Villanueva del Rosario

Basic data
Size: 43,6 Km²
Population: 3,300
Residents known as: Saucedeños
Monuments: Copper Age archaeological sites, Visigoth burial grounds, the Nacimiento, Hondoneros and the Hermitage.
Geographical situation: In the north-eastern part of Malaga province, 30 kilometres from Malaga City, at 699 metres above sea level.
Tourist information: Town Hall, Plaza España, 9. 29312.
952 742 008 Fax: 952 742 213.

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Villanueva del Rosario is situated in the south-eastern part of the Antequera Depression, beneath the Jobo and Camarolos mountain ranges. The geological structure of the area makes for spectacular scenery, with rocky cliffs in places and wonderful views over the mountains. Of special interest and beauty is the Llano del Hondonero, at the foot of the mountains. With its mountain streams and pathways, its pine, oak and other species of woodland, it is ideal for trekking. Villanueva del Rosario, also at the foot of the mountains, offers great views over the olive groves, with occasional whitewashed houses contrasting with the dark green of the landscape. One of the roads from here leads to the Llano del Hondonero, and recent improvements to the road means that the trip can now be made by car. The urban centre maintains all it old world charm, especially in its architecture. The houses are low and whitewashed, following the lie of the narrow and winding streets. People have lived here for a long time, taking advantage of the town’s strategic position between the interior of Andalucía and the coast, with abundant water supplies and a relatively easy defensive position. Numerous archaeological finds have been made here, mainly in the foothills of the Camarolos and Jobo mountains, showing that the area has been lived in from pre-historic times. Despite the absence of documentary evidence, it is believed that the area has been settled by the Romans, the Moors and the Visigoths. The important Roman city of Ulisis is said to have been situated in an area known as the Peñón de Solís. Many Roman roads are still in existence, and a number of objects from that time, including coins, bracelets, glass and ceramic fragments, have been found in the region.
The town itself dates from the beginning of the 18th century, being first named the Puebla de Saucedo, for its abundance of willow trees (sauces) in the locality. The original town was six farmhouses situated on land that belonged to the Duque de Osuna. This grew into a primitive urban centre that had a population of 1,378 by the beginning of the 19th century. On the basis of a Royal Decree issued by the Cadiz Parliament and dated October 7th, 1812, the inhabitants of Puebla del Saucedo demanded a change in their judicial status, but met with violent opposition from their neighbours in Archidona. Nevertheless, in February of 1813 their demands were met, and despite the anger of their neighbouring town, the two areas finally separated into two municipalities in May of 1821. The legal battle continued, however, with Archidona claiming in court that Puebla del Saucedo was a street in their town and therefore could not be a separate urban entity. Puebla del Saucedo continued to fight for independence, and in 1824 appealed to the King’s Council, with the issue being finally resolved in 1827 by a royal decree awarding the town its independence from Archidona. Three years afterwards the name was changed to Villanueva del Rosario.

Places to be visited
Copper Age archaeological sites
There are two archaeological sites from the Copper Age in the municipality. One is in the area known as the Finca del Tardón, and has been studied by experts from the Universities of Malaga and Granada. The other is in a mountain area called the Peñón del Oso.
Visigoth burial grounds
These have been found in the hills, most of them robbed and some of them partially destroyed for agricultural purposes.
The Nacimiento (River source)
This area is close to the town itself, and with its pools and waterfalls, it makes an ideal place to visit any time of the year.
This is an area rich in vegetation and wildlife, high in the Sierra de los Camarolos and Sierra Gorda mountains, where visitors can see many different species of flora and fauna.
The Hermitage
This shrine, situated between the Nacimiento and Hondoneros, is dedicated to the patron saint of the town, the Virgen del Rosario, and is the destination of the Romería processions during the August Feria.
Where to eat 

Bar Los Alonsos. Specialising in varied tapas. Plaza de Esapaña, 3.
Café-Bar La Fonda. Specialising in varied tapas, meat and fish. C/Adoquines, 1.
Bar Alioli. Specialising in meat and grilled fish. Avda. Blas Infante. Tel: 952 742 434.
Bar Los Mellizos. Dishes include fried aubergine, fish and potatoes with pepper. Avenida Blas Infante.
Venta las Delicias. Specialising in rabbit, partridge, pheasant, wild boar and deer. Ctra. Las Pedrizas, Málaga-Granada. Tel: 952 742 432.
Mesón Restaurante Las Tres Piedras. Specialising in fish and seafood. Tel: 952 742 608.
Mesón Restaurante Ulises. Home cooking. Camino de las Huertas s/n. Tel: 952 742 492.
Restaurante Las Pedrizas. Specialising in kid, rabbit and partridge. Ctra. de Madrid-Málaga, Km 527. Tel: 952 730 850.
Complejo El Rosario. Specialising in fried breadcrumbs, hake and meats. Ctra. Pedrizas-Salinas. Tel: 952 742 681 Fax: 952 742 689.
Where to sleep 
Hotel Las Pedrizas. Ctra. Madrid-Málaga, Km 527. Tel: 952 730 850. 
Hotel Complejo El Rosario. Service area. Ctra. Pedrizas-Salinas. Tel: 952 742 681 Fax: 952 742 689.
Hotel las Delicias. Ctra. Las Pedrizas, Málaga-Granada. Tel: 952 742 432.
Rural Accommodation in the province of Malaga (in Spanish)

The streets of the town conserve their traditional architecture

The Romería of San Marcos opens the festive season in April in Villanueva del Rosario. This is followed by the festival of San Marcos, the Veladilla del Carmen and the Summer Festival, which takes place during the first weekend in August.
But the biggest festival in the town is, without doubt, that in honour of its patron saint, the Virgen del Rosario, taking place during the first week in October. Here there is bullfighting, music, dancing, singing and religious events.

The gastronomy of Villanueva del Rosario is typical of that of other towns in the Antequera region, with traditional dishes being fried porra, gazpacho, fried breadcrumbs and game. In the field of craftwork, there is a wide choice. Ceramic pieces are made by potters Los Ponce, furniture is made by hand by the brothers Pailes and Diego González, leatherwork is done by Ricardo Martín, and Teodoro, of the Mirasierra bakery, makes delicious pastries.