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Municipality of Alcaucín (Andalusia, Spain)

Málaga Province

Last modified: 2015-07-28 by ivan sache
Keywords: spain | andalusia | malaga | alcaucín | coat of arms |
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[Alcaucín, Málaga, Andalusia (Spain)] 2:3
image by Blas Delgado, 15 Oct 2005

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Basic data:

Size: 46 Km²
Population: Approx. 1.600
Residents known as: Alcaucineños
Monuments: Church of Nuestra Señora del Rosario, Hermitage of Nuestro Señor del Calvario, Tajo de la Cueva (Cliff of the Cave).
Geographic location: In the Axarquía, 20 kilometres from Vélez-Málaga and 54 from Malaga, at 508 metres above sea level.
Tourist information: Town Hall, Plaza Constitución, 1. 29711.
Phone: 952 510 002
Fax: 952 510 076

The municipality of Alcaucín extends into the northern part of the Axarquía, between the Sierra de Tejeda and the flatter Periana area, between the spectacular Boquete de Zafarraya cliffs and the Axarquía mountains. The most direct road to the town is by the main road to Vélez. From this road we turn off onto the la Viñuela road and continue on until we reach Puente Don Manuel, an important cross-roads in the Axarquía, where we find the road that brings us directly to Alcaucín. As soon as we enter the town we can see the clear Morisco influence, with low houses, whitewashed facades and above all, the narrow, winding streets. Everything centres on the town square, the former Plaza de San Sebastian that has now been re-named the Plaza de la Constitución, where the church and the Town Hall building stands. Most of the old buildings and houses of the town date from the 17th and 18th centuries, when the palatial mansions on calle Arcos and calle Nueva were built, each with its coat of arms.

The town¹s name is Arab in origin, deriving from Al Cautin, meaning The Arches. Some historians have suggested the reason for this being the existence of an aqueduct in the area, while others believe the name refers to the abundance of yew trees, the wood of which was used to make bows (arco translates as either arch or bow) for warfare and hunting. What is certain is that the area has been populated since pre-historic times, as is evident in the remains found in the Boquete de Zafarraya. It is also believed that the fortress of Zalia was built by the Phoenicians and later occupied by the Moors, falling the Christians in 1485 when the castle was used as a prison for rebel Moriscos. It was besieged during the Napoleonic invasion in a later period. But the worst disaster that ever befell Alcaucín was the earthquake of the late 19th century that destroyed houses and changed the course of underground streams.

Blas Delgado, Oct 15 2005