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Member of the Federation of British Estate Agents in Spain

     Goulbourn Associates
     Edf Iris, Avda Gamonal
     Benalmadena Costa
     Malaga, 29630

Welcome to Goulbourn Associates - with more than 16 years experience of the property market on
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Archidon town square

Archidona is situated in the northern part of Malaga province, in the Antequera administrative area 20 kilometres from that town, and it borders on the province of Granada. The town itself lies at the foot of the Sierra de Gracia, which is 943 metres above sea level, and is surrounded by the Conjuro peak, 1,013 metres high, and the 971 metre-high Sierra de las Grajas. Its privileged position has resulted in it having been settled at various points throughout its early history, the proof of which is in the various names the place has had over the centuries. The first tribe we have some evidence of was the Turdulo tribe, around 1,500 B.C. The Phoenicians came later and called the place "Escua", which means "The Principal Head", and it is believed to be these who began building the town walls. When finished, these made the town one of the most difficult to conquer, and during the Roman period it was known as "Arx Dómina". The Moors finally named it "Medina Arxiduna", from which it gets its present name. It was in Archidona that one of the most brilliant eras in Spanish history began: the Omeya dynasty in Andalucía, and it was here too, at the end of the 9th century and beginning of the 10th century, that the rebellion of the Muladíes and the Berbers took place, more usually known as the Mozarab rebellion, under the leadership of the Muladi Omar Ben Hafsun. Peace came back to the town under Abd el-Rahman III, first Caliph of Cordoba. The influence of the Cordobans was decisive for the well-being of Archidona, and commerce, industry and agriculture flourished. Following the political disorder of the Taife reign, Archidona and Antequera went into decline, and the walls of Archidona were eventually destroyed. The castle was conquered from the decadent Granada rulers in 1462, and the town we known today began to take shape in the 16th century. The first important urban centre was the Villa Baja, built on the initiative of the Ureña family, having achieved the sort of political power that had been enjoyed by the people of the Villa Alta. The new colonists settled in the calle Carrera district, which was always the focal point of the town. The hermitages of Santa Catalina (later Convento de la Victoria), Columna and El Nazareno were built about that time.

Places to be visited
Plaza Ochavada
Situated right in the centre of the town, the Plaza Ochavada is one of Andalucía¹s jewels of Baroque architecture. It was built in 1786 by the local master builders Antonio González Sevillano and Francisco Astorga Frías, who proposed an original structure octagonal in form of French origin, in which the common Andalusian patio style was incorporated into a classical style. In the interior one can see the marvellous harmony of red brick and white walls, a common feature of present-day design in the town. Another sight worth seeing is the Plaza de la Victoria, the centre of life in the town. Here there are three important buildings: the Town Hall, the old granary, or Cilla, with its stone Baroque entrance and the Iglesia de la Victoria.
Religious architecture
The centre of Archidona has many religious buildings, mostly from the 18th century. This was due in great part to its position as an important crossroads. One of the oldest is the Hermitage of the Virgen de Gracia, dedicated to the devotion of the patron saint. The building was originally a Moorish mosque, the only one of its type still in existence in the province, and it was adapted for use as a church after the re-conquest. The Church of the Nazarene and the Escuelas Pías was built in the middle of the 18th century. The most interesting part of this building is the main entrance and the clock tower. The church has an exceptional carving in the style of the Granada school from the 16th century. The Church of Santa Ana was the first parish church of the Villa Baja, built at the beginning of the 16th century and re-constructed in the 19th century. Of particular interest is the triangular tower and the rich decoration of the interior. And finally, the Convento de las Mínimas, still used by the religious order, has a splendid Baroque brick tower, crowned with a spire in green and white ceramic.
Church of Santa Ana
The conquering Christian forces took Archidona in 1462, establishing themselves in the Moorish quarter of the town and using the mosque as a church devoted to Santa María. From the beginning of the 16th century the population increased considerably and the building was extended to form the Villa Baja, present-day centre of the town. The church in the Villa Alta was not big enough to accommodate the rising population of the early 16th century, and work began on the construction of the Church of Santa Ana in an open area where the Town Hall building was also erected. This resulted in the life of the town centring around this area from that time on. The Church of Santa Ana was built in the late Gothic style, with a single nave covered by Gothic vaults, now destroyed. The main altar area, one of the few architectural elements surviving from the original structure, was built in a polygonal shape covered in a star-shaped vault. The sacristy was added in the 18th century, built onto the main altar area, and this has a square shape with a central pillar from which semicircular arches support the walls. In the third part of the 18th century too the choir as built at the foot of the central nave. The building fell into ruin during the following century and in 1883 Carlos Sánchez de la Fuente y Escovar, a resident of Archidona, donated the funds towards its repair. A commemorative stone in the sacristy bears his name. Two lateral naves were added, vaulted in a style that is reminiscent of the original Gothic style of the building. The original Gothic ceiling was lost in the raising of the central nave to the level of the altar area, the supporting pillars squared in the reinforcing needed to support the extra weight, and thus making the original veiling vault more decorative than useful. The main feature of the inside of the church is the huge altar-piece, similar in style to those of the first half of the 18th century, although this one was probably made towards the end of the century when the choir was built. It was made in gilded wood and decorated in asymmetric designs, its three sections reminiscent of the altar-pieces in the Convento del Carmen in Antequera. The base supports a huge, highly decorated arch, designed to fit in with the Gothic structure of the entire altar area. The iconography is very simple: the top section shows the dove of the Holy Spirit with the Child Maria being instructed by her mother, Santa Ana, for whom the church is named. The images are small sculptures from the 16th century, recycled, so to speak, in this altarpiece, and situated in the central niche. Below this there is a small temple to store the Host, occupied in our day by the Virgen del Rosario. On both sides there are sculptures of the apostles Peter and Paul, as witnesses to the central theme. A large canopy covers the entire piece, occupying the entire chapel area and painted in geometric and floral motifs.
Buttresses support a triangular brick bell-tower on the outside, in the original 16th century style. This was built in two separate sections, steeply roofed in tiles. The entrance is of stone, from the last part of the 18th century, and is gratifyingly simple in design. A canopied arch sits over Doric columns supported by a high base with a pediment decorated in a wreath and a papal coat-of-arms. The pediment is topped by pinnacles on both sides with a cross in the centre. Openings in the front and top of the facade complete the whole, with a small window on the very top that gives the entire design a Gothic flavour.
Feria del Perro
The Feria del Perro, the Dog Fair, is now in its eighth edition, and has been declared as being of National Tourist Interest. In the first week of June, more than 25,000 people turn up to see the exhibitions, competitions and other activities in which more than 4,000 dogs participate.

