Antequera

Known as the crossroads of Andalucía, Antequera sees plenty of travellers pass through but few lingering visitors..The town’s foundations are substantial: two Bronze Age burial mounds guard its northern approach and Moorish fables haunt its grand Alcazaba. The undoubted highlight here, though, is the opulent Spanish-baroque style that gives the town its character and that the civic authorities have worked hard to restore and maintain. Antequera is often referred to as the ‘Florence of Andalucía’.

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. Spread out in the valley below lie rich farmlands irrigated by the Guadalhorce River. For centuries this has been one of Andalucía’s most fertile areas, and is currently a leading producer of asparagus, cereals and olives. In summer, its fields turn brilliant yellow with sunflowers.

Since July 2016, Antequera has an archaeological gem to celebrate: a site that is home to ancient dolmens, megalithic tombs built from massive stones believed to be over 5,000 years old. Three of these well-preserved megalithic monuments (Menga, Viera and El Romeral), along with the nearby mountain ranges of El Torcal and la Peña de los Enamorados were declared Unesco World Heritage sites. These three tombs, buried beneath their original earth tumuli, are one of the most remarkable architectural works of European prehistory and one of the most important examples of European Megalithism.

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