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History of Cuevas del Becerro

Diputación de Málaga

History of Cuevas del Becerro

The origin of the name Cuevas del Becerro is still unclear, with several different theories existing. One claims that the figure of a golden calf was once found inside one of the many caves scattered around the town. Another suggests that the origin of the name can be traced back to a calf that became lost in one of these caves, subsequently being found as a result of its lowing.

One thing about which no doubt exists is the town’s Roman origins, which are witnessed by the remains of the kilns from the Roman pottery workshop. Neolithic remains have also been found on the western and northern slopes of the Cerro del Castillón, near the Fuente del Zorro and on the north east edge of the Cerro de las Palomas.

This town, which stands on the estate of "El Mayorazgo", was built alongside the road from Ronda to Cañete. While the town centre is still home to a wealth of examples of traditional architecture, a number of new buildings of the modern chalet variety are beginning to appear in the outlying areas. The architectural contrast to these is provided by the marble and ceramic panelling that covers the Arabic-style buildings that line the aforementioned road, creating a unique main thoroughfare in the town centre, at the heart of which stands the church named after San Antonio Abad, who became the town’s patron saint for a curious reason: during the Napoleonic invasion, it was feared that the French soldiers would rape the local women; however, on St. Anthony’s Day, the soldiers passed the town by, and, in their gratitude, the townsfolk chose the saint as their patron.

The first owner of the "El Mayorazgo" estate was the Marchioness of Benamejî, though the land was subsequently shared out among the new colonists in view of its suitability for agricultural exploitation. However, experts believe that this signalled the decline of "rural culture" among the local people.