Casabermeja

Basic data
Size: 66,40 Km²
Population: 3,000
Residents known as: Bermejos
Monuments: the Zambra Tower, the parish church, the Pre-historic Pictorial Complex of Peñas Cabrera.
Geographical situation: 20 kilometres from Malaga on the Pedrizas main road, at 547 metres above sea level. 
Tourist information: Town Hall, C/ Llanete de abajo, 2. 29160.
Phone: 
952 758 377 Fax: 952 758 009


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Carpet of flowers made for the Corpus festival

Casabermeja is situated on the Las Pedrizas road at just under 20 kilometres from Malaga. It is in the heart of beautiful countryside, surrounded by the mountain ranges of El Torcal, Cabras, Co and Los Camorolos. This last range is the source of the Arroyo Coche and the river Guadalmedina. the mountains form a circle, offering a year-round spectacle of colours that range from springtime greens to autumn golds and winter browns.
The origin of the town goes back to pre-historic times, to judge by various archaeological finds made in the area. Among these are remains discovered in the stone burial grounds at Chapera and the Cortijo del Hospital, along with rock paintings found in the Mogea hills and in small caves near the Cortijo Cabrera. The Moorish presence is evident from Mozarab settlement remains in the areas of Chapera Alta, Colmenar, and Jotrón. Casabermeja was then a fortress on the defensive line of the territory dominated by the Bobastro leadership at the time of the Omar ben Hasún rebellion. The Moors called the place Q´sar Bermeja, meaning the Red Castle, and the name later stuck to the urban area. Nevertheless, local legend has it that the name derives from Queen Isabel’s reaction to seeing the small village for the first time: ¡Qué casa bermeja! (What a red house!)
The ruins of the Torre Zambra and an old wall built over one even older are the only remains left of the Moorish presence in the area. The first written reference to the town appears after the fall of Malaga, in a letter sent by the Catholic King and Queen confirming the granting of Villa status to the town, later confirmed by their daughter Doña Juana in 1509 and 1529, and again by the Emperor Charles V in 1550. Another important date in the history of the town was May 5th, 1630, when a Royal Decree granted the residents of the town permission to buy out the Villa.

Places to be visited
Church of Nuestra Señora del Socorro
The Church of Nuestra Señora del Socorro is situated in the centre of the town, and comprises a group of buildings around the mail structure. These are the sacristy, the tower and lateral naves with smaller rooms built on. Further construction was done in the 17th and 19th centuries on the earlier 16th century church, enlarging the entire group. The outside of the church was built in bricks and rubble, its most outstanding element being the five-storey tower, separated by cornices. The square-based tower is bevelled at the upper corners, and the doorway simple, with a semicircular arch on pillars topped by a cornice.
The Torre Zambra
This Moorish tower, dating from the 13th century, is situated four kilometres from the town, close to the ancient Camino Real (Royal Road) to Malaga. Apart from its undoubted historical value, it is also an outstanding vantage point from which to view the surrounding countryside, where one can much of the provinces of Malaga and Granada, and on a clear day, the coast of North Africa. Writers like Cervantes and Vicente Espinel have mentioned this view in their works. To get to the tower, take the old road from Casabermeja to Malaga from the Hermitage of El Chorro.
Cemetery
The old cemetery, favourite subject for passing photographers on the main road, was declared to be of Historic and Artistic value in 1980. It looks like a miniature city of the dead, the differing shapes of its tombstones making it a really memorable sight.
The Pictorial Complex of Peñas Cabrera
This collection of amazing natural shapes carved out by the wind over many centuries of erosion is situated close to the Guadalmedina river about four kilometres from the town.
Where to eat 

Restaurante Casabermeja. Specialising in typical mountain dishes, stuffed pumpkins, mushrooms in the Malaga style, fried bread crumbs, egg plant with cane honey, soups, omelettes with black pudding, spring onions, Malaga rock salmon and rice with lobster. Autovía Málaga-Madrid, Km. 15, Salida 148. Tel: 952 758 425 and 952 758 640.
Restaurante La Posada. Specialising in fried bread crumbs, cabbage dishes and rabbit in garlic. C/ Real, 5. Tel: 952 758 229.
Restaurante El Corte. Autovía Sevilla-Málaga, Km 151. Tel: 952 758 429.
Casa Cañá. Specialising in fried bread crumbs, callos (pigs’ trotters and snouts), fried cod, steak and omelettes. C/Real, 27. Tel: 952 758 404.
Venta Pedro. Situated close to the road- Vva. de la Concepción, Km. 3. Tel: 952 758 135.
Mesón La Pedriza. Specialising in game, fried bread crumbs and lamb foot.
C/Paseo Puerto de la Horca, 17. Tel: 952 758 051.
Venta La Huerta. Specialising in paella, kid and fried bread crumbs. Ctra. de Colmenar, Km 1.
Tel: 952 758 129.
Restaurante Bar Juani. Specialising in home cooking, fish and sea foods, and tapas. C/Fuente de Abajo, 12. Tel: 952 758 656.
Restaurante Bar Alba. Specialising in home cooking, tapas, and steak in the "Alba" style. C/Puerto de la Horca, 1. Tel: 952 758 513.
Mesón del Lugar. Specialising in barbecued meats and tapas. C/Puerto de la Horca, 45. Tel: 952 758 178.
Where to sleep 
Hotel Casabermeja. 11 bedrooms. Autovía Málaga-Madrid, Km. 15, Salida 148. Tel: 952 758 425 and 952 758 640.
Hostal La Posada. C/Real, 5. Tel: 952 758 229.
Pensión El Taxi. Paseo del Puerto de la Horca, 11. Tel: 952 758 022.
Hostal El Corte. Autovía Sevilla-Málaga, Km 151. Tel: 952 758 429.
Rural Accommodation in the province of Malaga (in Spanish)

Facade of an old house

FIESTAS
Casabermeja has a very busy festive calendar, the first of the season taking place on January 20th with the festival in honour of the town’s patron saint, San Sebastián. The romería of San Marcos takes place on April 25th, when the people of the place traditional head out into the countryside and eat baked cakes. The Fiesta de Las Cruces (Crosses) is on May 3rd. June sees the traditional Corpus festival, which lasts four days and in which the streets and houses are decorated in flowers. Worth seeing are the highly ornamental altars made for the Stations of the Cross during the procession of the Santísimo en la Custodia. In May too is the festival of San Juan, complete with huge bonfires, and one of the most important of all the festivals in this town is the Cante Grande, the oldest of the Flamenco music festivals in the province of Malaga. It takes place on the last Saturday of June. The town’s feria is during the first week of August, and a vital part of this is the cattle fair. The Holy Week celebrations are also very important here, and among the most curious festivals in Casabermeja are the Churripampa dancing festival and the verdiales, a very important musical form of the Malaga Mountain region.

GASTRONOMY 
Casabermeja offers a large number of local dishes that are eaten all the year round, these including the traditional Plato de los Montes, rabbit in garlic and kid in pepper. In winter the people like to eat fried bread crumbs and drink the local mosto wines. Gazpacho is the dish of the summer. There are also lots of delicious pastries and breads, including the chickpea bread rolls and the baked cakes on San Marcos Day. Most of the other pastries are made with aniseed, these being the borrachuelos (liqueur-soaked Christmas buns), magdalenas (sponge buns), sponge cake, wine doughnuts and olive oil tarts.