Antequera – known as “the heart of Andalusia”, because of its central location among Malaga, Granada, Cordoba and Seville. It is noted for two large Bronze Age dolmens.
The town is small and from a glance not so different from all the other mountainous Andalusian ‘’white’’ cities. But it has a special aura, maybe because it is surrounded by wonderful mountains with long time history.
In the last quarter of the 1st as in many other places in Andalusia, the current city plan and its name originate from when Spain was part of the Roman Empire; the Latin name of the city was Antikaria. Under the Romans, the city continued to be an important commercial centre, especially known for the quality of its olive oil. The Arab Muslim invasion of the Iberian Peninsula began in 711. Antikaria was conquered around 716, and was renamed Antaquira. . Its full name was Medina Antaquira, the word Medianh or Madinah meaning “city” in Arabic. For about two hundred years, Medina Antaquira was repeatedly attacked by Christian kings during the Reconquista, and on September 16, 1410 an army led by Ferdinand I of Aragon conquered the city. This gave Ferdinand, who was crowned King of Aragon in 1412, the title “Ferdinand of Antequera” (Don Fernando de Antequera), and the main street still carries his name: CalleInfante Don Fernando.
Antequera became an important commercial town at the crossroads between Málaga to the south, Granada to the east, Córdoba to the north and Seville to the west.
In 1504, the humanist university of the Real Colegiata de Santa María la Mayor was founded; it became a meeting place for important writers and scholars of the Spanish Renaissance. A school of poets arose during the 16th century that included Pedro Espinosa, Luis Martín de la Plaza and Cristobalina Fernández de Alarcón.
Even now the authentic churches stand tall – architectural monuments of its time:
Church Real Colegiata de Santa María la Mayor (1514–1550), a national monument built in a transition style between the late Gothic and the Renaissasance ones.
Church Real Colegiata de San Sebastián, built from 1548., Convent of Madre de Dios de Monteagudo (1747–1761), Church of Santiago (1522),etc.
To navigate the narrow streets of the town is near impossible, and you really need to know where to try the dish known as ‘’Porra Antequera’’.
We offer to visit a unique place along the way known as –‘’Antequera Torcal” – a restaurant and museum ‘’Molino Blanco’’. About 5 kilometres from Antequera town, you can find a unique building – a museum of antique household utensils and tools, offering an authentic homemade kitchen for visitors.
On our visit we order the “Porra Antequera” – a traditional cold soup and an oxtail meal known as ‘’Rabo de Toro’’. We were not disappointed – the food was delicious and unique, just like the environment.
After the meal we continue our journey on the beautiful mountainous landscape. Direction: El Torcal de Antequera is a nature reserve in the Sierra del Torcal mountain range located south of the city of Antequera, in theprovince of Málaga off the A45 road in Andalusia, Spain. It is known for its unusual landforms, and is one of the most impressive landscapes inEurope. The area was designated a Natural Site of National Interest in July 1929, and a Natural Park Reserve of about 17 square kilometres was created in October 1978.