NATURAL ALORA


English version
Spanish version
2014 tourist guide

Alora belongs to the municipality of El Valle del Guadalhorce. It is located on top of a little hill on the river Guadalhorce. On the mountain side, the Cordillera Antequerana, the landscape is spectacular, on the west side, the mountain Serrania de Ronda, provides a lanscape of pinegroves, on the East side of the river Guadalhorce, the landscape is soft, with small hills of cereals, some olive trees and remains of oaks. This natural landscape spreads through the province from Periana up to Alora, separating the mountain Cordillera Antequerana, from the Malaga Mountains. These mountains also stand out in Alora, along with fruit and vegetables gardens, and orange trees.

Alora's history goes back to Prehistoric times in El Hoyo del Conde, just over 1 km away from the city. The Turdetans (descendents of the Tartesians) and the Phoenicians discovered the big trading possibilities of the zone. They are responsible for the foundations of the castle, which would later be used by the Romans to fortify it. The presence of Rome has left improtant marks in this land. The Alcazaba (fort) and various Roman remains prove this. It is necesary to emphasice Omar Ben Hafsun's revolt. Its proximity to Bovastro must affected this land.

There are places archaeologically interesting: Veracruz hermitage, built in the 16th century, to commemorate the victory on the revolted Moriscos. 2 km away from the city, on a hill from which there is a splendid paronamic view of the Valley of Guadalhorce, is the convent of Nuestra Señora de las Flores, of the 16th century. El Chorro, El Hacho and the mountain Sierra de las Aguas stand out because of the lanscape around.

Typical dishes are: The majillo de esparragos, the calabacete and in confectionary the empanadillas de polvo de batatas (small pies of powder of sweet-potatoes), the roscos de pierta de horno and hazelnut ice cream.

The local holidays are in honour to San Paulino, the town's patron saint. They are celebrated at the begining of August. There is a cattle fair, a flamenco singing festival and the pilgrimage to the convent Nuestra Señora de las Flores.

Alora's fandango is the typical traditional dance in the local folklore. It is considered to be the cradle of the "Malagueña" or Malaga's folksong.

DATES OF INTEREST

THE THREE CROSSES' VERDIALES FESTIVAL - This is held on the first Sunday in May. The village taking part are Alora, Almogia, Pizarra and Cartama. The 'vediales' folk groups meet at the Chapel of the Three Crosses. The festival lasts all day with 'platillos' (small cymbals), violins, wine, singing and dancing being the order of the day.

ROYAL FAIR - The Day-time Fair takes place in the Plaza Fuente Arriba and adjacent streets. Events include the cattle fair and sporting competitions. Also worthy of note is the competition for making Aloran 'soup', the typical dish of Alora, and the competition for Threshing Songs, songs sung by farmers to urge on their animals as they do the threshing (of the wheat). The Night-time Fair is held on the San Paulino sportsground. The Fair takes place at the end of July and beginning of August.

PROCESION OF THE VIRGIN OF FLOWERS - This takes place on the Sunday following the 8th September, the day of the Patron Saint. The Virgin come out in procession from the Church of the Incarnation and is taken to the Chapel of Our Lady of Flowers, a Patron Saint of Alora. On arrival, a mass is held and the Virgin is honoured with dancing and celebrations along the approaches to the chapel.

HOLY WEEK - From Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday, Alora is bathed in a special light. There are numerous processions through the streets, accompanied by bands. The outstanding event is the Despedfa, a celebration declared to be of National Interest for Tourism, which takes place in the Plaza Baja de la Despedfa at mid-day on Good Friday. Music is provided by the soldiers of the Spanish Legion and the Parachute Brigade. The images of Jesus Nazarene of the Towers and Most Holy Mary of the Sorros greet each other and the bearers at the front of the float kneel down as many as three times.

FESTIVAL OF FLAMENCO SINGING - This is held in July and is organised by the Flamenco Club of Alora. One objective is to promote the singing of new artists. Every year the programme continues to improve as the organisers seek to retain the interest of all their supporters.

POPULAR OPEN-AIR DANCES - Music, dancing and entertainment are the main features of these celebrations. Especially interesting are the 'verbenas' of the dictricts of El Puente, Bellavista, Bermejo, Las Mellizas and San Paulino. These take plave between May and July.

