AREA: 16,20 km² ALTITUDE ABOVE SEA LEVEL: 323 metres AVERGAE ANNUAL RAINFALL: 700 l/m²
AVERAGE ANNUAL TEMPERATURE: 158 ºC POPULATION CENSUS 1994: 1.541
HISTORY AND LANDSCAPE
The municipal district of Cuevas Bajas is situated at the northern border of the Antequera region. Its lands are mainly delimited by fluvial river beds: the Pozas brook to the northeast, the Burriana to the southeast, and the Genil river to the northeast and north where the town stands at its banks. Between the Genil river and the highest point of the municipality, the Cruz peak (768 m.) the landscape is basically formed by very smooth hills covered with olive groves, whereas near the town and the banks of the Genil river there are plots and small areas of dry farmed cereals.
The name of the town gives reference to the numerous grottoes which exist in its surroundings and in which the first inhabitants of Cuevas Bajas (Low Caves) could have lived in pre-historic times. Soon after the Arabs entered the peninsula there is already proof of their presence in these lands, by some vestiges of the old irrigation systems which are still used in the nearby plots.
After the Christian conquest, this town belonged to the city of Antequera, which was ceded by the king Juan II de Castilla in the 15th century, as a prize for the collaboration given by Don Pedro de Narváez, the mayor, in the conquest of the Belda fort.
Places to Visit
The most representative monument is the parish church of San Juan, built at the beginning of the 17th century in masonry and brick. The interior has three naves, vault over the transept and octagonal niche over the high altar. Outside, the front has an open pediment in its vertex, where there is a vaulted niche framed with an arch. The square tower is converted into a three-bodied steeple, the top having one arch with pediment.
Handicrafts based on the use of cane for making baskets, hampers and other objects for the home. There is also wicker work and reedmace for chairs.
The gastronomy is typical of the ample Antequera region in which they have grape porridge, breadcrumbs fried with garlic and many recipes of stews and soups. Regarding the pastrymaking, there are oil cakes, wine rusks and other sweets. There is a homemade drink called "resoli" which is also served in other towns such as Alfarnate. This drink is made with aniseed, coffee beans and aromatic herbs and spices.
FESTIVITIES AND TRADITIONS
Cuevas Bajas celebrates it patron saint's festivities in honour of San Juan on the 24th and 25th of June and as in practically all the geographic province they burn the "juas" on the night and early hours of the 23rd and 24th. The fair, which doesnt have any religious advocation, takes place in mid August.