AREA: 21,20 km² ALTITUDE ABOVE SEA LEVEL: 340 metres AVERAGE ANNUAL RAINFALL: 600 l/m²
AVERAGE ANNUAL TEMPERATURE: 154 ºC POPULATION CENSUS 1994: 3.090
HISTORY AND LANDSCAPE
The municipal district of Valle de Abdalajís is situated on the southern border of the Antequera region, almost entirely surrounded by the lands of Antequera and opened through a narrow corridor to the Valley of the Guadalhorce. The sierra of Valle de Abdalajís plays an important part and acts as an impressive calcareous background to the white houses which extend at its foot. On the opposite slope, the landscape is formed by a much smoother relief of hills and undulations covered with olive groves and cereal fields. And between the hills and the sierra is the Piedras brook, between plots which warn of the proximity of the Guadalhorce valley.
The strategic situation of this small valley between the Guadalhorce lands, communications route towards the sea and the city of Malaga, and the Antequera lands, between the High and Low Andalusia, converts it into an important passageway all along history. A history which although it had very remote antecedents, shown by the numerous vestiges found in the area, has its first notable pages in the Roman era.
Here was the city of Neskania, an ancient Roman town which reached the privilege of being declared a municipality of the Baetica province in the 1st century, and in which, according to the tradition, there was a great temple dedicated to Jupiters cult.
Razed by the Vandals in the mid 4th century, this whole region was depopulated during various centuries until, with the arrival of the Arabs, some forts were built which are now missing.
The present name of the town seems to come from its founder, Abd-el-Aziz, son of Muza, which would situate its Arabic origins in the first years of this towns presence in the peninsula, but there is hardly any data from this era. On the contrary, the origins of the present town it seems has to be found in the 16th century, when its lands were ceded as an estate by Felipe II to D. Alfonso Pérez de Padilla, to whose family it belonged until the 19th century.
Places to Visit
The highest part of the town is the oldest and maintains its typical Arabic outline. There is a tavern in Real street - today restored - which is considered to be one of the first buildings in the village and in which the typical architecture of the municipality can be verified. In the vicinity, the visitor can see the ancient structure of the 16th century in the Palacio de los Condes de Corbo, which is in a good state of conservation.
The parish church is also interesting, finished in 1559 but reformed in the 18th century. It has a simple front and a three-bodied tower closed with a four-faced roof.
There is an interesting ascent to the chapel of the Santo Cristo, as it is situated on the side of the El Picacho from where there are exceptional views.
In the area of typical architecture, there are the one or two storey houses in which some of them conserve a yard and a chicken shack, as well as stables for horses and other domestic animals.
Although we dont mention the historical artistical heritage, we must point out that the sierra of the Valle de Abdalajís is an ideal spot for practising sky diving, and is provided with all the basic infrastructure for practising this sport.
The handicraft of palm work is very developed and there are also works with esparto grass. They still use the anciently common esparto grass pouches called "candongas" and also the "capacha" or food hamper.
You can also find forged objects and artistic locksmiths.
The most frequent dishes are the porra and perota soups, paprika, a variety of gazpacho caliente, migas breadcrumbs fried with garlic, gachas porridge, and the olla stew pot.
Other indispensible elements in the areas gastronomy are snails, when its the season, garlic soup, asparagus soup, and pork products.
FESTIVITIES AND TRADITIONS
Easter is characterized with the hommage to the Virgen de los Dolores.
The main festivities of the town take place between the 9th and 12th of August, celebrating the festivity of San Lorenzo. On this date they organize a verdiales singing competition, respecting all the tradition of this Malaga folklore.
As in so many other towns in the province, they celebrate the Twelfth Night Procession, the carnival, San Juan night, and their pilgrimage.
There are still people who place a five-holed horse-shoe behind their door for good luck.