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History of Álora

Diputación de Málaga

History of Álora

Alora, which is located at the foot of the Sierra de Hacho high up on top of a rocky outcrop, has been inhabited from prehistoric times as is witnessed to by the discoveries of Neolithic axe heads in the Cueva de Doña Trinidad, which is in a beauty spot known as the Hoyo del Conde about one kilometre form the town or in the Sabinal..

It could be said that it is one of the oldest settlements in the whole Malaga region as is demonstrated bu the aforementioned findings or maybe that it was an Iberain town, which is witnessed to by the potter’s workshop on the banks of the Hondo river. Later on the Phoenicians soon were to make the most of the optimal conditions the Guadalhorce valley offered. It was their idea to build a castle, which the Romans restored at a later date. Just as Plinio described, the town and the fortress were subject of Viriato’s attack

From the summit of the Hacho, and the Monte Redondo, the sea can be watched for enemies. Both the Romans and the Arabs came by sea, whereas the Visigothics came over land.

In any case, the most important legacy that the town was left was care of the Romans and the Arabs as can be evidenced in the remains of several villas named Villa Pompilla Canca or Alcubilla. As well as this there is the castle itself, of course that also preserves in tact some of the two enclosures that once were part of the whole structure. At the foot of the castle and protected by it grew the town, which in Roman times was given the name Iluro, while the Arabs preferred to call it Alura

The town was incorporated into the Castille Kingdom in 1484 when it was regained from the Moors, and their leader Ali El Bazi, by the Catholic Kings. The Moorish uprising during the reign of Felipe IIth led to the selling off of many of the prisoners. Finally, in the 17th century Alora emancipated itself from the control of Malaga’s government and became a fully independent town in 1628. This historic occasion was recorded by an official Act of Confirmation of Independence overseen and signed by Felipe IVth.

Alora is mainly an agricultural town based on single crop farming. This fact makes mechanisation difficult and also limits production. The Olive is the most important crop follows by the orange and the lemon ( the largest producers in all of Spain today). As for animal farming the town has both large stocks of goats and sheep. The large areas of forestry that surround the town are also worthy of mention in which the Pine, the holm oak, and carob trees are the most prominent.

The town has three train stations and a large number of streets that are well worth a stroll around like: Barranco, Rosales, Negrillos. In Plaza Ancha there is a commemorative plaque that says; The ingenious and noble Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra was employed as one of the king’s tax collectors in this place from 1587 to 1593. This building was built in 1967 in his memory”. There is also an important monument that the town dedicated to the town’s working women “faenera”, which can be found at the junction of three main streets; Cantarranas, Algarrobo and Carmona. It is mounted on a pedestal along with a woven basket full of fruit that she has supposedly picked in the county.

Finally, it would not be fair to finish without mentioning the love and care that the inhabitants of Alhora show for the natural habitat that surrounds them. The protagonist of their attention is the abundant water that flows through the region and its main provider; the Guadahorce river. On its way to the sea it meanders its way through the spectacular Gaitanes Gorge with the “Caminito del Rey” walkway hung closely to the rocky sides. Then there are the man-made reservoirs built out of the obvious need to have a supply of water. On top of all this, wherever the visitor may go within the municipality they will come across footprints of past history such as the Necropolis of Villaverde or the mysterious cave church that the Mozarabs dug up in Bobastro.