its tradition of white facades and potted plants on the balconies
Gaucín has one of the most varied landscapes in
the province. It is situated in the Sierra del Hacho mountains, whose
highest peak is 1,011 metres. From the town one can see magnificent views
over the surrounding area, with the rocky landscape on the sides of the
Hacho peak and the lower area of scrub, comprising cork, oak and pine trees
mixing with the chestnut trees and wild olives. In the background is the
Genal valley, its attractive agricultural land keeping pace with the
meandering river banks and the small farm houses and vegetable plots on both
sides of the river.
The origin of the town’s name is Roman, although it did not actually
become an urban centre until the Moors arrived. The Romans built the castle
there, and the Moors reinforced it in their time, the town growing around
the castle. The name - Sair Guazan or strong rock - refers to the peak on
which the castle, now in ruins, was actually built..
Gaucín was one of the most difficult towns for the Christian armies to
conquer, due to its dominant situation over the surrounding mountain range.
The French forces destroyed the town in the War of Independence, killing all
they found in their path as a reprisal for the harassment they suffered from
local guerrilla fighters. The town recovered quickly, nevertheless, and soon
attained strong economic development that is still apparent in the town we
to be visited|
ruined Águila Castle
The Castillo del Águila is situated in the highest point of the
town. It has been re-constructed many times: in 1808 when damaged
by the French and in 1842 during the regency of General Espartero.
At that time the building was raised by 150 metres on its
north-eastern end and somewhat less on the south-west. There are
two dungeons and a subterranean escape passageway inside, built by
the Moors, and the castle was still in use for defensive purposes
up to the 19th century. Beside the castle, at its
eastern end, is the hermitage of the Santo Niño, which was used
in the past as housing for the troops, and the castle’s
gunpowder magazine was in one of the towers.
Church of San Sebastián and the Veracruz
The parish church of San Sebastián, in the town itself, was built
in the 16th century and restructured a century later.
The interior is divided into three naves, separated by
square-based pillars. The entrance is a simple brick structure,
and the square tower is in two storeys. The Hermitage of Veracruz
became the Carmelite Convent in 1704. Its church is rectangular in
ground plan, with three naves separated by semicircular arches.
The doorway is grey stone and the tower made of brick, topped by a
small steeple. It is said that the Child Jesus appeared to Juan
Ciudad, later known as Juan de Díos, close to Gaucín, and that
this changed his life forever. In memory of this divine
apparition, the saint presented the town with the image of the
The most interesting non-religious buildings in the town are the
old family homes dating from the 17th and 18th
centuries, most with their coats-of-arms still over the doors and
their elaborately decorated wrought-iron balconies and windows.
Another important work of architecture in the town centre is the
Fuente de los Seis Caños, the Fountain of the Seven Pipes, dating
from the 17th century.
Municipal Ethnographical Museum.
Avenida Ana Toval. Tel: 952 151 000
Restaurante El Pilar. Ctra. de Algeciras. Swimming
pool and tennis court. Tel: 952 151 347.
Restaurante La Gasolinera.
Traditional cooking and varied tapas. Ctra. Algeciras, beside the
Restaurante Breña Verde.
Ctra. de Algeciras, Km.39,50. Tel: 952 151 347.
Mediterranean cooking. C/ Luis de Armiñán, 67. Tel: 952 151
Bistro Bar La Fuente. In the
centre of the town. C/Toledillo, 13. Tel: 952 151 368.
Hotel La Fructuosa. 5 rooms with views of Gibraltar and
private bathrooms with hydromassage. C/
Luis de Armiñán, 67. Tel: 952 151 072.
Hotel Casablanca. C/Teodoro de
Molina, 12. Tel: 952 151 019.
Rural Houses (Turismo Gestur).
C/Lorenzo García, 26. Tel: 952 151 600.
Pensión Moncada. Ctra.
Algeciras. Tel: 952 151 147.
Accommodation in the province of Malaga
View of a passageway
One of the most traditional of all Gaucín’s
festivals, the Toro de Cuerda, takes place on Easter Sunday. The Candelas
de San Juan festival is held in June, when the streets are illuminated by
candles and burning torches.
The festival of the Santo Niño takes place in September, celebrating the
apparition of the Child Jesus to Saint Juan de Dios in the year 1536 in
Adelfilla, on the old road to Gibraltar where the hermitage was since
built. To commemorate the event, the Romería de la Adelfilla is held on
the last Sunday of August, with singing and dancing, mass and horse
racing, almost like a prelude to the feria in August. On September 8th
there is a procession from the Águila Castle through the streets of the
town. The Gaucín Feria, which takes place at the beginning of August, is
a relic of the older Cattle Fair held in the town at this time. The dates
are from August 4th to 7th, to coincide with the
festival of the Virgen de las Nieves, patron saint of the town. These days
it is more a festival of fun than a religious or trade fair, with the
entire town out enjoying themselves on the streets day and night while the
GASTRONOMY AND CRAFTWORK
The cuisine of Gaucín is similar to that
of other small towns in the Ronda Mountain area. The tradition here is in
pork products, with a fine range of homemade pastries such as puff-pastry
buns, doughnuts, almond flavoured buns and many other types of delicious
home-baked items. As far as craftwork in Gaucín is concerned, the most
common products are made in wrought iron, ceramics, cane and textile
crafts like crochet and lace making.