we find the Huertas del Marqués, where the Arab irrigation system is still used. Finally, we recommend going up to Altos de San Antón, leaving Cuevas Bajas behind to enjoy with incredible panoramic views.
Cuevas Bajas is 72 kilometres from Málaga, with the journey taking about an hour by car. Take the A-45 motorway, then get on the MA-201 that turns into the MA-202 until you reach the town.
Cuevas Bajas has unique natural resources, and with each season we will see the color of the landscape change. It is surrounded by olive groves and crossed by several waterways, including the River Genil. We recommend seeing the Portuguese oak and the ancient tree names "chaparro Borondo", or simply strolling down the trails that follow the river.
Cuevas Bajas is also part of the Great Malaga Path. It is the starting point of stage 16, which runs along the extensive olive groves and farms like Pajariego or the Sarteneja. It is a linear path ending at Alameda and takes around 4:45 hours to walk.
In addition to all these places, Cuevas Bajas offers active tourism routes in nature and experiences such as rafting, paintball, kayaking, rock climbing or bungee jumping. One of the companies with which you can enjoy these adventure sports is Ocio Aventura Cerro Gordo.
Every first Sunday of December one of the most famous festivals in Cuevas Bajas is held: the Purple Carrot Festival (Fiesta de la Zanahoria Morá). This special vegetable is native to the area, and has been cultivated for 1,300 years. In this celebration we can taste meats, beverages such as wine and resol, migas with purple carrot and sweets.
In February, Cuevas Bajas celebrates the fiesta de la Candelaria, a show of light and color for all the family to enjoy. For this celebration, children make rag dolls the previous days. On the night of February 2, the locals gather around a bonfire and burn the dolls in the fire.
Holy Week in Cuevas Bajas is also steeped in history and artistic wealth. It has been celebrated since the seventeenth century and the procession features figures made by Seville"s Castillo Lastrucci. Holy Week begins on Maundy Thursday with the departure of Jesus of Nazareth and the Virgin of Sorrows, and culminates with a very special tradition. On Sunday local children carry the throne of the resurrected Christ.
If you are planning to visit Cuevas Bajas during the summer, mark two dates in your calendar: the St John's Day festivities and the August Fair. The St John"s Day festivities are one of the main attractions of the municipality and are held between June 24 and 25. This is a good celebration to integrate and meet its people, since most locals join in the procession in honor of the saint and at the paella meal beside the Genil River.
Cuevas Bajas celebrates its Fair in August. For four days, the city is filled with street stalls and musical performances. Like many Andalusian fairs, its origin is in livestock markets.
The local crops form the basis of the typical cuisine of Cuevas Bajas: Purple carrots, oil and flour are some of the main staples.
Among the dishes you can try in this municipality are migas (pieces of bread sauteed with garlic, accompanied by cured meats, peppers and sardines, among other ingredients), the porra fría (Cream of tomato, pepper, bread and olive oil, which is often accompanied by boiled egg, tuna or ham) or gachas de mosto (A sweet cream of grapes, almonds and walnuts). The typical drink of Cuevas Bajas is resol, which is made from sweet anise, coffee beans and verbena.
Cuevas Bajas has been inhabited since prehistoric times. The Palaeolithic sites in the Belda Cave and the banks of the river Genil give evidence of an early settlement of hunters and fishermen. The manmade grotto necropolis from the Age of Bronze found in this area of Nororma is considered to be among the most important in Spain.
A road used to pass by today"s town centre in Roman times (second century); it was part of Antonine Route. It was in this period that farming practices were first implemented in the valley of the river Genil, then known as "Singilis". Traces of civil architecture can still be seen in the area: the bridge in Arroyo de las Pozas, bath ruins, and so forth.
The Arabs came to Cuevas Bajas in the Middle Ages and stayed here until 1426, when the village was conquered by Infant Pedro de Narváez. In the fifteenth century, the Jews and the Arabs were expelled from the villages of Cedrón and La Moheda, and the lands, which were redistributed, went to the Jesuits and settlers coming from Antequera, who built their homes on the banks of the Genil.
The village we can see today was shaped during the Reconquista. In the eighteenth century, it had 1,400 inhabitants; in 1819, it became independent from Antequera.
The food in Cuevas Bajas has a traditional Andalusian flavour, with locally-grown crops serving as the base of its dishes. Purple carrots, olive oil and flour, are some of the most standout base ingredients.
Some dishes to try in town are the migas, cold porra soup or the gachas de mosto (grape juice porridge). The signature drink is the resol, made with sweet anise, coffee grounds and Lemon Beebrush.
- Inhabitants (1,001-2,500)
- Inland area