Size: 37.50 Km?
Population: 4,073
Residents known as: Cuevachos
Monuments: Church of San Marcos Evangelista, Hermitage of the Virgen del Carmen, Municipal Archaeological Museum and Cave of Belda.
Geographical situation: In the Antequera area, bordering with Cordoba, at 360 metres above sea level.
Tourist information: Town Hall, Plaza Luis Armi??n, 32. 29210.
Phone: 952 728 002/952 728 500 Fax: 952 728 522.

The municipality of Cuevas de San Marcos is situated in the northern part of the Antequera region, bordering on the province of Cordoba. The town itself is 360 above sea level and is surrounded by the Sierra del Camorro mountains. The higher areas of land here are rocky and bare, contrasting sharply with the olive groves that cover the lower valley. The most attractive area in the municipality is between the town and the Camorro de Cuevas Altas, especially the area around the Iznajar reservoir which has pine trees and ancient oaks among the olive and almond groves, and the small market gardens.
Pre-historic remains found in the Belda cave tell us that the area has been populated for a long time, and was, in fact, an important enclave in Roman and Moorish times. Flint axes, lance points and other stone utensils in the interior of the cave give us some idea of what life was like for these people millions of years ago. Also found here were fossilised human remains and an image in a place known as Las Cruces. At a later period the Iberians settled here, and were in contact with the Phoenicians on the coast from the 7th century B.C. Belda was an important place during Roman times, to judge from pots and coins from the Lower Imperial period found in the area. There is also evidence of the Visigoth presence here, but it was not until the arrival of the Moors that the settlement became an important urban centre. Remains of their presence includes the Cerro del Camorro, the fortress that was built following the insurrection against the emirate of Corcoba. The quashing of the revolt left the area de-populated, and it did not recover until the 12th century. The Moors were expelled definitively in 1424 by Pedro Narv?ez, governor of Antequera. The new settlers converted the land to cattle breeding, and the town grew in size to such an extent that it separated from Antequera in 1806.

Bar Los Faroles. Specialising in varied tapas. C/Pablo Iglesias, 29. Tel: 952 728 478.
Bar-Caf? Desir?. Specialising in meals and varied tapas. Urb.Los Llanos, 5. Tel: 952 728 253.
Bar Morana. Specialising in kid and roast lamb. Avda. Morana, 67. Tel: 952 728 108.
Bar El Estrecho. Specialising in kidney and hot tapas. C/Juan Carlos I, 5. Tel: 952 728 004.
Bar Los Almendros. Specialising in varied tapas. Ctra. del Pantano, 28. Tel: 952 728 662.
Bar-Restaurante Belda. Specialising in roast chicken, rabbit in garlic, canelones rossini and lasagnes. Ctra. del Pantano, 42. Tel: 952 728 301.
Mes?n Mangas. Specialising in traditional home cooking. Avda. Andaluc?a s/n. Tel: 952 728 427.
Cafeter?a Chaplin. Ctra. del Pantano, 23.
Cafeter?a El Torrenzo. Specialising in desserts and salads. Pza. Luis de Armi??n, 3. Tel: 952 728 198.
Bar ?xido. Specialising in fried dishes. C/ Campillos s/n.
Venta Vaqueros. Specialising in "plato vaquero", rabbit and cooked seafood rolls. Ctra. del Pantano.
Bar Montes. Specialising in roast meats. Pantano de Iznajar.
Bar La Barbacoa. Specialising in seafood and roast meats. Pantano de Iznajar.

The main feria in Cuevas takes place in August, when friends and families from far and near get together to enjoy the days and nights of music and dancing in the streets. Another important festive event is Las Candelas, taking place on the night of December 7th, in which choral groups sing around bonfires and candles are lit in the streets. This festival is celebrated at the same time in the other towns and villages in the Axarqu?a region, as is the festival of the Virgen del Carmen on July 16th. A rather curious festival celebrated in this town ? in reality, two festivals ? takes place on the Thursdays before and after the Carnival, in honour of the godfathers in the town on the first Thursday and the godmothers on the second Thursday. Carnival time itself is one of fun, fancy costumes and singing. The Domingo de Pi?ata (Games Sunday) is held on the Sunday following Carnival, with organised games and competitions for the young people. Holy Week is an important festive time too, with processions on Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Sunday. The festival in honour of the town?s patron saint, San Marcos, takes place on April 25th.


The main feria in Cuevas takes place in August, when friends and families from far and near get together to enjoy the days and nights of music and dancing in the streets. Another important festive event is Las Candelas, taking place on the night of December 7th, in which choral groups sing around bonfires and candles are lit in the streets. This festival is celebrated at the same time in the other towns and villages in the Axarqu?a region, as is the festival of the Virgen del Carmen on July 16th. A rather curious festival celebrated in this town ? in reality, two festivals ? takes place on the Thursdays before and after the Carnival, in honour of the godfathers in the town on the first Thursday and the godmothers on the second Thursday. Carnival time itself is one of fun, fancy costumes and singing. The Domingo de Pi?ata (Games Sunday) is held on the Sunday following Carnival, with organised games and competitions for the young people. Holy Week is an important festive time too, with processions on Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Sunday. The festival in honour of the town?s patron saint, San Marcos, takes place on April 25th.

There is great variety in the local cuisine in Cuevas. One of the most traditional dishes is the relleno de carnaval, which is a sausage made of meat, ham, egg bread and parsley. The porra (cold soup) made here is similar to the porra antequerana, as is the salmorejo and the pork products. The most curious item made here is the San Marcos bread roll, which is a figure made of dough and baked with an egg inside. The carrot salad is made with carrots grown locally, and local products are used too in the sobreusa, the ingredients of which include beans, eggs and coriander. The breads and pastries made in the town are well known for their excellence. In the field of craftwork, local products include bulrush chair seats and painted fans.

 
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Villages of
The Axarquia