AREA: 118,60 km² ALTITUDE ABOVE SEA LEVEL: 591 metres AVERAGE ANNUAL RAINFALL: 621 l/m²
AVERAGE ANNUAL TEMPERATURE: 148 ºC POPULATION, CENSUS 1994: 2.171
HISTORY AND LANDSCAPE
El Burgo is one of the northern gateways to the Ronda highlands. Situated next to the Burgo river which further down becomes the Turón, this town dominates the entrance to the Ronda region from the Guadalhorce valley via Yunquera and from the Antequera depression via Ardales.
Its geographical location in an area where the valley widens and the relief softens, makes the towns surrounding landscape abund with olive groves and cereal fields, contrasting with the pine groves which cover most of the hilly terrain and some of the mountain side. The panorama is completed with the rockiness of the nearby sierras. Sierras which offer exceptionally attractive spots, such as the gorge of the Lifa valley, from where you can obtain good panoramas from the monument to the forest guard (next to the Ronda road) or Los Sauces in the nearby hillsides to the Peñón de Ronda, to which you ascend by the forest trail of the Convent of Our Lady of the Snow. At the beginning of this forest trail there is another area of interest: La Fuensanta, with camping installations.
The strategic situation of El Burgo has favoured mans presence in these lands since ancient times, no-one knows exactly when. For some, the towns name comes from the Greek Paurgus, which means tower; others believe it is of celtic origin and comes from the Germanic Baurgs, and finally, for others it comes from the Arab borch, which is the equivalent of "tower". Either way, it has always been a coveted place.
In the times of Trajano it had imperial privilege for being an obligatory passway for Roman legions on the route from Acinipo to Málaga, which is confirmed by the remains of footwear found in port Empedrado.
During the revolt of Omar Ben Hafsun (11th century) the fort in El Burgo was a decisive bastion for the areas defence against the Caliphate of Cordobas troops. After the rebels defeat it went on to depend on Malaga. In 1485, following the example of the rest of the highland villages, it was handed in to the Catholic kings.
In the times of Felipe II, given the bravery of the villages warriors, El Burgo had the privilege of not having to pay the taxes corresponding to its lands.
Places to Visit
On the highest part of the village, in what was probably the forts precinct and of which only a few remains of its walls are left, is the parish church of the Incarnation, built at the beginning of the 16th century (1505) and reformed on various occasions. Made in the Mudejar style, it consists of three naves; on the exterior it has two cuadrangular bodies with long arches and a tower with a roof with four slopes. This church has two fronts, the oldest of Gothic-Mudejar style, and the one opening on the side of the Gospel is baroque and was built at the end of the 18th century.
Outside the town centre is the Carmelite convent of the Virgen de las Nieves, whose church was built in the mid 16th century and rebuilt at the beginning of the 18th century. It only has one nave, and since the last century has been occupied by an oil mill and is practically in ruins, a state in which it has been falling since the Carmelites abandoned it with the confiscation of the religious communities goods 160 year ago.
Other places of historical and scenic interest are the Dique waterfall and the Molino de la Fuensanta (18th century).
Although there are no registered craftsmen, there are specialists in basketweaving with wicker and cane, and there is also forging and lacework.
All year round you can taste dishes such as kid, stew, esparragus stew and various types of soups, broths, wild plant omelette, breadcrumbs fried with garlic, cold summer soup with onions, and cod cakes. As for the pastrymaking, they have oil cakes, and rusks.
FESTIVITIES AND TRADITIONS
The carnival is celebrated in February. The patron saint's festivities dedicated to San Agustin take place between the 26th and 30th of August. Resurrection Sunday at Easter is bonfire night with the burning of "juas", a tradition that other towns celebrate on San Juan night. And on the 4th of August they organize the pilgrimage of the Virgen de la Fuensanta.