Basic data
Size: 810 Km²
Population: 40.000
Residents known as: Antequeranos
Monuments: Church of San José y Belén; Colegiata Santa María la Mayor; Palace of Nájera; 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 Sebastián, 7.
952 702 505 Fax: 952 702 505

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Church of San José

Antequera, 45 kilometres from Malaga city, is reached by taking the main autovía 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 Peña 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 Andalucía. 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 Peña 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 Andalucía, had made it one of the most important towns between upper and lower Andalucía, 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 León, where the battle between the Romans and the Carthaginians of Asdrúbal took place. The Moors later named the place Medina Antecaria. After the conquest of Seville and Jaén, 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 be visited
Route 1 The Dolmen Complex
Antequera has the oldest dolmen group in Europe, the Dolmen de Menga, with
the Viera and the El Romeral completing the complex. The size of the stones used in these structures is truly amazing. Route 2 Churches and Convents
There are about thirty religious buildings in Antequera, between churches
and convents. The most important of these are the Real Colegiata de Santa María de la Mayor and the Church of San Sebastián. This latter one was built in the Renaissance style, as were the churches of San Juan and San Pedro. In the Baroque style we have the churches of El Carmen, los Remedios, Santiago, Madre de Dios, San José, Belén and San Juan de Dios. The economic and social advances made in Antequera during the Renaissance and Baroque periods meant the establishment of a large number of religious orders in the town at that time, among them the Carmelites, the Dominicans, the Augustines and many more. Various order of monks too set up house here, as we can see in the monasteries of San Zoilo, in the Gothic style, and the Iglesia Real del Monasterio (San Francisco), now a national monument. The Palacio Consistorial was a monastery belonging to the Order of the Padres Terceros in the 17th and 18th centuries. The Convento de San Agustín, in whose church there are architectural elements from three different centuries, is another important building to be visited in Antequera.
Route 3 Ancestral Homes
The wealth of ancestral homes in the town is evidence of the economic well
being of the place in Renaissance and Baroque times. The present-day Municipal Museum was once the Palace of Nájera, one of the most important in the town, situated between calles Cantareros, Tercia, Laguna and Lucena, all in the Baroque style. Other important ancestral homes are the Casa del Marqués de la Peña, with its urban Castillian fortress, towers at the corners and various Mudejar elements; the Casa de la Marquesa de las Escalonias, with an interesting mannerist entrance; the Casa de los Colarte, with a Baroque entrance, now the Provincial Government Museum; the Casa del Barón de Sabasona, one of the most original of the frame facade houses typical of the town; the Casa del Marqués de Villadarías, with a three-part doorway made in warm reddish stone from Torcal, and the Casa de los Serrailler, built in 1929 to a neo-Baroque design by architect Aníbal González.
Torcal de Antequera
El Torcal is a Nature Park of 11.7 sq. kms with one of the most curious
limestone formations in all of Europe. The origin of this lies in the fact that the area was covered in sea-water, about 150 million years ago. Natural erosion has carved the landscape into rock shapes known as "The Screw", allowing the imagination to create what one wants out of it, whethern it be a fantastic castle, a human or animal shape or anything else. There is also a large variety of plant life here, with 664 different species. And with 116 different species of fauna in the area, between vertebrates, reptiles, amphibians, birds and mammals like the fox and the mountain goat, this is an authentic natural zoo. Reception Centre: 952 225 800 (closed on Mondays).
Municipal Museum. Plaza del Coso Viejo, s/n. Tel: 952 704 051. Closed on
Mondays. Tuesday to Friday timetable: 10 to 1:30 and 4 to 6 p.m., open Saturdays from 10 to 1 and Sundays and festive days from 11 to 1.30 p.m.
Bullfighting Museum. Plaza de Toros. Tel: 952 702 676. From 10 a 1.30 p.m.,
Saturdays, Sundays and festive days.
Convento de Las Descalzas Museum. Tel: 952 841 959. 
Casa-Museo de la Diputación. C/Maderuelo, 18. Tel: 952 840 561. 
Where to eat

Mesón 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.
Bar Carrera. Specialising in traditional breakfasts and varied tapas.
C/Carrera, 18. Tel: 952 841 878.
Mesón Restaurante Finca Eslaba. Carretera de Córdoba, 123. Tel: 952 844 934
and 952 845 382.
Restaurante El Faro. Specialising in wood-barbecued meats. Autovía, 92,
Km.156. Tel/Fax.952840367. 
Venta Las Delicias. Specialising in game. Ctra.las Pedrizas, Málaga-Granada.
 Tel. 952 742 432. 
Bar-Restaurante Madrona. Specialising in Antequera porra, gazpacho and loin
steaks. C/Calzada, 25. Antequera.Tel: 952 840 014. 
Caserío de San Benito. Specialising in typical dishes of the region. Ctra.
Málaga-Córdoba, Km.108 (Alameda cross-roads) Tel: 952 111 103. 
Where to sleep
National Parador (3*). Paseo García 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
Concepción. Tel. 952 031 177. Fax: 952 031 006. Internet
Hotel Papabellotas (3*). C/Encarnación. Tel.952 705 045 Fax: 952 704 842.
Hotel Las Pedrizas (2*). Ctra. Madrid-Málaga Km.527. Tel.952 730 850 Fax:
952 730 852. 
Hotel-Restaurante La Sierra(4*).
Autovía 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*). Autovía A-92, Salida 142. Tel: 952 740 475.
Hotel Colón(1*). C/Infante Don Fernando, 31. Antequera. Tel: 952 840 010.
Nuevo Hotel Infante(1*). C/Infante Don Fernando, 5. Antequera. Tel: 952 700
Hostal-Restaurante El Polígono. C/Efebo, 8. Industrial Estate. Antequera.
Tel: 952 845 216.
Hostal-Restaurante Manzanito. Pza. de San Sebastián. Antequera. Tel: 952 841
Hostal La Yedra. Ctra. Sevilla-Málaga. Tel: 952 842 287 Fax 952 842 287.
Hostal Bella Vista. C/Cuesta de Archidona, 27. Tel: 952 841 997. 
Hostal El Número Uno. C/Lucena, 40. Tel: 952 843 134. 
Hostal Reyes. C/Tercia, 4. Tel: 952 841 028. 
Pensión Toril. C/Toril, 3. Antequera. Tel/Fax: 952 843 184.
Pensión Madrona. C/Calzada, 31. Tel: 952 840 014.
Rural Accommodation in the province of Malaga (in Spanish)

Two young climbers in El Torcal

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 day¹s 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 ³tapas², and soon all types of
delicious titbits were served with the glass of wine.