PROCESSION OF THE VIRGIN OF THE HEAD - This takes place during the last weekend in April. The Virgin of the Head leaves the Chapel of Saint Bridget and is paraded through the streets of the district of La Estacion. The majestic figure of the Virgin is accompanied by her devotees and crowds of people wishing to pay their respects to the Virgin who is also a Patron Saint of Alora.

PLACES OF INTEREST

ARAB CASTLE - Its magnificent silhouette dominates the top of the hill known as the 'Cerro de las Torres. Its origins are Phoenician and the Romans fortified its ruins. Subsequently, the Arabs transformed it into a residence and fortress - a place difficult to capture. Inside the castle is a pointed horseshoe arch which is unique in the Western world and which was declared a national monument in 1931. Also worthy of note is the high altar of Alora's first parish church dating back to the 15th century. Its chapel is home to the images of Jesus the Nazarene of the Towers and Most Holy Mary of the Souls, engraved by the local sculptor Navas Parejo. From outside the castle there is a superb view of the Guadalhorce Valley. Opening hours: Monday to Sunday 9 - 13 hrs; 14 - 18 hrs.

ENCARNACION/PARISH CHURCH OF OUR LADY OF THE INCARNATION - This is situated in the Plaza Baja de la Despedfa and is the third largesr church in the province. Its is significant as an example of the mannerist style of the 17th century. It consists of three separate naves divided by Tuscan columns. Above the Chancel is an impressive dome. Opening hours: Days of services.

CHAPEL OF OUR LADY OF FLOWERS - This was built in the 16th century and was subject to several subsequent alterations carried out in the 18th century. Its own impressive beauty is enhanced by its location amid unforgettable natural scenery. Its most notable feature is the image of the Virgin of Flowers, a Patron Saint of Alora., which dates from the 17th century. Opening hours: 10 - 18 hrs.

MUNICIPAL MUSEUM OF ALORA - This is a magnificent place to find out about the history and artistic heritage of Alora. Its is located in the Escuela de Cristo, a building adjacent to the Parish Church of La Encarnacion in the Plaza Baja de La Encarnacion. Possibly it was the chapel of the former Hospital of San Sebastian (no longer in existence). Visitors can view a range of archeological exhibits covering the history of Alora.

CHURCH OF THE TRUE CROSS - This is an extraordinary 17th century building. It houses the image of Our Lady of Piety and Holy True Cross. It is taken in procession through the streets of the town centre on the night of Good Friday. Opening hours: Days of services.

HUERTO/CHAPEL OF OUR FATHER JESUS PRAYING IN THE GARDEN - This is located in Calle Calvario. Inside is the image of Jesus Praying in the Garden, which is paraded through he streets on Palm Sunday. Next to the chapel is the impressive La Glorieta, a look-out point from whuch visitors can enjoy impressive views of the Guadalhorce Valley. Opening hours: Days of services.

CHURCH OF SAINT BRIDGET - Constructed in the 17th century, this chapel is located close to the railway station. Its most notable feature is the image of Our Lady of the Head, also Patron Saint of Alora. She is paraded round the district of La Estacion in the annual procession (romeria) that takes place during the last week of April. Opening hours: Days of services.

CRUZ DEL HUMILLADERO - This is a small building located close to the Monastery of Flowers (Convento de Flores) which commemorated the handing over of the the keys of Alora by the last (Moorish) governor to the Catholic Monarchs in 1484.

LA FAENERA - This is a work of sculpture in bronze carried out by Mario Amaya, at the beginning of the 20the century. It represents a tribute to working women picking and selecting citrus fruit. It is located in Calle Cantarranas.

EL CHORRO - El Chorro, located about 12 kms from the centre of Alora, is one of the most impressive natural areas in the district of Alora. It is a unique and perfectly created natural feature located in an outstanding setting. The Pass of Los Gaitanes is a canyon over a hundred metres deep, where the River Guadlhorce has cut like a knofe through the various layers of rock. Perched on the walls of this gorge is the Caminito del Rey, a narrow footpath about 7 kms long. The Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty known as Los Gaitanes has a total area of 2,000 hectares, and is composed of varying kinds of rock formations. For those who love rock-climbing, this place cannot be surpasse.

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