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Municipality of Archidona (Andalusia, Spain)

Málaga Province

Last modified: 2015-07-28 by ivan sache
Keywords: spain | andalusia | malaga | archidona | coat of arms | crown: royal (closed) | triband: horizontal |
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[Municipality of Archidona, Málaga, Andalusia (Spain)] 2:3
image by Blas Delgado, Oct 13 2005

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Basic data:

Size: 187,10 Km²
Population: Approx. 8.500
Residents known as: Archidoneses
Monuments: Plaza Ochavada, Moorish Castle, Hermitage of la Virgen de Gracia, Plaza de la Victoria, Church of the Nazareno and the Plas School, Church of Santa Ana and the Mínimas Convent.
Geographic location: In the north of the province of Malaga, bordering on the province of Granada, 50 kms from Malaga and 20 from Antequera.
Tourist information: Town Hall, Paseo de la Victoria, 1. 29300.
Phone: 952 714 480 Fax: 952 714 165
Municipal Tourist Office: Plaza Ochavada, 2.
Tel: 952 716 479.

Archidona is situated in the northern part of Malaga province, in the Antequera administrative area 20 kilometres from that town, and it borders on the province of Granada. The town itself lies at the foot of the Sierra de Gracia, which is 943 metres above sea level, and is surrounded by the Conjuro peak, 1,013 metres high, and the 971 metre-high Sierra de las Grajas. Its privileged position has resulted in it having been settled at various points throughout its early history, the proof of which is in the various names the place has had over the centuries.

The first tribe we have some evidence of was the Turdulo tribe, around 1,500 B.C. The Phoenicians came later and called the place "Escua," which means "The Principal Head," and it is believed to be these who began building the town walls. When finished, these made the town one of the most difficult to conquer, and during the Roman period it was known as "Arx Dómina." The Moors finally named it "Medina Arxiduna," from which it gets its present name. It was in Archidona that one of the most brilliant eras in Spanish history began: the Omeya dynasty in Andalucía, and it was here too, at the end of the 9th century and beginning of the 10th century, that the rebellion of the Muladíes and the Berbers took place, more usually known as the Mozarab rebellion, under the leadership of the Muladi Omar Ben Hafsun. Peace came back to the town under Abd el-Rahman III, first Caliph of Cordoba. The influence of the Cordobans was decisive for the well-being of Archidona, and commerce, industry and agriculture flourished.

Following the political disorder of the Taife reign, Archidona and Antequera went into decline, and the walls of Archidona were eventually destroyed. The castle was conquered from the decadent Granada rulers in 1462, and the town we known today began to take shape in the 16th century. The first important urban centre was the Villa Baja, built on the initiative of the Ureña family, having achieved the sort of political power that had been enjoyed by the people of the Villa Alta. The new colonists settled in the calle Carrera district, which was always the focal point of the town. The hermitages of Santa Catalina (later Convento de la Victoria), Columna and El Nazareno were built about that time.

Blas Delgado, Oct 14 2005