Sunday, October 20, 2013

Antequera: The Heart of Andalusia

The city of Antequera, less than an hour north of us, has been known since the early 16th century as "El Corazón de Andalucía" (The Heart of Andalusia), because of its location in the center of Southern Spain, its agriculture, its craftsmen, and its culture.

(CLICK ON ANY IMAGE FOR A BETTER VIEW.)

San Geraldo and I drove to Antequera Friday and we were completely charmed and fascinated. Before it was the ancient Roman city of Antikaria around 100 BC, it was an Iberian settlement dating back to around 800 BC. We have a lot more to explore. We didn't visit the Bronze Age structures nor did we get inside any of the buildings. The architectural styles include Mudéjar, late-Gothic, Rennaisance, Mannerist, and Baroque.

FERDINAND I OF ARAGON, ALSO KNOWN AS DON FERNANDO OF ANTEQUERA.
(BACKGROUND: CITY MUSEUM IN A FORMER PRIVATE PALACE.)
PLAZA DE COSO VIEJO AND CONVENT OF SANTA CATALINA OF SIENA.
(OPPOSITE THE CITY MUSEUM.)
PART OF THE OLD CITY WALL.
DEDICATED TO THE MOORS OF ANTEQUERA WHO WERE
DRIVEN OUT OF THE CITY IN THE EARLY 1400s.
CHURCH OF THE CARMEN, BUILT 1583–1633.
(MANNERIST-BAROQUE STYLE)
VIEW FROM TERRACE OF CHURCH OF THE CARMEN.
I LOVED THIS STREET, CALLE PISCINA
(SWIMMING POOL STREET; I NEVER FOUND THE SWIMMING POOL).
THE TOWER OF SAN SEBASTIAN CHURCH (FOREGROUND), 1548.
ENTERING THROUGH ARCO DE LOS GIGANTES (ARCH OF THE GIANTS).
BUILT (WITH ROMAN-ERA PIECES INCLUDED) IN 1595 IN HONOR OF KING PHILIP II OF SPAIN.
A VIEW BEFORE GOING THROUGH ARCO DE LOS GIGANTES.
REAL COLEGIATA DE SANTA MARÍA, FIRST RENAISSANCE CHURCH BUILT IN ANDALUCÍA.
(WITH SCHOLAR PEDRO ESPINOZA OUT FRONT).
LOOKING BACK THROUGH ARCO DE LOS GIGANTESS.
HEADING BACK DOWN TO THE CENTER OF TOWN.
(IMAGINE MAKING DELIVERIES ON THIS STREET!)
ANTEQUERA'S VERSION OF A FRONT STOOP; EVERY STEP IS A DOOZY.
(AN AMERICAN PERSONAL INJURY LAWYER'S DREAM.)
THE DESCENT ACCOMPLISHED.
WE DID A LOT OF WALKING.
(AFTER MY MONTH OF DECREPITUDE, I HAVEN'T QUITE RECOVERED.)
BACK IN THE CAR, HEADING OUT OF TOWN.
NO OREO COOKIES ON THE RIDE HOME.
(NO WONDER "THEY" CALL HIM SAN GERALDO.)

20 comments:

  1. An extremely picturesque town. I can easily understand why you love it.

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  2. Everything looks so neat and tidy.....immaculate! So many 'styles' of buildings, Mitch.
    Love those bronzes dedicated to the Moors.

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    1. Jim:
      Truly amazing history and preservation. And, yes, immaculately clean.

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  3. The history seems to ooze out of every pore in this place and with very few people to stumble over it makes it that much easier to handle especially when those steps appeared staring you in the eye!

    Ron

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    1. Ron:
      Nice to be able to explore out of "season."

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  4. The statue of the Moors was most fascinating to me. I would love to know what Spain does/thinks of "Spanish History", for what I've been taught is mostly 'negative', such as how nasty they were for ejecting Moors, Jews etc. Ah history.

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    1. Spo:
      It is a fascinating history. The Moors ruled peacefully and gave religious freedom for more than 500 years. Christian monarchs started their surge in the early 1200s, I think. By early 1400s, Antequera finally fell. I was impressed that Antequera had dedicated that statue to the Moors who were forced out and then established an Antequera "satellite" barrio in Granada.

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  5. What a fascinating place! Spain looks so different from France. It's got its own "look" that's not like other spots in Europe.
    Glad you took us along for the visit, and hope you're near to feeling great again, soon :)
    Judy

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    1. Judeet:
      It DOES look very different from France. Antequera did, however, remind me quite a bit of places in Italy and, surprisingly, that hasn't struck me much before in Southern Spain.

      I'm still making every effort not to whine. This has really gotten old. I'm going to give a workout a try today and see how far I get!

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  6. The double humps of the mountain in the distance reminds me of Camelback mountain in Scottsdale Arizona. The history of Spain is just incredible!

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    1. Ms. Sparrow:
      I still haven't learned what that rock mountain is called. It sure is striking. Andalucía is amazingly similar to Southern California and the rock formation remind me, too, of the American Southwest.

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  7. If this is what a virtually unknown town looks like (I'd never heard of it) then the amount of visual riches all over Espana must be beyond comprehension. Quite staggering.

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    1. Raybeard:
      And we've seen so little so far. The burial mounds (dolmens), which we didn't get to see this visit, of Antequera are actually a World Heritage site. Who knew?!?

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  8. You do make me want to visit Spain. Beautiful!! Btw, I AM near Baltimore. :) Our friends are in Silver Spring, but we went to the Baltimore Aquarium, and yesterday I had my first real crab cake!

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    1. Knatolee:
      Now what made me think you were in Monterey?!? The Baltimore Aquarium is amazing and crab cakes are one of my favorite meals. Have fun! (And enjoy Monterey while you're at it.)

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  9. Loving the travelogue. As an architecture buff I love all the old structures, both the majestic and the humble.

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    1. Bob:
      Impressive private palaces are on their way today. The humble streets are much more charming. You would really love Antequera, I think.

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  10. What an amazing place you live in! I love seeing these photos and hearing about places I never knew existed. And you will need to go back many times to explore as much as you want. How long did it take you to get there from your home?

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    1. Kristi:
      Amazing is the word! It's less than an hour by car (51 minutes) from our house. We can also easily take the train there. If we want to see the bronze age burial mounds, we need a car. And I definitely want to see those. But we didn't even cover half the city. And we didn't go inside any of the buildings. Apparently, the city museums have about 80 percent of all the art treasures in the Province of Málaga. Hard to imagine! I can't wait to go back.

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