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A visit to this historical Andalucian town is a journey almost 5,000 years back in time, beginning in the prehistoric Bronze Age, with the native Iberians, and testified by this fascinating city's profusion of burial mounds, dolmens, Roman baths, a Moorish Castle, Gothic churches, Renaissance fountains and baroque bell towers.

The first sighting of Antequera in the distance is that of a typical medieval town, with the spires of her many churches and the walls and towers of the great Moorish fortress silhouetted against the sky, and, spread out on the valley below, rich farmlands irrigated by the Guadalhorce River. For centuries this has been one of Andalucia's richest farmlands, and is currently a leading producer of asparagus, cereals and olives. In summer its fields turn bright orange with blossoming sunflowers.

The town and valley are overlooked by an enormous crag of limestone, 880 metres high, called La Peña de los Enamorados, or "The Cliff of the Lovers". The name comes from a local legend about an impossible love affair between a young Christian man from Antequera and a beautiful Moorish girl from nearby Archidona, who were driven to the top of the cliff by the Moorish soldiers, where, rather than renounce their love, they chose to hurl themselves into the abyss.

One of Antequera's most impressive sights are its dolmens, located in a park to the west of the town, the most spectacular of which is the Cueva de la Menga. These megalithic collective tombs, made of huge slabs of rock, are the remains of the original Iberian peoples and date back 5,000 years. There are many such dolmens in Andalucia, but none as large as the Cueva de la Menga; when it was excavated in the last century, many hundreds of skeletons were found in its inner chamber.

Other fascinating monuments to be seen in the town are the recently excavated Roman baths, the magnificent Renaissance church of Santa Maria la Mayor Church, the Church of Nuestra Señora del Carmen, the 19th century bullring, and the Arch of the Giants, built in 1585, which leads up to the 13th century Moorish castle.

We recommend the Convento de las Descalzas, the Barefoot Carmelitas, on the square of the same name. Inside the heavy wooden entrance, there is a small counter with a display of products and prices, next to a revolving wooden door. You pull a rope which rings a bell, and then hear a woman's voice say "Sí", after which you give your order and place your money on the tray. The hidden nun then spins the tray around, with the pastries emerging from the door


ANTEQUERA ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
USEFUL ADDRESSES TRANSPORT
Tourist Oficce: 952 709 505
E-mail:
Málaga Train Station (RENFE): Information (902 240 202), Customer service (952 128 267)
Town Hall: C/Infante D. Fernando, 70. 29200 Málaga. Tel: 952 70 81 00 Bus Station: 952 84 19 57
Local Police: 952 708 104 Radio-Taxi: 952 84 70 08
Health centre
Emergencies (24 hours): 952 70 27 26
Appointments:
952 84 34 44
Hospital: 952 84 44 11
 
Casa de la Cultura: Málaga Airport: 952 048 804/952 048 844
IBERIA: 952 136 166/952 136 167
Post Oficce: 952 842 083
LEISURE TIME AND ACTIVITIES HISTORICAL MONUMENTS
NOCHE FLAMENCA DE SANTA MARÍA. August. Site: Plaza de los Escribanos- Real Colegiata de San Sebastian. Tel: 952 704 052. Free Entrance Museo Municipal de Antequera: Palacio Najera / Plaza de Coso Viejo s/n. Tel: 952704021. Open from Monday to Friday from 10,00 to 15,30 h.; Saturday from 10,00 h. to 13,30 h.; Sunday from 11,00 to 13,00 h. Tickets: Ptas. 200.
HOTELS LOCAL FEASTS AND TRADITIONS
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Feria de la primavera: May 31th, June 1th, 2th.
Fiestas de carnaval: February
Noche flamenca de Sta. María: End of july
Ntra. Sra. de los Remedios: Septeber 8th.
Procesiones y pasos:
Holy Week
Real feria de agosto: August, Firts and second week
Semana cultural: Variable