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Municipality of Riogordo (Andalusia, Spain)

Málaga Province

Last modified: 2015-07-28 by ivan sache
Keywords: spain | andalusia | malaga | riogordo | coat of arms |
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Basic data:

Size: 40.60 Km²
Population: Approx. 2,700
Residents known as: Riogordeños
Monuments: Church of Nuestra Señora de Gracia, Shrine of San Sebastián.
Geographic location: In the Axarquía, 35 kilometres from Malaga and Vélez, at 400 metres above sea level.
Tourist information: Town Hall, Plaza de la Constitución, 14. 29180.
Phone: 952 732 154
Fax: 952 732 380

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 at 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 wide.

Blas Delgado, Oct 14 2005