Among the mountain elevations, which include the upper part of El Torcal and the beautiful gorge of El Chorro, is a very interesting stop - the town of Antequera. Antequera is one of the richest cities with historical monuments in Andalusia. The journey through this city is a journey back in time almost 5,000 years ago, starting with the Bronze Age and the local Iberians.
The time axis revolves around the rich cultural heritage of this charming city - tombs, dolmens, Roman baths, a Moorish castle, Gothic churches, Renaissance fountains and baroque bell towers. From the 7th century BC, Iberians settled in the region, whose cultural and economic ties with the Phoenicians and Greeks have been proven by many archaeological discoveries. In the last third of the first millennium BC the Iberian Peninsula became part of the Roman Empire. People quickly embraced Roman culture and Latin, and the transition to Roman rule was completely peaceful.
Like many other places in Andalusia, the current appearance of the city and its name date back to the time when Spain was part of the Roman Empire. Thus he was given the Latin name Antequera. After Antequera became part of the Kingdom of Castile, the Muslims were expelled. The city became a Catholic fortress opposite the Muslim Granada. After Granada, the last Moorish city to capitulate in 1492, Antequera began to recover from centuries of struggle, and its population increased from 2,000 to nearly 15,000 in twenty years.
Antequera managed to become an important trading city at the crossroads between Malaga in the south, Granada in the east, Cordoba in the north and Seville in the west. It is no coincidence that the city is said to be the most centrally located city in Spain, the geographical center of Andalusia.
Due to its location in Antequera, agriculture and handicrafts flourished, contributing to the city's cultural development. Antequera's recognition as the "Heart of Andalusia" of the early 16th century is not long in coming. The cityscape is also experiencing a renaissance. Many mosques and old houses were demolished, and new churches and houses were built in their place, with the oldest church in Antequera being built around 1500.
Antequera is one of the cities with the most monuments and churches in all of Andalusia. The original appearance of Antequera, which emerged before the eyes of those arriving in the city, is a medieval city, with church towers and walls and towers of an old Moorish castle. But arriving in the city and stepping into its jungles, before your eyes reveals a beautiful tapestry with different shades of streets bathed in the rays of the rising sun, and many architectural landmarks and monuments.
Stepping on the central square of Plaza de San Francisco and taking the opposite street - Santa Clara, the road leads to San Pedro - one of the Renaissance churches of Antequetera. Antequera is a compact city where all the sights are just a stone's throw away. In the Plaza del Carmen rises another remarkable church, which is a must visit. This is El Carmen with exquisite frescoes from the XVI-XVII century Mudejar cell ceilings, with the most impressive masterfully carved altarpiece, considered one of the most exquisite Baroque works of art in Andalusia.
The Calle Infante Don Fernando is the main street of Antequera, crossing the city from east to west. It is home to spectacular and dignified houses, and the architecture of historic buildings and modern buildings reveals the incredible coexistence of styles from the 16th to the 21st century.
The 16th-century Arco de los Gigantes leads to the Colegiata de Santa Maria la Mayor, an early example of Andalusian Renaissance architecture. In the center of Antequera, an elegant square, the Palacio de Najera, is home to one of the many remaining noble houses turned into the Museo Municipal today.
Approaching the San Juan de Dios Hospital, the people feels the harmony and gentle elegance exuding from the park-like courtyard. The building temporarily functioned as a town hall until part of the buildings of a Franciscan monastery, namely the Consistory House, was restored.
The center of Antequera - San Sebastian Square, is inspired by the Renaissance fountain and the towering cathedral of the same name. Arriving at the highest point of the city, the remains of a Moorish fortress can be seen from afar. Passing through the Arch of the Giants, the visitor is left breathless because before his eyes the whole city is revealed like the palm of his hand: his white houses rolling down the hill, whose tiled roofs are cut by about 30 church towers and beautiful meadows in all shades of green.
The surreal landscape of El Torcal de Antequera - eroded by bizarre forms of limestone rocks, and the three dolmens - Cueva de Menga, Cueva de Viera and Romeral, outside the city, as well as the Roman bronze statue of a boy from the I century, are necessary additions to be categorical formed the decision that Antequera is the city in which one has something to see and enjoy.

Rating 5 from 1 voted Antequera, Spain