Nerja

Nerja, a true fishing village, has a splendid seafront promenade which stretches along the coast right up to the famous promontory on the cliffs, known as the Balcony of Europe. This site is famous on postcards and was built in 1487 on an old castle from the 9th century.

The old town, full of clean little whitewashed streets, merges and contrasts with the new area, with its modern buildings, and wide, tree-lined streets, making this one of the areas on the Costa del Sol that best combines traditional charm with modernity.

As well as the famous Balcony of Europe, another obligatory visit is to the Cuevas ‘Caves’, christened the ‘Catedral de la Prehistoria’ (Prehistoric Cathedral). The caves boast 22 paintings declared a National Historical-Artistic Monument and their discovery in 1956 helped, in large measure, with the tourist resurgence in the area.

As for the beaches…they’re some of the most beautiful on the Costa del Sol. For a more detailed description, check out our web page dedicated to the beaches of Nerja.

TRADITIONAL FIESTAS IN NERJA

The most outstanding are the Fiestas de San Antón de Maro on the 16th and 17th of January; the pilgrimage and fiesta or Romería de San Isidro on the14th and 15th of May and the fair, held between the 8th and 12th of October.

HISTORY

According to recent archaeological discoveries made at the Cuevas de Nerja, the first settlers date from the Palaeolithic Age through to the Bronze Age, passing through Epipalaeolithic and Neolithic, with important Cro-Magnon human remains.

Puente del ÁguilaThe first historical records on the village of Alquería de Naricha (or Narija) are from the period when the Arabs were in charge. It must have depended on Vélez Málaga to a certain degree, as did other places in the area, although this doesn’t mean it was not significant in itself. In fact Nerja had its own fort, located in the area known today as Pago del Castillo Alto, where this Arabic settlement was located. It’s still possible to see some remains from this very fort in the angle formed by the Frigiliana Road at the junction with the Cantera track.

In the X century a tower similar to those in other coastal areas was built on the coastline.

When the Muslims finally surrendered to the Catholic King in 1487, most of the inhabitants of la Axarquía followed suit. This is related in the Christian Chronicles, and amongst other areas mentioned is Narija, our Nerja.

With the end of the Moorish rebellion in the XVI century, a new fort was raised in the place occupied by the coastal tower of the Balcony of Europe, which would later be demolished by the French in the 18th century. After abandoning their former settlement, the population returned and grew up around the fort.

The Hermitage, Ntra. Señora de las Angustias (Our Lady of Anguish), was built in the 16th century, a shrine dedicated to the Patron Saint of the town with frescos covering its Granada-style dome.

In 1655 the population of the village reached 400 and the town centre grew with the construction of different streets: Carmen, Iglesia, El Tajillo, Puerta del Mar, Plaza de Cavana, and Calle del Corralón, today known as Gómez, were all built, and Calle Granada was begun.

In 1660, under Mayor D. Antonio de Villavicencio, the king ordered the construction of the Torre de los Guardas tower, today known as Balcón de Europa, the Balcony of Europe. In 1697 the first phase of the parish of El Salvador came to an end.

Balcón de Europa On the 25th of December 1884 there was an enormous earthquake, prompting His Majesty King Alfonso XII to visit the affected area. After admiring the promenade around the “batería”or fortress, he officially named it “Balcón de Europa”. He also bestowed The Town Council with the title “Excelentísimo” or “Most Excellent”. During the first two decades of the 20th century, the road to Frigiliana was built and the Balcón de Europa Promenade was planned. It was later finished in 1930, along with Cruz and Granada streets. In 1950, the Municipal market was opened.

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