|Size: 810 Km?
Residents known as: Antequeranos
Monuments: Church of San Jos? y Bel?n; Colegiata Santa Mar?a la Mayor; Palace of N?jera; the Dolmen of Menga.
Geographical situation: In the centre of the Antequera plain, 45 kilometres from Malaga.
Tourist information: Municipal Tourist Office, Pza. de San Sebasti?n, 7.
Phone: 952 702 505 Fax: 952 702 505
Antequera, 45 kilometres from Malaga city, is reached by taking the main autov?a out of the capital towards Granada, watching out for the sign at Las Pedrizas. The valley opens out before us as we descend down into it, and Antequera is just off to our left on the road to Cordoba. This is a large plain rich in cultivation and with many typical Andalusian-style farmhouses surrounded by olive trees and cereal crops. The entrance to the town is close to La Pe?a de los Enamorados. With more than 800 square kilometres, this is the biggest municipality in the province of Malaga, bordering the province of Cordoba to the north and with the Mountains of Malaga to the south. The El Torcal mountain range is closest to the town itself, and with the passage of time, erosion has made this area into one of the most interesting and beautiful in all of Andaluc?a. Shell and marine-life fossils have been discovered in the valley, which tells us that the area was covered in water millions of years ago. The Pe?a de los Enamorados is left behind us as we head into the town and this hill is rich in legend and history. One legend tells of the bodies of two lovers buried at the foot of the hill, he Christian and she Moorish, who had fled to the peak to escape from their angry families, and finally threw themselves off in a suicide pact. True or not is unimportant, because this hill, bordered by the river Guadalhorce, arouses the stuff that legends are made of in all of us. The privileged situation of Antequera, in the geographical centre of Andaluc?a, had made it one of the most important towns between upper and lower Andaluc?a, Granada and Seville. It is a modern town these days, complete with all the services and shopping facilities one would expect in a large town, but it also has a past rich in culture and history that is, perhaps, unequalled in any other southern Spanish town of its size. There are many archaeological remains from the Bronze Age, such as the dolmens at Menga, Viera and El Romeral, all burial grounds of the highest order. It is believed that the Iberians, the Tartessus tribes, the Phoenicians and the Carthaginians all settled here at one time or another, and Carthaginian remains have been found at Cerro Le?n, where the battle between the Romans and the Carthaginians of Asdr?bal took place. The Moors later named the place Medina Antecaria. After the conquest of Seville and Ja?n, Antequera took on great strategic importance as a military frontier fortification. It was conquered in 1410 by the infante Don Fernando, known in the history books as Don Fernando de Antequera. The 19th century was tragic for Antequera. Its population was decimated by the Napoleonic invasion and the yellow fever of 1804, and it was not until 1830 that a prosperous middle class emerged as a result of the growing textile industry. This sector was to suffer once more in the beginning of the 20th century. Antequera is now a modern town that is ideally placed to receive tourists, in which history still lives in its numerous monuments and historical buildings.
Places to Eat
|Mes?n Restaurante El Escribano. Specialising in traditional cooking. Plaza de los Escribanos, 11. Tel: 952 706 533.
Restaurante El Farito. Specialising in breakfasts and home cooking. Maria Cristina complex. Tel: 952 700 270. Antequera.
Restaurante El Angelote. Specialising in potato stews, Antequera porra, mushroom omelette. Plaza del Coso Viejo (beside the Municipal Museum). Tel 952 70 34 65.
Restaurante La Espuela. Plaza de Toros de Antequera. Tel: 952 703 424. Antequera.
Bar Carrera. Specialising in traditional breakfasts and varied tapas. C/Carrera, 18. Tel: 952 841 878.
Mes?n Restaurante Finca Eslaba. Carretera de C?rdoba, 123. Tel: 952 844 934 and 952 845 382.
Restaurante El Faro. Specialising in wood-barbecued meats. Autov?a, 92, Km.156. Tel/Fax.952840367.
Venta Las Delicias. Specialising in game. Ctra.las Pedrizas, M?laga-Granada. Tel. 952 742 432.
Bar-Restaurante Madrona. Specialising in Antequera porra, gazpacho and loin steaks. C/Calzada, 25. Antequera.Tel: 952 840 014.
