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Day Trip to Frigiliana
Frigiliana is located about 6 km north of Nerja and is about 435 meters above sea level. It is a white town with a population of about 2,300 located on the slopes of the Sierra Almijara mountains. The town has narrow and winding streets, that are often steep. The town has the old Moorish quarter and the newer part of town with new construction. It is the old Moorish quarter that is of interest to visitors. It has the best preserved Moorish quarter in the Province of Malaga and has won four major prizes (one of them national) for the embellishment and improvement of the town. It is also the purest Moorish architecture that can be found in the Province of Malaga. It is considered one of the most beautiful towns in Andalusia and also one of the most beautiful towns in all of Spain. The enchantment of this town is unforgettable.
The town was inhabited in prehistoric times and there are remains of the Phoenicians and the Romans. The Moors had their stronghold in Frigiliana and many important Moorish nobles lived in the town. The Reconquest in 1487 by the Christians ended Moorish rule. The Moors were treated in a harsh manner and the Moors in the Axarquia revolted in 1569. There was a very big battle at the Peñon of Frigiliana on June 11, 1569, with a big loss of life on both sides. The Moorish castle was almost destroyed and the Moors were forced to abandon Spain and go to North Africa.
Each of the small plazas of the town has a chapter of the history of the town displayed in a beautiful ceramic tile panel. As one walks around the town, one reads each chapter and learns what happened, especially about the final battle between the Christians and the Moors. There are 12 panels in all. The ceramist for this work of art was Pilar Garcia Millan.
One can walk up to the top of the town and get very good views of the seacoast. The sweet wine of Frigiliana is famous and many visitors go to this town just to buy the wine.
El Ingenio Nuestra Señora del Carmen - This building was constructed at the end of the 1767, integrating the palace of the Counts of Frigiliana (the Manrique de Lara Family) that was built in 1508. It has the Renaissance style and occupies 2000 square meters. The facade has beautiful paintings in the "esgrafiado" style. It is the last working cane molasses factory in Europe.
La Fuente Vieja (The Old Fountain) - This was built in the 17th century by Iñigo Manrique de Lara, the fifth Señor de Frigiliana and the first Count of Frigiliana. The fountain has his coat of arms. It is used as a drinking trough for animals.
Ermita de Ecce Homo ("El Santo Cristo") - This small chapel was built in the 18th century and has one nave with a wooden ceiling. The entrance to the chapel has an arch. It used to have an image of Ecce Homo, a painting which represents Jesus given up to the mob by Pilate. Today many townspeople call it the "Ermita de Santo Cristo de la Caña.
Church of San Antonio de Padua - This church was built in 1696 by Bernardo de Godoi. The style is Renaissance and the ground plan is the Latin cross, divided into three naves. There is a cupola that is hemisperical shape. The choir is decorated in the Rococo style, created by Bartolome de la Cruz in 1859. The main altar has a retable in the Baroque style and is dedicated to the Sacred Heart. This contains three paintings from the School of Sevilla from the 17th century, the paintings being those of San Francisco de Paula, the Good Shepherd, and an Apostle. There is a polychromed sculpture of San Anton, which is highly venerated in the town. There is an important painting of La Dolorosa, from the 18th century. The sacristy has a beautiful Rococo chalice, made of silver, from the 18th century.
The Arab Castle - This fort was constructed in the 11th century and occupied an area of 4000 square meters. During the Battle of the Peñon de Frigiliana it was almost completely destroyed by the Christians, who did not want the Moors to reuse its walls. Today there are only a few pieces of the walls.
Cruces de Mayo - The town is famous for its celebration of the Crosses of May, which occurs on May 3 of every year. Every plaza of the town gets a big wooden cross, that is adorned with Spanish shawls, plants and flowers. The townspeople try to outdo each other in the decoration. The townspeople also offer visitors tapas and the sweet wine of the town for free. Among the food served are chacinas, tortillas, arropías, marcochas, and migas. In the afternoon the town band serenades the streets, together with other musicians who take turns playing music. This town, on this day, is one of the most unforgettable and enjoyable events that any visitor can have.