Located on the side of the Sierra Tejera, overlooking the Axarquia area, Periana Corridor and Zafarraya Gap, the village offers spectacular views as far as the coast.
Remains of the Neanderthal man were found here, but the first real settlements did not appear here until the Moslems arrived, as we can witness in the remains of the Zalia Fortress.
It has the typical characteristics of an Axarquia village, with its steep, narrow streets lined up with white houses.
Places worth visiting include El Tajo de la Cueva, El Moron de la Cuña, La Loma de la Monjas and Las Majadas.
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The municipal boundaries of Alcaucin, that stands on the foothills of the Sierra Tejeda, stretch as far as the border with the province of Granada. This border is marked by a series of mountains which provide access to the Axarquia area via the natural passage of El Boquete de Zafarraya. Since time immemorial, this passage has played a key role in the history of the settlers on the adjacent territories; in fact, archaeological excavations carried out in 1983 revealed human presence in the area over 30,000 years ago: one of the remains discovered was the jawbone of a male Homo Sapiens -better known as the Neanderthal Man- from the Le Moustier era of the mid Palaeolithic era. Other prehistoric remains found near El Boquete de Zafarraya were: The Guaicos caves and the Abrigo del Espino, both belonging to the Neolithic period, and evidence of a Bronze Age settlement in the 2nd century A.D. at Cerro de La Negreta.
Proof of the strategic importance of the area, and its key role connecting the coast with the interior, is the "Zalia Castle", located on the plateau of the same name, which dates back to Phoenician times. The Arabs equipped this defensive emplacement with elements that, even in its current ruined state, are still visible today. The last stage of the castle's history began in 1569, when, due to the morisco (Moslem conversion to Christianity) revolts and uprisings, it became a prison administered by the Bishopric and subversive Moors or those suspected of participating in the rebellion were incarcerated here.
The city's present-day name comes from the arabic Alqausin, meaning bow, and, in the opinion of some authors, could be a reference to the fact that the village was famous for producing these weapons.
Both the city and the nearby Zalia Castle, were conquered by the Catholic Monarchs in 1485.
Another outstanding event in the annals of the town's history, which is part of the village elders' folklore, is the major earthquake that occurred on Christmas Day 1884. The epicentre was located right on the Sierra Tejeda, devastating most of the north of the Axarquia area, causing serious damages and deaths. Existing documents state that the rescue and aid operations were made extremely difficult due to the heavy snow that had fallen in the area around the same time.
Address: Plaza la Constitucion, 1, Alcaucin (Malaga).
Phone Number: +34 952 510 002.
Official Website: www.alcaucin.es (only in Spanish).
Information in English: Wikipedia.
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