AREA: 43,60 km² ALTITUDE ABOVE SEA LEVEL: 699 metres AVERAGE ANNUAL RAINFALL: 725 l/m²
AVERAGE ANNUAL TEMPERATURE: 142 ºC POPULATION CENSUS 1994: 3.264
HISTORY AND LANDSCAPE
The municipal district of Villanueva del Rosario is located on the southwest border of the Antequera depression, in the shelter of the Jobo and Camarolos sierras. These sierras bring a spectacular panorama, as they are sierras in which the limestone has given way to numerous crests, headlands, and scarpments, which make the rocky walls predominate with the presence of karstic shapes. At the foot of these sierras there is an authentically singular spot, the Llano del Hondonero, with great possibilities for recreational touristic exploitation, as the extraordinary attractiveness of the surrounding scenery is joined to the presence of various springs and abundant vegetation: pines, holm-oaks, gall-oaks, hawthorns and numerous types of thickets which surround and mix with crop lands at the bottom of the gully, whereas near some of the springs there are black poplars, ashes, and rushes which add a very attractive touch.
At the foot of the sierras, the territory of Villanueva del Rosario offers views dominated by olive fields scattered with houses and farm houses joined by various dirt tracks. One of these tracks, the one that ascends up to the Llano del Hondonero, has been improved, and generally presents a comfortable course for vehicles, right up to the plain.
The town maintains all the enchantment of its ancient outline and popular architecture. White houses with one or two storeys in narrow streets and secluded squares; all very white and clean, as if it expects a visitor, and a serene atmosphere which not only invites one to take a stroll but also to stay. That is how many people from Malaga understood it years ago, and who have built their second home here, adding the traditional holiday home with its garden plot to the rural landscape.
The strategic situation of Villanueva del Rosario in an obligatory passage between the mining areas of the interior of Andalusia and the coast, as well as the abundance of water and the hillocks which facilitate its defence, have favoured mans presence in these lands since old.
Long before commerce was discovered, man was here, in the paleolithic period, neolithic, calcolithic, and Bronze Age, which are represented by the numerous archaeological sites in the municipality, but most of the findings belong to the Roman era. Villas, presses and mills extend over what is today the district of Villanueva del Rosario. A communications route crossed the sierra by the Puerto de los Perdigones, connecting the High Axarquía with the High Guadalhorce.
After the Roman era, it seems that visigodes settled here, testified by some necropolises found. But after this period there is no knowledge of any important settlements until the first years of the 18th century, in which it seems that the village which originated the present town was founded. The initial nucleus, which was then called Puebla del Saucedo, began a progressive urban, social, and economic development after becoming independent from Archidona in 1836.
Places to Visit
Founded at the beginning of the 18th century, the town does not offer any outstanding monuments. Nevertheless, the place was a settlement area for Romans and Arabs, from when there are still some buildings conserved.
Apart from the already mentioned archaeological sites, and the high number of natural caves, Villanueva del Rosario offers a popular architecture with whitewashed houses.
Some of the typical farmhouses of the Antequera plain also stand out, and are still dedicated to agriculture.
This is an example of a municipality with a vocation for handicraft, as it has many workshops with an important production of ceramic figures for collectors, tapestries, and carpets. It is not only outstanding for its production but also for the initiatives which are taking place betwen the different workshops which are associating for the commercialization of their products.
Rice with game meats such as rabbit and partridge are popular dishes as well as porra fria. There are also many variations of gazpacho cold soup, and migas breadcrumbs fried with garlic. The local cooking gives a special importance to crabs, mushrooms, asparagus, and tagarninas.
There are excellent home made desserts among which there are sponge cakes, almond cakes and oil cakes.
FESTIVITIES AND TRADITIONS
In the first half of August they celebrate the harvest collection, and at the beginning of October are the patron saints festivities, dedicated to the Virgin of the Rosary, where a verdiales singing festival is organized and fandangos.
In April, they celebrate the pilgrimage of San Marcos, which is traditional in most of the municipalities of the region.