Some 30 minutes by car from Cortijo las Rosas, the history of Archidona dates back to prehistoric times. The Phoenicians are said to have begun the construction of the protective town walls, and under the Romans it became known as “Arx Domina”. Under the Moors it was known as “Medina Arxidund” leading to its present name of Archidona.
The town was declared a Village of Historic and Artistic Interest in 1980 and boasts many interesting places to visit.
There is the Moorish Castle which at the time of the Moorish occupation was impenetrable, with its three layers of ramparts protecting it and with an imposing rock face behind it.
There is also the Hermitage of La Virgen de Gracia. The ermita and sanctuary is dedicated to the devotion of the patron saint, La Virgen de la Gracia. This is a unique site in Andalucia because it has been built on the original site of the Arabic Mosque, while all others were destroyed. This is only one of several churches. There is another hermitage and the Convent of the Mininas, where the nuns continue to live their simple and reclusive life.
The Plaza Ochavada is an unusually designed octagonal plaza and was built in the 18th Century. Inside this ‘Andalucian Patio’, red brick contrasts with the bright white wash of the walls, reflecting the style of the local architecture.
In typical Andaluz style, Archidona celebrates many colourful fiestas throughout the year. From Carnaval at the beginning of February where everyone dresses up in fancy dress and Semana Santa (Easter Holy Week) with its colourful processions, to August 14th to 18th which sees the main village Fair and Fiesta of the Virgen de Gracia (Patron Saint of Archidona).
More unusually Archidona celebrates a three day dog show, “La Feria del Perro“ at the end of May or the first weekend of June. This is a big event on the calendar and national and international champion show dogs are brought to compete from far afield. There are all sorts of exhibitions, such as the Police dogs being put through their paces and demonstrations of the amazing skill of sheep dogs and their trainers. This wonderful canine event began in 1993 and has become increasingly popular each year since then. It is a must for all dog lovers and for anyone who enjoys a really interesting day out.