AREA: 5 km² ALTITUDE ABOVE SEA LEVEL: 435 metres AVERAGE ANNUAL RAINFALL: 670 l/m²
AVERAGE ANNUAL TEMPERATURE: 17 ºC POPULATION, CENSUS 1994: 352
HISTORY AND LANDSCAPE
Archez , like its municipality, is small but enchanting. Hidden at the foot of the sierra between Cómpeta and Canillas de Albaida and situated at the banks of the river Sayalonga to the northeast of the Axarquia region. Vines and olives cover the hills that surround the town, while in the valley, the small widenings in the river and some terraces bring vegetables and fruits to the scenery. The landscape should be viewed from the high areas in the surroundings, especially form the road which following the Mudejar Route, goes towards Salares. There is also a beautiful panorama of Archez and its surroundings from the Arenas road.
Regardless of the fact that it holds one of the most beautiful and well kept minarets of the Mudejar era, not much is known of its history. It seems to originate from a Moorish Farmhouse.
In 1487, the Christian troops conquered the village of Archez together with other towns in the area, all becoming part of Diego Fernández de Córdoba's estate, who later became the Marqui of Comares. Although there is no news regarding the Moor rebellion which extended over the Axarquía, it was possibly especially hard here, being situated in one of the access ways of the sierra and being close to Competa and Canillas de Aceituno.
There is no news about Archez until the past century, which according to Diego Vázquez de Otero, in that era, there was a lot of activity in the town as "textile mills with blue and white linens, three distilleries, two flour mills and four olive mills were running".
Places to Visit
From its Arabic origins, there are only the remains of the tower or minaret of the church of Nuestra Señora de La Encarnación, which dates from the 15th century, and has a square structure of about 15 metres in height. It is considered to be one of the most important historical monuments in the Axarquía region and was declared a national monument in 1979. The minaret presents a decoration of rhombuses of intertwined and jagged curved lines over the brick. A strip of ceramics has been conserved on all sides and the top half has typical Arabic adornments of blind horseshoe arches. The church attatched to the minaret was built later and consists of a nave with wooden armour, like most of the Mudejar structured churches in this area.
There is no comercialization of the scarce craftmanship based on the use of esparto grass and cane.
The most extent and exquisite dish is still the 'ajoblanco' a
cold soup. Other dishes are breadcrumbs fried with garlic, stew, and fennel broth. At
Easter, there is chick pea and cod broth, and cod cakes with cane honey. Among the bakery
there are wine rusks, wine grapes and muscatel raisins. Archez has its own wine production
and can be bought in bulk in some bars in the village.
FESTIVITIES AND TRADITIONS
The patron saint's festivities of San Sebastian and San Anton are in the second half of August with a bullfighting fair included. In May or June they celebrate an Andalusian night. Among its traditions, at Christmas they have carol singing and the zambomba (rustic drum).