ArchidonaPlaza Ochavada, 1, Archidona, 29300
Some visitors come to Archidona for its scenery, others for its religious associations or for its historical heritage. Whatever has brought you here, the experience of this city in the county of Nororma, north-east of Malaga, will be unforgettable. Enjoying a mollete con aceite, attending the Dog Show or experiencing the oldest Holy Week in the province are just some of the many activities we would like to present for you to discover.
Declared a Historical-Artistic Ensemble, the city's history is evident in each of its buildings, squares and streets. Archidona contains prehistoric remains and has been populated by the Phoenicians, Romans and Arabs, and was even the capital of the province in the 18th and 19th centuries.
MUST-SEE SIGHTS IN ARCHIDONA
MONUMENTS AND BUILDINGS
We suggest that you start your tour in the Plaza Ochavada. This square is one of the most emblematic sights in Archidona and an essential landmark of its social and cultural life. Built in 1786, it is one of the most outstanding squares in the Andalusian Baroque style.
The splendour of the Al-Andalus period can be seen in the castle and its walls. This fortification which extends along the slope of the sierra dates from the 9th century, and was rebuilt four centuries later by the first king of Granada, Ibn Al-Ahmar. The Puerta del Sol, or Gate of the Sun, is a sight not to be missed.
As we go up the hill we will encounter the shrine of La Virgen de Gracia, an example of how different cultures overlap in Archidona. This church was built over the mosque that once stood on the same site. Both edifices are visible today as one views the church.
Archidona also stands out for its convents and other forms of religious architecture. In the Las Minimas Convent we can see a very beautiful baroque doorway and a redbrick tower capped with a multi-coloured ceramic spire. The convent was built in 1551 and its church in the 18th century. The Santo Domingo Convent was founded by a figure of historical importance, the Conde de Ureña. Founded in 1531, it is today the School of Hotel and Catering of the Santo Domingo Convent.
La Iglesia de la Victoria - the Church of Victory (16th century) stands out thanks to its mannerist doorway and the beautiful image of the Dulce Nombre attributed to the famous sculptor Pedro de Mena. Next to the Escuelas Pias we find the church of Jesus the Nazarene, and we continue to the shrine of San Antonio, built in the 17th century.
To finish our tour, we recommend a visit to the Town Hall and Municipal Museum. The Museum is also known as the "edificio de la Cilla" and "Casa del Posito" because it was built by the Duke of Osuna to store grain, It is a 16th century building, very prosaic in shape, although at a later date some baroque details were added, such as the doorway and the coats of arms.
HOW TO GET TO ARCHIDONA FROM MALAGA
Archidona is just 50 km from the provincial capital, Malaga, and is situated in the comarca (county) of Nororma. If you are travelling by car, we recommend you take the A-45 motorway, then the A-92. Finally, leave the motorway via Exit 11.
Located within the municipality is the Lagunas de Archidona Nature Reserve. The reserve is home to a great variety of birds such as the grey heron, the mallard duck, and the great crested grebe.
In geographical terms, the area is bounded by the Pico del Conjuro and the sierras of Gracia and Las Grajas. In these sierras we can find the Sierra de Gracia Peri-urban Park, which extends over 35.3 hectares, and contains traces of the Roman, Arab and Christian eras.
Archidona is also part of the Gran Senda de Malaga as stage 13, which ends at Villanueva de Tapia. You will find this route fairly easy as there are no major differences of altitude between the two municipalities. Most of the route is on asphalted surfaces, tracks and stony paths.
In addition to all of these places worth visiting, Archidona has a horse-riding and pony-trekking centre: The Cortijo de las Minas. It has a stable with 20 horses and ponies, with activities for all, from beginners to advanced, horsemanship classes, equestrian courses, workshops for children, and adventure tourism activities.
Another option is the Madaura Windmill, now renovated and used for educational and leisure activities. As well as a natural environment that is second to none, this centre offers environmental and cultural activities as well as active tourism for families, groups, children and corporate events.
Since 2004, Archidona has played host to the Archidona Festival of Andalusian and Mediterranean Cinema. The festival is dedicated to audio-visual productions from Andalusia and the Mediterranean countries.
