Antequera Things to Do

  • Franciscan Convent and Mozarab Chapel site
    Franciscan Convent and Mozarab Chapel...
    by theo1006
  • Puente Viejo from below
    Puente Viejo from below
    by theo1006
  • Puente Viejo from above
    Puente Viejo from above
    by theo1006

Most Recent Things to Do in Antequera

  • leics's Profile Photo

    El Torcal National Park

    by leics Written Dec 24, 2014

    Although this is not actually in Antequera it is the most wonderful place to visit, so it deserves a tip to itself.

    The park and nature reserve covers an area of some 17 square kilometres and is a limestone...'karst'..landscape,. with towers and spires or rocks carved into strange shapes by eons of wind and rain, sinkholes, crevasses and caves (including some which have evidence of prehistoric settlement). The limestone is full of fossils, of course, with ammonites being particularly common.

    In spring the area between the rock formations is covered with wildflowers, including 30 types of orchid. Eagles, vultures and wild mountain goats abound.

    Three marked trails of different lengths runs from the visitor centre and car park. Although I saw several people wandering elsewhere in the park (climbing and apparently fossil-hunting) I'm not sure how easy or safe it is to do so, nor am I sure whether the park authorities actually want people to wander at will. It would certainly be exceptionally easy to break an ankle when trying to make one's way through the rugged landscape with its many, many crevices and holes almost entirely hidden by vegetation.

    You'll need a car to visit El Torcal, unless you are willing to take the bus to the little village of Villanueva de la Concepción and then make a longish uphill trek to the car park and visitor centre.

    Related to:
    • National/State Park
    • Photography
    • Hiking and Walking

    Was this review helpful?

  • leics's Profile Photo

    A little bit of Roman...

    by leics Written Dec 24, 2014

    The upper part of Antequera is built on the original Roman fortress and settlement. Occasionaly, bits and pieces come to light when ground becomes available for excavation.

    To the side of plaza Santa Maria you can see the ongoing excavation of Roman baths. Several mosaics have already been found and have been removed to safety for conservation and preservation. More Roman artefacts found in the area are housed in the Municipal Museum in the lower part of the town.

    Various Roman tombstones, altars, quernstones and grindstones which have been discovered in the area are displayed on and around the 'Arco de Los Gigantes' which leads into Plaza Santa Maria.

    Excavation site
    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Archeology
    • Museum Visits

    Was this review helpful?

  • leics's Profile Photo

    Real Colegiata de Santa María La Mayor

    by leics Written Dec 24, 2014

    This large church...the Royal Collegiate Church of St Mary Major..stands in the older, upper part of Antequera.

    It dates from the early 1500s and is the first church built at that time which has Renaissance architectural elements (hence its pinnacles). The tower to one side was not built until the 1700s.

    The church has three naves, with a beautiful Mudejar-style wooden ceiling soaring above them. There are excellent views over the town below, and the plains beyond, from the square outside the church.

    Santa Maria is almost empty now, its artwork and memorials removed. It is no longer used for services although performances and exhibitions are held inside.

    Summer hours: 1000-1900 weekdays, 1000-1500 on Sundays.

    Winter hours: 1030 - 1730 weekdays, 1030-1530 Sundays.

    Entrance 3 euro or combined 6 euro ticket with Alcazaba.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Photography
    • Architecture

    Was this review helpful?

  • leics's Profile Photo

    Alcazaba

    by leics Written Dec 24, 2014

    I didn't manage to visit Antequera's Alcazaba. It was closed. But if you get chance this ancient fortification, like all similar in Spain, is well worth exploring.

    Antequera's Alcazaba (Moorish fortress) dates from the 110s, altough most of what you can see is from the 1300s. It was specifically built to keep an eye on, and defend against, Christian invasion from the north. At that time all of this part of Spain was under Moorish rule.

    The Alcazaba lies on top of Antequera's ancient Roman fortress and settlement (see later tips about what Roman evidence has been unearthed so far). It is rectangular in plan, with two towers and a central keep (main defensive tower) which is one of the largest in Andalucia. After the Christians had taken control of the city in 1410 a bell-tower was, eventually, plonked on top of the keep (1582).

    Open daily from 1st April>15th September, 1000-1900 weekdays and 1030-1500 on Sundays. Shorter hours from mid-September to March: 1030-1730, not Sundays. Audioguides are available.

    Tickets for the Alcazaba and the Royal Collegiate Church of Santa Maria, cost 6 euro as of January 2014.

    Related to:
    • Castles and Palaces
    • Historical Travel
    • Architecture

    Was this review helpful?

  • leics's Profile Photo

    Capilla Tribuna Virgen Socorro

    by leics Written Dec 24, 2014

    Also called the Portichuelo Chapel, this attractive building stands on the small, attractive Plaza Portichuelo in the upper part of Antequera.