Caser?o de San Benito. Specialising in typical dishes of the region. Ctra. M?laga-C?rdoba, Km.108 (Alameda cross-roads) Tel: 952 111 103.
Places to Sleep
|National Parador (3*). Paseo Garc?a Olmo, s/n. Tel. 952 840 261. Fax. 952 841 312
Hotel-Restaurante Las Villas de Antikaria(3*). Avda.Cruz Blanca,3.Tel/Fax 952 844 899 and 952 845 621. Internet
Hotel-La Posada del Torcal(3*). Partido de Jeva. Villanueva de la Concepci?n. Tel. 952 031 177. Fax: 952 031 006. Internet
Hotel Papabellotas (3*). C/Encarnaci?n. Tel.952 705 045 Fax: 952 704 842.
Hotel Las Pedrizas (2*). Ctra. Madrid-M?laga Km.527. Tel.952 730 850 Fax: 952 730 852.
Hotel-Restaurante La Sierra(4*). Autov?a A-45 Km. 134. Tel/Fax 952 845 410 Fax: 952 845 265.
Hotel Castilla(2*). C/Infante Don Fernando, 40. Tel: 952 843 248.
Hotel-Restaurante Lozano. Avda. Principal, 2. Industrial Estate. Antequera. Tel/Fax: 952 842 712.
Hotel Molino del Saydo(2*). Autov?a A-92, Salida 142. Tel: 952 740 475.
Hotel Col?n(1*). C/Infante Don Fernando, 31. Antequera. Tel: 952 840 010.
Nuevo Hotel Infante(1*). C/Infante Don Fernando, 5. Antequera. Tel: 952 700 293.
Hostal-Restaurante El Pol?gono. C/Efebo, 8. Industrial Estate. Antequera. Tel: 952 845 216.
Hostal-Restaurante Manzanito. Pza. de San Sebasti?n. Antequera. Tel: 952 841 023.
Hostal La Yedra. Ctra. Sevilla-M?laga. Tel: 952 842 287 Fax 952 842 287.
Hostal Bella Vista. C/Cuesta de Archidona, 27. Tel: 952 841 997.
Hostal El N?mero Uno. C/Lucena, 40. Tel: 952 843 134.
Hostal Reyes. C/Tercia, 4. Tel: 952 841 028.
Pensi?n Toril. C/Toril, 3. Antequera. Tel/Fax: 952 843 184.
Pensi?n Madrona. C/Calzada, 31. Tel: 952 840 014.
One of the most traditional festivals in Antequera is Holy Week, during which the townspeople turn out in force to celebrate the death and resurrection of Christ in a tradition that goes back to Baroque times. Very popular too is the Spring Feria, which takes place from the end of May to?the beginning of June. This is, in fact, a type of preparation for the bigger Real Feria in August, which attracts people from far and wide. In both ferias there is top-level bullfighting.
|The two best-known dishes of Antequera are enjoyed far beyond the borders of this municipality: the traditional Porra Antequerana, a dish based on bread, tomato and pepper that is eaten in summer, and the dessert known as bienmesaba, made from white of egg and syrup, both quite delicious at any time of the year. Then there are the famous molletes, bread rolls that are usually eaten for breakfast with meat or olive oil. At Christmas the people of Antequera like to eat the mantecados, a type of cookie made with olive oil, and the traditionally-made alfajores, puff pastries.|
Apart from being the biggest municipality in the province of Malaga, Antequera is also one of the richest in its variety of tapa on offer. One can choose between the delicious rice-based dishes, the spare rubs, the fried egg plants, the potato stews, the Antequera porra and many more. The area is famous for its meat produce, those highly flavoured sausages that come in all shapes and sizes.
The tapa has an interesting history, whose story goes like this: in days gone by, the workers would head for the nearest bar after a long day?s work in the fields, and there would drink fairly large quantities of alcohol. This has an adverse effect on their capacity to continue working the next day, and so one of the Spanish kings of the time came up with the idea of providing them with some kind of solid food to accompany the alcohol and alleviate its effects. A small piece of food with every glass, he thought, might be the answer, and it was. At first the portions were of slices of sausage or meat, becoming in time known as ?tapas?, and soon all types of delicious titbits were served with the glass of wine.