AREA : 34,50 km² ALTITUDE ABOVE SEA LEVEL : 386 metres AVERAGE ANNUAL RAINFALL : 700 l/m²
AVERAGE ANNUAL TEMPERATURE : 17 ºC POPULATION, CENSUS 1994 : 2,551
HISTORY AND LANDSCAPE
The town of Alozaina occupies a slightly high position in the western region of the Guadalhorce valley. Its lands extend from the Rio Grande valley, to the south, up to the peak of the Sierra Prieta to the north, thus joining the lands of the valley with the western mountains of the Serrania de Ronda. This lets Alozaina enjoy a natural and varied landscape, which finds its most beautiful sceneries on the sides of the Sierra Prieta, especially of the Ventanilla, which can be reached through the forest of the Cuesta de Pino Alto. An exceptionally interesting scenic trail, which allows for magnificent panoramas over the Guadalhorce valley.
The presence of man in these lands goes back to the Neolithic period, judging by the signs left in the Tajo de Jorox caves. But the first vestiges of urbanism are in the Roman period, as well as family settlements in the Ardite area.
The actual towns origins would have to be looked for in the Arabic rule, an era in which the castle was built of which only ruins remain. The name of the town also comes from that era, and derives from the popularly deformed word Alhosaina - small castle - . With the Arabs, Alozaina went beyond the limits of the Roman fort, creating an urban complex around it and even some poor quarters. After the Christian conquest in 1484, Alozaina formed an open base around the castle.
One of the most outstanding hostorical episodes took place during the Moorish rebellion in 1570, when the women, led by María Sagredo, confronted a surprise attack from the rebel Zebalí troups.
Places to Visit
The town centre conserves the typical architecture of the Andalusian towns up to the point that, in 1977, it was declared to be the prettiest town in Spain, among other reasons, because it has lovely streets with whitewashed houses, full of flowers and a parish church which presides over the urban complex.
This church, under the protection of Santa Ana, dates from the end of the 18th century, although there is an inscription which dates it from the first quarter of the 17th century. It has a cross base with wooden cover and outside it has a large tower with a square base which culminates in a bell body with a pyramidal roof.
Other interesting places, situated near the town are the Castle and the unpopulated areas of Ardite and Jorox, all three from medieval times. In the country estate of Los Hoyos de los Peñones there is a small church and a necropolis from the Mozarabic era.
Forge works, masonry, saddlework and ceramics.
Alozaina is one of the towns in the foothills of the Serrania de Ronda and the entrance to the Guadalhorce valley, which has a delicious gastronomy for the quantity and variety of dishes, such as : garlic and leek fried with eggs, rabbit with garlic and tomato, 'gazpachuelo' mayonnaise soup, 'enblanco', beef giblets, 'salmorejo' purée of cold soup, and cod omelette. In the winter there is : cabbage, porridge, stew/soup with chickpeas, cod, and garlic, fried eggs with asparagus, boiled soup, omelette with wild asparagus. In the summer : baked pepper salad, 'gazpacho' cold soup and gazpachillo (a variety of gazpacho).
The desserts are : date bread, honey rusks, and wine rusks.
FESTIVITIES AND TRADITIONS
The patron saint's festivities of Santiago and Santa Ana are celebrated on the 25th of July, the carnival in February, the olive fair on the 12th of September and on the 19th of May is the Jorox pilgrimage.
Alozaina shares the traditional fandangos with Alora and Jorox.