Antequera offers so much, including the Alcazaba of Antequera, the Collegiate Church, beautiful parks and gardens, stunning viewpoints of the city, and even some old Roman baths that are still being unearthed. No less than three cultures – Arab, Christian and Roman – in a single place.
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Located 45 km from Malaga and 115 from Córdoba, Antequera has an architectural heritage comprising more than fifty religious and civil buildings and numerous archaeological sites. In fact, Antequera has the largest number of churches per inhabitant in all of Spain.
A walk around the town immerses you in a glorious history with palaces, churches and convents of various styles representing different periods of history. There is also a Muslim fortress, El Alcazaba, and a prehistoric complex declared a World Heritage Site.
A short distance away is El Torcal—a fantastic landscape of Karst Limestone, arguably the best example in Europe. I highly recommend exploring that on another day – see my photos in my post about El Torcal de Antequera.
Route around Antequera
I generally followed a route from Wikiloc, which I found very useful. Several are available, such as this one here. It is easy to modify to suit your own needs.
Alcazaba de Antequera
The Alcazaba, a military fortress, is undoubtedly one of Antequera’s crown jewels.
The exact origins are unknown; it is believed that the beginnings of the overall layout of the current Alcazaba date back to the eleventh century. The fortress was built on ruins dating back to Roman times, and many of the original materials from the Roman period were re-used in its construction.
In the fourteenth century, it was rebuilt and strengthened, including the addition of towers and extensions, to protect access to the river below the fortress and resist the Christian advances from the north.
The Alcazaba was declared an Asset of Cultural Interest in 1985.
Real Colegiata de Santa María la Mayor
The Royal Collegiate Church of Santa María la Mayor is Antequera’s most interesting religious architectural building. It was built in the 16th century and is considered the first Renaissance building in Andalusia.
The architect was Pedro del Campo. The church is considered the first columnar church built in Andalusia and one of the first in Spain. Its Ionic columns and Mudejar coffered ceilings stand out, as well as the Gothic-Mudéjar vault of the High Altar. The ashlar facade is built with stones from the remains of Singilia Barba.
Other points of interest in Antequera
Although the Alcazaba and the Royal Collegiate Church of Santa María la Mayor are undoubtedly Antequera’s gems, there are many other points worth seeing, including numerous churches, convents and palaces of different eras and styles. The following are some of the things that caught my eye.