Gaucín

Basic data
Size: 97,30 Km²
Population: Approx. 1,800
Residents known as: Gaucineños or Gaucinenses
Monuments: Águila Castle, Church of San Sebastián, Carmelite Convent, Fountain of the Seven Tubes.
Geographical situation: In the GenalValley, 36 kilometres from Ronda and 130 from Malaga, at 626 metres above sea level.
Tourist information: Town Hall, Plaza Guzmán El Bueno, 23. 29480. 
Phone: 952 510 000 Fax: 952 151 172 
On the Internet: www.gaucinet.com


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Gaucín maintains 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 see today.

Places to be visited
The 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 Hermitage
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 Niño Jesús.
Civic buildings
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
Where to eat 

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 petrol station.
Restaurante Breña Verde. Ctra. de Algeciras, Km.39,50. Tel: 952 151 347.
Restaurante Fructuosa. Mediterranean cooking. C/ Luis de Armiñán, 67. Tel: 952 151 072. 
Bistro Bar La Fuente. In the centre of the town. C/Toledillo, 13.  Tel: 952 151 368.
Where to sleep 
Rural 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.
Rural Accommodation in the province of Malaga (in Spanish)

View of a passageway in Gaucín

FIESTAS 
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 festival lasts.
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.

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.