Holy Week in Archidona sees thousands of visitors flock here every year, and is without a doubt the city's most important event. It is over five hundred years old and has been officially declared a Site of National Touristic Interest of Andalusia. To enjoy magical moments, we recommend that you watch the event when the rival teams bring their "thrones" to the Plaza Ochavada. The religious fraternities are not the only players in Holy Week. There is also the traditional ""Embajá del Ángel" Every year a child dressed as an angel announces the Passion of Christ from the balcony of the Iglesia de la Victoria.
If we opt to visit Archidona several weeks before, we will find that during Lent the city is preparing for Holy Week with the Religious Fraternities' Cultural Days. Concerts, talks, round tables, the presentation of the Holy Week poster and the competitions of bands and saetas (a capella religious singing) are some of the many cultural activities that we can enjoy at this time of the year.
Apart from its religious events, Archidona also hosts its Annual Dog Show. Also officially listed as a ""Fiesta of National Interest"" it includes a host of activities that draw dog lovers from all over Spain, with beauty contests, races, games, etc.
In August it is time for the religious festival of the city's patron, the Virgen de Gracia, the main attraction of which is the romeria, a pilgrimage with horses and wagons, Andalusian style. Three months before, the image of the Virgin is carried along the inside of the city walls of Archidona on El Dia de la Oruga (Caterpillar Day), which has been celebrated since 1743.
Other important dates are the Candelarias Festival in February, and in May, San Isidro, the Cruces de Mayo and Corpus Christi. A curious feature is that on the day known as the Cabalgata de Reyes (Cavalcade of the Kings (i.e. the Magi), the children of Archidona run through the streets with tin cans on strings; a tradition the locals call ""running the cans"".
To begin to enjoy the local cuisine there is no better dish than the porra antequerana, an excellent cream of tomato soup with red pepper, garlic and the best olive oil in the world. It is served with an accompaniment of hard boiled egg, chunks of ham or tuna fish, and is simply delicious.
Other local recipes we recommend you try when you visit Archidona are maimones (garlic soup), papandujas de bacalao (exquisite cod fish cakes) and fish in escabeche sauce, the cazuela moruna (a delicious casserole containing whitebait and saffron), the olla, guisado de patatas, and of course gazpacho (one of those Spanish recipes that most fascinates foreign visitors).
Prehistoric man came to Archidona, as attested by traces found in caves in Sierra del Conjuro. The first civilisation to settle in the area, however, were the Phoenicians, who founded a city they called "Ascua" and built walls around it. The defensive line was reinforced by other rulers later on.
The Roman "Arx Domina" thrived before the Germanic invasion of Spain, and then it recovered with the arrival of the Arabs, who changed the name to "Medina Arxiduna". In the times of Al-Andalus, Archidona was one of the main cities in the region, and even became the capital of Málaga. Abd al-Rahman I was crowned here in 756. He was the last survivor of the Umayyad dynasty and established an independent branching of the Islamic Empire in the Iberian Peninsula, after the overthrow of the Umayyads from Damascus.
The late ninth and early tenth centuries were turbulent times for Archidona, courtesy of Umar ibn Hafsun and his anti-Umayyad revolt. The village was then conquered by Emir Abd Allah and annexed to the Caliphate of Córdoba. A new era of prosperity ensued, with trade and agriculture leading to economic growth. Development came to a halt again when the Muslim kingdom in the Iberian Peninsula was divided into principalities known as taifas. Internal strife led to a new period of hardship and depopulation, until the area was added to the Nasrid kingdom of Granada in 1238.
In 1410, Infant Don Ferdinand seized Antequera; other villages in the region fell with it. However, it took the Christian troops half a century to control Archidona. They succeeded only in 1462. In the late fifteenth and early sixteenth century, the village began to take the shape that has come down to us. The Convent of Santo Domingo was established in 1531; it was followed by the Convent of the Minimes twenty years later. Key sights like the Church of La Victoria or the Building of La Cilla date from those years too.
- Inhabitants (5,001-10,000)
- Historic monuments
- Inland area