The Archidona Web
The historical origins of Archidona go back to the ancient Escua de los Túrdulos, Punic word which means "main head". Later, Phoenician and Carthaginian settlements were shown, preceding the Roman rule which gave it the name of Arcis Domina or "Lord of the Heights", the significant term for the strategic-defensive character of this enclave on the top of a hillside considered to be impregnable with its three belts of walls and reinforced with a cleft behind.
The name was arabized later with the word Arjiduna. It is precisely the era of the Muslim rule where the city reaches its greatest splendour. The Arabic fountains tell us how it was converted into the capital of the Rayya territory, more or less what the province of Malaga is today. Historical events with great transcendence have the fort as the scene: in 711, Abd-el-Rahman I is proclaimed an independent emir in the outdoor oratory in the outskirts of the city; at the end of the 9th century and beginning of the 10th, Archidona was in the middle of the revolts lead by Mozarabs, Muladies and Berbers with Omar ben Hafsun at the head, until it was definitely conquered in 907 by the emir, Abd Allah, once the revolt was crushed. During the times of the Taifas kingdoms, the capital status of the Rayya territory went from Archidona to Malaga, with the arrival of the Hammudies in 1035, starting a period of slow and gradual decadence which culminates with the conquest of the castle on the 28th of July 1462.
The legend envelops, with its halo of romanticism, the events which took place during the end of the Muslim rule in Archidona. The legend of the Peña de los Enamorados (lovers cliff) is well known, and relates the fleeing of the youngsters, Tagzona and her lover Muhamad, before the intransigence of Alhama. After a long persecution, the two lovers throw themselves from the top of the cliff which since then takes their name. The chronicles relate than since this tragic event, Ibrahín, the magnanimous and benevolent wallah of the castle became cruel and irascible and from henceforth was called the "Vulture of Archidona".
The conquest occurred after a long two month siege, when the Christian troops, lead by the grand master of Calatrava, don Pedro Téllez Girón, assault the fort. Ibrahín, seeing he was lost, through himself from the cliff, as a last gesture of arrogance.
Once the area was pacified and after the definite conquest of the last Muslim redoubt of the peninsular, the Nazarite kingdom of Granada, the new times see how the population of Archidona will take the leap over the walls which enclose the high villa, and each time will go on extending the low villa over the foothills, forming the seed of the present urban settlement. Archidona was ceded by Enrique IV as an estate to the successors of the conqueror, the counts of Ureña and the dukes of Osuna, who kept their patronage over the villa until the 19th century.