It is also linked to the famous legend of the ‘Peña de los Enamorados’ (suffering of the lovers), or the ‘Cabeza del Indio’, a local Romeo and Juliet story of two young star-cross’d lovers, one Christian, the other Muslim, who leapt to their deaths rather than be parted.
The slow and continuous action of the rain, snow and wind on the rocky landscape over hundreds of thousands of years caused a process of partial erosion and dissolving which has produced a shaping of the landscape both peculiar and characteristic, known as karst or karstic landscape.
Torcal de AntequeraEl Torcal encloses in its limited area one of the most impressive examples of karstic rock formations in Europe. For this reason alone, it was the first area of Andalucía to be protected as a Natural Site of National Interest, in the year 1929.
One of the forms that karst produces is the ‘dolina’ or ‘torcal’, both of which refer to a phenomenon in which underground caves collapse, producing sudden chasms in the surface of the terrain. These small subsidences or circular holes with flat floors are filled with a reddish clay, an indissoluble residue called terra rossa, red earth. From this precise geological oddity comes the name of this National Site of National Interest.
formations that the erosion has fashioned into shapes that have been declared a Natural Monument
The emblem of El Torcal is one of the numerous formations that the erosion has fashioned into shapes resembling screws and which, for their singularity, have been declared a Natural Monument.
This environment, of great aesthetic beauty and inhospitable appearance, is the habitat of numerous indigenous species of flora, small carnivores and raptors such as the vulture.
Some of the most representative dishes and specialities of the Antequera region are, apart from its molletes, sweet and light bread rolls, the ajoblanco soup of almond and garlic, porra, a thick vegetable stew similar to gazpacho, embutidos (country sausages) and chanfaina, a paella-like dish largely of lamb and sweetmeats with vegetables and wild herbs. Its repostería, baking and confectionery, is justifiably famous. In its traditional bakeries and enclosed convents (historically, if mysteriously, a font of sinfully sweet delights) the bakers and cooks produce alfajores (a confection of honey, lemon, almonds, eggs, bread and flour ), angelorum (similar to but lighter than alfajores), bienmesabe (eggs, biscuits, sherry, meringue cakes), polvorones (festive biscuits), mantecados (sweet lard breads or rolls) and pastelillos de gloria, a sweetened fruits tartlet also known as pastelillos de paraiso, paradise.
The great artisan tradition of Antequera, orfebrería, gold, silver and metal work, has been overtaken for the most part by crafts using simpler materials such as wicker, esparto grass, glass, metals and wood, among others.
In the centre of the province of Málaga (8 km south of Antequera). Area: 2,008 hectares. Altitude: between 800 and 1,369 m above sea level. Average monthly temperatures: 8ºC (January) to 26ºC (July). Average annual rainfall: 500 mm. Municipalities: Antequera and Villanueva de la Concepción