    It is not as old as it appears, and certainly not as old as I originally thought it was. It dates from 1715 (though possibly built on the site of an earlier chapel) and its function seems rather unclear: either a specific stop on a processional (Easter?) route or just one of the many small chapels built to keep religious faith in the consciousness of the passer-by.

    It has an unusual layout, with two floors and three main facades. The main facade, facing the plaza, has a sort of loggia or open balcony.

    Whatever its original function, it is a very pretty building and one worth a closer look as you wander your way through the upper part of the town (see if you can spot the dedication marks carved into the stonework).

    Related to:
    • Architecture
    • Photography
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • leics's Profile Photo

    Iglesia San Sebastian

    by leics Written Dec 24, 2014

    ....or, to give the church its full name, Iglesia Colegial y Mayor Parroquial de San Sebastián.

    The church stands on Plaza San Sebasian (not surprisingly) and dates from the 1540s, though its tall brick bell-tower is from the early 1700s and links Moorish Mudejar architecture with Baroque elements. Standing 60 metres high, with a 3+ metre angel weather vane (the 'Angelote') topping that, the tower is one of the symbols of Antequera.

    I found San Sebastian to be a rather dark church, the central part of the nave blocked off in the 1700s by fully-enclosed seating for the choir. As is normal in Spanish churches there are few memorials (burial inside a church building has not been part of Spanish custom) although I did spot one (see photo). The church holds a great deal of artwork of various types, including several lifelike and somewhat gory sculpted scenes relating to the Crucifixion.

    El Angelote to the left
    Related to:
    • Architecture
    • Photography
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • leics's Profile Photo

    Those small architectural pleasures.....

    by leics Written Dec 24, 2014

    Even in the lower part of Antequera, nowhere near as ancient as the upper town, you'll still find some lovely historical architecture and, most especially, some beautiful tiling in the entrance ways to the larger, more impressive houses.

    It's worth keeping your eyes open as you wander because, although you often cannot actually go inside, exterior doors are very often open during the daytime so the passageway or entrance-hall tiling is visible to anyone who looks.

    The city hall building, once part of the Convento de Los Remedios which adjoins it on Calle Infante Don Fernando, is particularly impressive. It was closed to the public on the day I visited but normally you can go into the central courtyard and wander around what was once the cloisters of the convent.

    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture
    • Photography
    • Architecture

    Was this review helpful?

  • leics's Profile Photo

    Plaza Coso Viejo

    by leics Updated Dec 24, 2014

    This smallish square, now pedestrianised, lies just off Calle Encarnacion in the historical centre of the lower town.

    Plaza Coso Viejo was once called 'Plaza de los Vegetables', because it is where the city's markets used to take place.

    The Municipal Museum (housed in the Palace of Najera, which dares from the 1700s) lies along one side of the square, the Convent of Santa Catalina of Siena (1735) along another. A statue of the Infante Don Fernando, who conquered the city in 1410, stands in the middle along with a fountain which depicts the four elements of fire, water, air and earth.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Architecture
    • Photography

    Was this review helpful?

  • leics's Profile Photo

    Plaza San Sebastian

    by leics Written Dec 24, 2014

    This little square dates from 1508 and really is very pleasant indeed. It would be even more pleasant if there were no traffic running through it, but one cannot have everything.

    Its central fountain is made of pinkish marble, created by one Baltasar de Godros of Granada and dating from 1585.

    Make sure you have a look under the orange trees outside the church of San Sebastian. You'll find a modern mock-Roman column of pink granite (?) which marks where the ancient Roman Via Domiciana Augusta and other ancient roads met.

    Related to:
    • Photography
    • Architecture
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • leics's Profile Photo

    Penon de Los Enamorados - Lovers' Rock

    by leics Written Dec 24, 2014

    If you go up to the higher part of Antequera you can't miss seeing this huge lump of rock sticking up out of the plains below. in fact you can't miss it as you make your way to the city, for most of the surrounding land is very flat indeed and Penon de Los Enamorados can be seen from a long, long way away,

    I'm not sure whether it can correctly be called a mountain as it's only 880m or so high. It gets its name from the old local legend about two lovers (two Muslims from rival families, or a Muslim and a Christian slave...take your pick) whose love was forbidden to them. So they climbed to the top of this lump of rock, pursued by her family...or his family....and jumped off to their deaths.

    It's certainly a very old legend because Christopher Columbus knew the rock by that name and, in my opinion, is almost certainly based on a true event at some time in the past. The rock is also called Montana del Indio because its profile does look remarkably like the face of a man (presumably an American Indian).

    You'll need a car to get near enough to climb up Penon de Los Enamorados (it's about 12km/7 miles from the city). If you manage the climb on a fine, clear day, you'll certainly be rewarded with fantastic views of both the plains and the nearby mountains.

    Not a clear day on the plains.......
    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture
    • Photography
    • National/State Park

    Was this review helpful?

  • leics's Profile Photo

    Teatro-Cine Torqual: lovely Art Deco

    by leics Written Dec 24, 2014

    I certainly didn't expect to find such a super example of Art Deco in Antequera, let alone on which is so well-preserved and still in use.

