Antequera, Malaga, Andalucia
"What price for true love?"
Our Rural Countryhouse is only 35-40 minutes from Antequera, which is the geographical centre of Andalucia. Aptly named "Antikera" (the Old Place!) by the Romans, the evidence of man’s early settlement in Antequera dates back to five thousand years ago to the Bronze Age, making Antequera one of the oldest towns in Iberia.
The rich history of Antequera presents the visitors with the opportunity to explore the history of this town through visiting the Burial Mounds, Portal Tombs (Dolmen), Roman baths, Moorish castle, Gothic churches, Renaissance fountains, and Baroque bell towers. Approaching Antequera you are presented with an amazing sight of Moorish Minarets, the Fortress, Church towers, and the original “Pueblo Blanco” (White Village). The town’s overview looks like a historical tapestry coming into life in front of you. Antequera became important and rich through its clever use of irrigation water from Guadalhorce, enabling it to make the most of the rich soil surrounding it.
The town’s skyline has one more surprise up its sleeve. There are a host of incredible and interesting monuments to be seen in and around the town. The famous ‘La Peña de los Enamorados’ or Lover’s Leap is an unmistakable mountain shaped like human’s face lying down. It is visible from all approaches to the town and is the birthplace of the Spanish Romeo & Juliet story. The legend has it that a Spanish Prince fell in love with a Moorish Princess. Refusing to give up their love, and pursued by soldiers they leaped to their death from the rock whilst in a final embrace. Centuries later a magnificent bronze statute was raised in their memory in the towns new square opposite the 19th Century Bullring, with the inscription “what price for true love”.
On the east of the city, the 16th century "Arch of the Giants" leads up to the 13th century Moorish Castle, with the Churches of Santa Maria la Mayor and Nuestra Señora del Carmen with the newly discovered Roman Baths next to it as another most see attraction.
The Cueva de la Menga in the Antequera Park is to the west of the town. These dolmens spectacular mass tombs date back more than five thousand years. These are the largest dolmens in Andalusia and they extend to the caves that also contain human skeletons.
FlamingosProtected by international treaty the Lagoon of Fuente de Piedra makes up part of the Llanure de Antequera which is considered to be one of the largest natural lagoons in Spain. The lagoon is an important stopover for the migrating birds before crossing the Mediterranean to spend the winter in warmer climes. Surrounded by a vast, mountainous terrain and provides an ideal breeding spot for the Pink Flamingo.
The best time to observe the flamingos is around the end of January which is when they arrive to prepare in time for the all important spring and summer business of breeding.
Towards the end of the summer, during July and August, Manuel Rendón, the Conservation Manager of the reserve and his two-hundred strong team of scientists advance on the lagoon before daylight in order to label the thousands of young flamingos who are still unable to fly. This incredible project has been in effect since 1984 and provides invaluable information as to the movements and habits of these valuable birds. After the disastrous 2006 season due to 5 years of draught, we had over 5000 chicks.