AREA: 164,60 km² ALTITUDE ABOVE SEA LEVEL: 742 metres AVERAGE ANNUAL RAINFALL: 600 l/m²
AVERAGE ANNUAL TEMERATURE: 154 ºC POPULATION, CENSUS 1994: 2.343
History and Landscape
Cañete La Real rises 742 metres above sea level, in the Cañete La Real sierra between the Padrasto (996 m.) and Castillo (840 m.) hills. Its territory offers a frontier landscape between the Antequera depression and the Ronda highland. The plains and hilly terrains of olives and cereals, which are characteristic of the Antequera depression, cover the main western part of the municipality, while the rest of the territory consists of small sierras which mark the outpost of the Ronda region.
The hillsides, usually covered in oak and pine forests or low land, which climb among limestone rocks, offer a landscape of great beauty, especially when they surround lowlands covered in cereal fields, which accentuate the contrast, enhancing the spectacular nature of the relief.
Although vestiges of pre-historic man have been found in various points of the municipality, the first news we have is of the Iberian epoch, in which there was a settlement on the hill near the actual town, which later the Phoenicians called Sabora, for the abundance of cereals in the area (ebura means cereal). From this primitive settlement, the Phoenicians established commercial relations with the authoctonous pre-existent town.
During the Roman rule, very documented by the numerous sites discovered, the town moved from a place called Cerro de la Horca to its actual site. And the name Sabora from Flavia (Flavia Sabora) was added in honour of the emperor Tito Flavio Vespasiano, who in the year 79 granted its title of municipality.
In evidence of their gratitute, statues of the emperor were made and coins minted in his honour were discovered in Ronda and Cañete.
Later, the visigodes promoted the commercial and agricultural activities and the king Witiza conceded the rank of Real to the municipality, although this denomination would not yet appear in the towns name.
The Arabs called this town Hins Cannit or Qanit, which according to some means Castle of Cannit and according to others, the name Qanit refers to the abundance of cane which still flourishes in diverse points of the town. Either way, its actual name comes from the Spanish form of Cannit or Qanit, meaning cane, to which the title of Real was added after the Christian conquest in 1330. Recuperated by the Arabs during a few years, it was definately incorporated to the Corona de Castilla in 1407. Later it belonged to the domains of the dukes of Osuna.
Places to Visit
Cañete la Real is another town of the Antequera region which guards a rich historical-monumental heritage, with various archaeological sites from the medieval era and half a dozen buildings erected between the 15th and 18th century.
Among the most notable are the parish church of San Sebastian, erected in the 15th century and rebuilt in the 18th century with a baroque front of undoubtable interest. It consists of three naves with half canon vaults and one of them opens up to a niche where the image of the towns patron saint, the Virgin of Cañosantos is kept. On the outside there is a particularly interesting brick tower with a roof made with ceramics and geometric drawings.
Two other religious buildings complete the cultural offer. They correspond to the convent of San Francisco, from the 17th century, which has a small cloister attatched to the church, and the Sacramento convent which dates from the 18th century, although both are badly conserved. In San Sebastian street there are various singular buildings, with facades of great architectural value from the 17th and 18th century. Cañete also has a castle in ruins from the Arabic era and two towers, Atalayón and Ortegical, the former is medieval and the latter is of Arabic origin.
The local all year round cooking is based on popular dishes such as stewed meat with onions, stuffed vegetables, and broth. In the winter the more frequent dishes for their calories and proteins are the stew pot in various varieties including "pringa", and broth. In autumn and spring there are asparagus and mushrooms. In the summer, cold soup, and in the hunting season, meat cooked with the herbs and spices of the area. Pork products are eaten all year round. And for dessert there is a type of roly-poly and fairy cakes.
Festivities and traditions
The most popular and traditional festivity is the Virgen de Cañosanto, which is celebrated on the third Sunday in September. It is the traditional festivity of the patron saint. From the 8th to the 12th of October is the fair, not lacking in Flamenco dancing. Other celebrations include the Twelfth Night parade on the 5th of January and the carnival in February. Between May and June, a cultural week is organized and in July, there is a week for the youths.