    The cinema was built between 1933 and 1934, designed by architect Antonio Sánchez Esteve. Originally privately-owned, the cinema is now owned by the city itself, which is no doubt why it is so well-preserved.

    I didn't get chance to go inside so couldn't see the interior decoration. But the exterior elements are rather nice and, although the building does stick out like a sore thumb in its street of far-more-ordinary buildings, I can quite see why the city wants to preserve it.

    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture
    • Architecture
    • Photography

    Was this review helpful?

  • leics's Profile Photo

    Puerta de Estepa and bullring.

    by leics Written Apr 12, 2014

    The Puerta de Estepa stands in Plaza de la Constitucion directly opposite Antequera's bullring.

    This brick and limestone arch is new, a re-creation of the original arch built in 1749 as the entrance to the city for travellers from Seville, which was destroyed in 1931 to allow easier passage for traffic.The new arch was built in 1994 to mark, in 1998, the two hundred and fiftieth anniversary of Antequera being granted the right (by King Fernando the Sixth) to hold a 'Royal Fair' in August.

    The bullring in the background was first built in the mid-1800s, with the higher storeys made of wood. The town council purchased the building in 1980 and it has since undergone a total restoration and refurbishment and now...so I am told...it looks nothing like it did when first opened in 1848, inside or out.

    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture
    • Historical Travel
    • Architecture

    Was this review helpful?

  • theo1006's Profile Photo

    Franciscan Convent and Mozarab Chapel ruins

    by theo1006 Updated Jul 16, 2013

    We like to take the byroads when driving from one town to another. That is how we found these two-historic-sites-in-one on the side of road 7201, on our way from Córdoba to Antequera.
    The oldest site consists of two caves excavated in the rock by Mozarabs in the 9th or 10th century The Mozarabs were Christians who lived here under Moorish rule. The larger cave is thought to have served as chapel, the smaller one as living room for hermits.
    These caves can only be reached by passing through the ruins of a Franciscan Convent named Conventos de Ntra. Sra. de La Consolación. The convent was founded by the first Duke of Osuna, Pedro Téllez de Girón in 1566. Its present ruinous state is mainly due to the Civil War.
    The walls of the single-nave church still stand, next to these are the remains of dwellings of the Franciscan monks. In the bay of one window some polychrome fresco paintings including the Franciscan coat of arms can still be admired.
    Interesting detail: Left of the complex (when facing it) passes the GR-7 E-4 long distance European walking trail, that runs from Athens to Tarifa. Close by on this trail is a medieval bridge.

    Franciscan Convent and Mozarab Chapel site Fresco with Franciscan coat of arms (right). The Mozarab cave chapel Church interior Church ruins seen from nearby hill
    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Road Trip

    Was this review helpful?

  • theo1006's Profile Photo

    A medieval bridge

    by theo1006 Written Jul 16, 2013

    Next to the ruins of the Franciscan Convent we walked the European long distance trail GR-7 E-4 for a short distance to see the medieval bridge Puente Viejo or Puente del Arroyo del Bebedero. In ancient times this bridge connected nearby villages of La Atalaya and La Rincona.
    Its sturdy construction of stone ashlars and brick joined by mortar enables it to be used until today. At both sides of the main span are two smaller openings to let more water through in case of flooding in the rainy season. Hard to imagine when one sees only a trickle of - crystal clear - water in the river bed. The river, also named Burriana, is a tributary of Rio Genil.

    Puente Viejo from below Puente Viejo from above The trail to La Atalaya Wind erosion along the trail
    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Road Trip

    Was this review helpful?

  • LoriPori's Profile Photo

    VISIT THE ALCAZABA

    by LoriPori Written Mar 5, 2012

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Built by the Moors, the ALCAZABA is a castle - CASTILLO - situated on a hill overlooking Antequera. From up here, there are fabulous panoramic views of the town, including the famous "La Pena" - Lover's Rock.

    HORARIO - Visiting Hours - Monday to Sunday
    Winter Visiting Hours
    Sept. 1 to March 31
    10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

    Spring Visiting Hours
    April 1 to June 30
    10:30 to 2:00 p.m.
    4:30 to 7:00 p.m.

    Summer Visiting Hours
    July 1 to August 31
    10:30 to 2:00 p.m.
    6:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

    TARIFAS - Prices
    Real Colegiata de Santa Maria
    Adults 3 Euros
    Children 7-16 1,50 Euros
    Child 6 and under Free

    Alcazaba + Real Colegiata de Santa Maria
    Adults 6 Euros
    Children 7-16 3.00 Euros
    Seniors 3.00 Euros
    Children 6 and under Free

    Was this review helpful?

Instant Answers: Antequera

Get an instant answer from local experts and frequent travelers

19 travelers online now

Comments

Antequera Things to Do

Reviews and photos of Antequera things to do posted by real travelers and locals. The best tips for Antequera sightseeing.

View all Antequera hotels