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History of Alpandeire

Diputación de Málaga

History of Alpandeire

The oldest available documentation talks of a place called Pandiere from the days of the Moorish occupation. It was one of the first positions that the Saracens set up after the battle of Guadlete. Everything would seem to indicate, therefore, that the origins of the village were Arabic from around the year 711 when it was called Andareg. However, because of the archaeological findings that have been dug up it is evident that prehistoric man existed there long ago, and this presence continued during the Metal Age as there are some very web preserved burial sites such as the Encinas Borrachas, Montero and the Sepultura del Gigante.

Remains of pottery and Roman buildings like the Basija and the Mimbre have also been found. However, the golden years of the village came with the arrival of the Arabs, who stayed until the 16th century, when Ronda fall into the hands of the Christians in 1485. From that moment on Alpandeire became state owned and was under the charge of Ronda.

On February 6th, 1572, King Felipe IIth ordered to resettle Alpandeire and Pospitar sites with 22 new neighbors, to whom homes and lands were distributed. In 1815 Alpandeire the Posesión del Real Privilegio de Villazgo was awarded by Fernando VIIth as a compensation for the behaviour of the whole village during the French domination. The inhabitants of this village were known by the nickname of “Panditos”.

We find ourselves, therefore, in a village with a very Arabs layout of narrow and colourful streets and in the main, two floor houses with the upper “sobrado”. On some of the facades engraved shields can be seen, and thus attesting to the nobility of the occupiers, who were amongst those who set up home on King Felipe’s IIth call. From an architectural point of view, Frey Leopoldo’s house and the others make up a group of intricate stone buildings that are of great interest. This is reflected well in the pottery work of Maria Guillen.

This village, which is the home of Francisco Tomás Márquez Sánchez and Fray Leopoldo de Alpandeire, looks forward to the day that the remains of one of its most venerated sons are returned to it from Capuchinos de Granada, which is where he had lived almost half a century and where he became so popular. References about this miracle-maker form Capuchinos can be seen on every street corner all over the town.

The church of San Antonio is also web worthy of a mention as it is considered as the "catedral de la Serranîa". It was built in 1505. However, there are no references of any kind to be found anywhere that sheds light on the historic background of the building or the mummies that were discovered inside in perfect condition.

About half of the whole municipality is dedicated to agricultural work (olives, cereals and forestry), and cattle farming, while the other half, some 1599 hectares is rather mountainous and gives the village a beautiful and often mysterious feel to it.