AREA: 58,50 ALTITUDE ABOVE SEA LEVEL: 547 metres AVERAGE ANNUAL RAINFALL: 620 l/m²
AVERAGE ANNUAL TEMPERATURE: 16 ºC POPULATION CENSUS 1994: 3.485
History and Landscape
By Periana, the sierra takes a rest in small hills and long smooth slopes, to again deepen in ravines which fall to the Guaro river, before this widens into the Viñuela reservoir. A rural mountain landscape which obligates the road, which ascends to Alfarnate, to wind between the Sierra de Alhama and the Gallo-Vilo (Sierra de Enmedio), in one of the most attractive territories: the Puerto del Sol. From there, among holm-oaks which hang on to the rocks, you can contemplate one of the most spectacular panoramas of the Axarquía. When you descend from the sierra, from the hamlets of Vilo to the Muela, and crossing the Guaro nucleus, the surroundings are of smooth slopes covered with olives, pastures and cereals. And where water is available, fruits (especially peaches) are joined to the panorama and increase as the plots approach the rivers banks. There, there is an abundance of orange and lemon trees which makes this area one of the most productive.
The importance of not excessively abrupt terrains, the abundance of water, and the good climate of its valleys was the cause of these lands being populated since prehistory, as proven by the remains found in the important site of Cerro de Alcolea (at 731 metres above sea level), facing the Mondrón nucleus, in the neolithic site of Cerro de El Fuerte (896 m.) or in the haven of Marchamonas situated in the escarpment of this hamlet to the north of Periana. In this area, by the Viñuela reservoir, important neolithical vestiges have also been found which extended from the beginning of the Bronze Age.
The present location of Periana didnt have much importance until recent times. During the Arabic rule, where the municipal district is today, there were villages such as Mondrón and places with clear Muslim link, such as the Vilo Baths whose medicinal waters are taken advantage of .
Nevertheless, Periana remained a small farmstead of which there is no data. In 1487 it is quoted as a passageway for troops, which arriving from Archidona, went to conquer Veléz. It is in 1761 when it acquires the category of municipality when the small chapel of San Isidro Labrador is converted into the parish.
In its most recent history, Periana had a tragic event which ravaged its lands on Christmas night in 1884. The so called "Andalusian earthquake" partially destroyed the town killing dozens of neighbours. With national and international help, the new church was erected and the suburb surrounding it to shelter the families who had lost their homes.
Places to visit
The present town is relatively modern due to its total reconstruction after the previously mentioned earthquake, so neither its outline nor its buildings have a high historical value.
Its most important monuments are the San Isidro Labrador church, in Mudejar style, whose facade is made in brick and masonry, and the squares of Lomilleja and Fuente where the Town Hall stands.
In the Ambique inn, you can taste the magnificent aguardiente liquor which is made in an old distillery following traditional methods.
There is no local handicraft, but there are various olive businesses in Periana and in the adjacent Mondrón, where they say it has the best oil in Malaga. The peaches also have a recognized prestige.
The typical dishes are varieties of gazpacho , and ajoblancocold summer soups, Malalga stew, kid with tripe. Naturally, we recommend the peaches when they're in season. The popular desserts are sponge cake, oil cakes, Roman cake and lardy cakes.
Festivities and traditions
On the 15th of May they celebrate a festive day dedicated to San Isidro. From the 20th to the 23rd of August there are the major festivities where they pay hommage to the emmigrants and at the end of this same month, Periana is the centre of the traditional bullfights or the auctions of the peach harvest.