The Pueblo Blanco


The Muslim minaret is still clearly visible today, protruding defiantly from the elegant and immaculately preserved castle.

It is well worth taking a tour of the castle, built in 1462, from local history expert and museum worker, Maria Jose who is generally on hand in the mornings.

A short walk down narrow traditional streets leads to the town’s lowest-lying square. Here stands the impressive 17th century Catholic church of La Encarnacion, which somehow appears to be even larger on the inside.

Adjoining the church is the municipal museum, complete with ancient pottery, historical displays and intense mustiness.

It is a Mudejar construction dating from the 16th century and supported by stone pillars and columns.

Hidden right in the heart of the town is an old molino, where olive oil was traditionally produced but it is now used for the occasional concert.

Various small museums and bars have sprung up in the centre since the turn of the century, as this town continues its legacy as one of the most important settlements in the Guadalhorce Valley.

Despite keeping its fascinating history to itself with unwarranted modesty, Alora has blossomed into a hive of cultural activity.

Marked out by its stunning Arabic castle atop Cerro de las Torres hill, the sprawling streets are brought to life through Moroccan and Roman influences before them.

However, the castle is even older and was originally built by Phoenicians, before being expanded under Roman rule. And later destroyed by Visigoths in the fifth century before the Moors finally came and rebuilt it.

One of the highlights was the small bodega belonging to José Miguel Pérez Hidalgo, which produces a range of wines from the Guadalhorce Valley’s vineyards, and offers tasting sessions to organised groups.

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