A Fascinating Holiday in the Old Moorish Town of


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A Brief History of El Castillo Arabe and Alora


Other historic sites in and around Alora


The history of Alora revolves around the history of its castle, declared a Spanish national monument in 1931. It was originally built by the Phoenicians who discovered the great commercial possibilities of the area. The Romans followed, taking advantage of the foundations after their conquest of Spain and restoring the fortress. The Romans had a municipium here, then known as Iluritanum, as attested by an inscription on a local milestone dating to 79 BC. The fortress was further enlarged by the Visigoths and, above all, the Moors, who conquered it early during their rule of Spain. After the crusades, Álora became a stronghold of the rebellious Umar ibn Hafsun, semi-independent lord of Bobastro (more about Bobastro) at the time of the emirate of Córdoba. The Christians of northern and central Spain attempted conquest the town numerous times. In one of these attacks, the governor of Andalusia, Don Diego de Rivera was killed at the foot of the walls in 1434. This was a tragic event which was spread by the Romancero (collectors of ballads) with the well known ballad “Romance of Alora” which has been reproduced in its entirety on a plaque in the Castle. The castle fell in to the hands of the Catholic king's troops in 1484.


In the 16th and 17th century, Alora prospered due to the presence of numerous distinguished people who came to live or visit, and between 1587 and 1593 Alora was home to the fabled Cervantes. Eventually, in 1628 Alora gained independence from the municipality of Malaga "for ever" in a deed signed by Felipe IV.


Alora is said to be the birthplace of Malagueño flamenco, one of the traditional styles of Andalusian music. Malagueñas derive from local variety of the Fandangos, a type of dance that, with different regional variations and even different names, which became very popular in a great part of Spain in the 18th century. This was recognised by the award of the town fountain by Malaga provincial council – the fountain is currently being restored at the entrance to the town.


Other historic sites in and around Alora