Riogordo is in the Axarquía, equidistant at 35
kilometres from Malaga, Vélez and Antequera. It has two quite separate
barrios: the Barrio Alto, or Cerrillo, and the Barrio Bajo, or The Plaza.
The houses on both sides of the hilly streets are low with interior patios,
wells and stables. The town has a number of old family homes dating from the
18th and 19th centuries, and many of those houses in
and around the central square have niches built in, housing virgins, saints
or the image of the Crucified Christ. The most traditional of the old
streets are calle Deán de Rojas, calle La Santa and calle El Horno.
The name of the town – the Fat River – would
suggest an origin in the dense vegetation along the banks of the Río de la
Cueva, rather than the volume of water that flows through it. But the more
accepted theory is that the name derives from the rich mineral water that
comes out of an interior cavity, making the water seem fat. It is also
believed that this was the very reason for the first Neolithic settlers
choosing this place. Remains from this period have been found in the Tajo de
Gomer, with Bronze Age remains discovered in the Cerro de la Capellanía.
There is evidence too of Phoenician settlement in the region, while Roman
mosaics have been found in the Villas of Auta, dating from the third
century. It was the Moors, nevertheless, that were responsible for the
economic growth of the town and the strengthening of the Castle of Aute as a
defensive fortress. The present location
of the town is due to it having been the spot that the Catholic Monarchs
camped on while conquering Vélez. The
town was active in the fight against the French invaders during the War of
Independence, one of the local heroes of the time being a man known as The
Priest of Riogordo, whose reputation as a guerrilla fighter spread far and
to be visited|
of Nuestra Señora de Gracia
This church, built in 1490, has two naves with semicircular arches
supported by pillars. The ceilings are of particular architectural
interest, showing elements typical of the period.
Hermitage of San Sebastián
The Hermitage of San Sebastián was built at the end of the 17th
century, and documentation about it dates from July, 1681. It is a
curious structure in the centre of the town, designed in a single
nave covered by a richly decorated barrel vault. The most
interesting item inside is the Camarín (small room) of Nuestro
Padre Jesús Nazareno, and authentic jewel of Baroque
El Tajo del Gómer
This is one of the most beautiful areas around Riogordo, where a
trekking route takes us to the Tajo (Gorge) at the Río de la
Personalities. El Cura de Riogordo
José Antonio Muñoz Sánchez, better known as "El Cura de
Riogordo" (The Priest of Riogordo) has gone down in local
history as the priest who fought the French in the War of
Independence, reaching the rank of captain in a cavalry regiment.
He was particularly good at harassment, and ingenious in strategy,
we are told. Some of his feats of valour include an attack on the
supplies depot of Arenas on March 5th, 1812, and his
amazing escape from four columns of French soldiers, made up of
1,500 men, in Tollox on November 7th, 1811. He also
punished those who took advantage of the war to plunder and steal.
Museum of popular Arts
C/Cinco de Noviembre, s/n .Tel: 952 732 154. From 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Open mornings only on Saturdays and
Retamar. Specialising in typical cuisine of the
Axarquía area. C/Partido del Bujeo, 30. Riogordo Tel:
952 031 225 and 952 031 209.
Bar-Marisquería El Niño.
Specialising in fish and seafood. C/Real, 1. Tel: 952 732 116.
Bar Pernías. Specialising in
tapas. C/Real, 2. Tel: 952 732 245.
Bar La Era. Specialising in
snails. C/San Jacinto, 2. Tel: 952 732 320.
Specialising in barbecued meats. C/28 de febrero. Tel: 629 570
Cortijo de Veleta.
Specialising in meats and traditional cooking. Partido la Molina
(Road to La Viñuela). Tel: 952 111 260.
Retamar. C/Partido del Bujeo, 30. Riogordo. Tel:
952 031 225 and 952 031 209.
las Tablas Grandes. Situated beside the river on
10,000 square metres of ground, surrounded by fruit trees. Tel:
952 276 229.
Accommodation in the province of Malaga
Personal web page of the municipality
View of the Olivar
The Río del Cante Flamenco Festival takes place on
August 14th, and on September 7th is the Night of
the Candelas or Festival of the Candil, in which bonfires and candles are
The festive calendar in Riogordo begins
with the traditional Cabalgata de Reyes (Procession of the Three Kings) in
the month of January. A month later, the carnival takes place. During Holy
Week in Riogordo, the Paso de Riogordo takes place on Good Friday and
Easter Saturday, this being a tradition that was recently recuperated in
the town and which attracts more and more visitors every year. The Feria
de Ganada (Cattle Fair) takes place from May 27th to 29th,
in the Camino de Magiaza area. This fair coincides with the Veladilla,
which is a gastronomic tradition in which the snails of the area are
tasted, a typical dish of the area. The Feria takes place in the middle of
August, when the image of Ntro. Padre Jesús Nazareno is brought from the
hermitage of San Sebastián to the parish church, a tradition dating from
the 17th century.
The most typical dishes of the
town are snails, cooked in a liquid sauce and available in all of the
local bars and restaurants during the months of May to August. Other
traditional dishes in Riogordo include chickpeas, porra and mushrooms.
Fried bread crumbs and gazpacho are popular here too, the gazpacho made
from tomato, fennel, peppers, onion and bread, all finely chopped with
olive oil, vinegar and salt to taste. Vegetable dishes are part of the
local gastronomy as well, due to the rich land around the riverbanks and
the irrigation of the Río de la Cueva. There are olive oil co-operatives
here, producing the highest quality oil, and pork products that are well
known all over the region.