AREA: 20 Km² ALTITUDE ABOVE SEA LEVEL: 724 metres AVERAGE ANNUAL RAINFALL: 1230 l/m²
AVERAGE ANNUAL TEMPERATURE: 145 ºC POPULATION, CENSUS 1994: 1,014
HISTORY AND LANDSCAPE
The lands of Algatocín extend from east to west over the sierra which separates the Genal and Guadiaro rivers, amid low ridges of pine trees, chestnut trees, cork oaks and holm oaks. The forest descends among olive trees and almond trees by the Jubrique road up to the Genal river, and there it mingles with small plots on the river banks. To the east, the woodland is scarcer and appears spotting the cereal fields which descend to the proximities of Guadiaro. The town, which is situated at the foot of the sierra, at 724 metres above sea level, looks out over the Genal valley, adding an excellent scenery with white dabs of houses over the Fraille hillock. In the Genal valley, the visitor can contemplate a singular case of the integration between human exploitation of the area and the environment. The human use of building space and area are generally an extraordinary example of the respect for nature. The popular urbanism of the mediterranean, andalusian mountain exudes a taste of history, mainly Arab, in its streets which are usually narrow, tortuous and steep in order to adapt the houses to the land. The human landscape contemplates family plots which cover small terraces or the bottom of narrow valleys. It is the integration between man and nature which constitutes one of the main delights of the Genal valley.
Not much is known of the origins of this town, which may have been occupied by the Romans, judging by the remains found in Cerrogordo (a place near the town), although there are indications that it was founded by the Berber tribe, Al Atusiyin. Some relate the name of the town with this Arab tribe. Either way, its consolidation was produced with the Castilian repopulation before the Christian conquest.
Places to Visit
Algatocín also rises, following the curves of the uneven terrain on which it stands, originating serpentine and narrow streets. On the main, there are some 18th century houses with coats of arms. The Town Hall is in the centre of town with a fountain. The outstanding feature is the parish church dedicated to the Virgen del Rosario, from the 16th century, although, since then it has undergone various reforms and additions. It consists of three naves, and inside there are various works of art from the 18th century, such as a silver lamp and an image of San Francisco de Asís, made with polychromed wood. The chapel of the Calvario is higher up in a priviliged lookout from which you can see part of the Ronda highland, with the white villages of Faraján and Alpandeire and the impressive Genal valley.
According to the guide on crafts in the province of Malaga, in Algatocín there are no workshops, although there are specialists in weaving with palm, esparto grass, olive and chestnut twigs.
The specialities are based on: flour porridge with honey, rabbit, 'gazpacho campero' cold soup, breadrumbs fried with garlic, pork products, fried lard, mushrooms, beet omelette, and a large list of desserts, such as 'alfajores' fudge, 'buñeulos' sticky buns, lardy cake, 'meloja' cakes with honey, pumpkin and almonds, various jams such as greengage, quince, mulberry and pears, macaroons, rusks, meringues, fried cakes for breakfast, oil cakes, and chestnut croutons.
FESTIVITIES AND TRADITIONS