Where to eat
Restaurante Central. Sea-food grills. Tel: 952 71 48 11.
Mesón La Estación. Rural mesón. Specialising in grills and country cooking. Old Muelle Estación. Reservations: 952 71 76 06. Estación de Salinas.
Restaurante Escua. Traditional home cooking. Meats and fish cooked in a wood oven. Ctra. Jerez-Cartagena Km. 176. Archidona. Tel: 952 714 376.
Restaurante Asador Las Viñas. Specialising in meats roasted in a wood oven. Typical home-made deserts. Ctra. Jerez-Cartagena Km. 181. Archidona. Tel: 952 714 941.
* One can also make a trip through the town centre by the "Ruta del Tapeo", the Tapa Route, visiting the bars along the way.

Where to sleep
Hotel Escua (2*). Ctra. Granada - Sevilla Km. 176 . Tel: 952 714 376.
Hostal Las Rejas. Industrial Estate. 952 714 468.
Hotel Central. C/Nueva . Tel: 952 714 013.
Hostal Las Palomas. Tel: 952 714 326.

Archidona mountains

The most important festival in Archidona is undoubtedly Holy Week, the Semana Santa. Here the very best floats are made, with top quality artwork in the statues carried through the streets at this time. Other big festive events are the carnival in February, the Feria del Perro in June and the big August Feria, in honour of the Virgen de Gracia.
Among the most typical dishes for which Archidona is well-known are the cazuela moruna (Moorish casserole), the egg stew, the porra archidonesa, the sopa ochavada and the gachas de mosto. Other well-known delicacies include the cookies known as bollos de manteca, the doughnuts, the curiously named pestiños (pestiño translated as "plain girl") and the traditional desserts of the area, one of which - the "dulces de las monjas mínimas" - is named after the nuns in the order of the same name.
Archidona is not only a beautiful and historic town, but is also rich in natural surroundings, allowing for rural tourism at its best and a full range of trekking, cycling and general mountain activities. There are two nature trails worth noting in particular: the Hoz del Arroyo Marín and the Lagunas (lakes) de Archidona. One reaches the Hoz del Arroyo Marín, a tributary of the Guadalhorce, by the road towards Villanueva del Trabuco, the L-222, taking a smaller road that veers off at the quarry and follows the course of the river. There is a barbecue and camping area at the Cortijo Pilatos, and it is at this point that the river runs fast through pine forest and rich vegetation. The Lagunas Grande y Chica (Big and Small Lakes) of Archidona have been officially declared a nature reserve of Andalucía. It is a humid area of salt water, rich in sulphates and of high ecological value.

Alhaurin de la Torre - Antequera - Archidona - Benahavis - Benalmadena - Cadiz - Campillos - Estepona - Fuengirola - Gibraltar - Golf - Granada - Malaga - Marbella - Mijas - Mollina - Nerja - Pizarra - Ronda - Things to do Benalmadena - Torremolinos

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