Alpandeire

AlpandeireThe current village dates back to the 8th century. Alpandeire is one of the first fortified cities by the Muslims in the Serranía de Ronda region.

The layout of its streets still reflects the influence of Andalusian-Arab culture, and particularly impressive for the visitor is the large vault of San Antonio in the church of Padua, dating from the 18th century.

The municipality of Alpandeire is divided into two sections, the northern area that once had significant mining activity and ended up desertifying the area, and the southern area where most of the agricultural activity is concentrated.

History of Alpandeire

There is evidence of human presence in Alpandeire since prehistory, although the urban nucleus would not be formed until the arrival of the Arabs during the 8th century after our era. They not only left their culture but also a layout in the streets of Alpandeire that still endures.

The end of the Arab reign came after the capture of Ronda in 1585 by Christian armies, who, after the rebellion of the Moors throughout all the conquered territories, expelled them and repopulated the area with Christians brought from northern Spain.

The arrival of French troops caused a movement that would ultimately become the origin of banditry in Andalusia, and Alpandeire was home to many of these bandits who hid in the Sierra Morena and the mountains of Ronda. One of these bandits known as "El Barbaran" (Antonio Barbaran Jiménez), who lived in the area during the first half of the 19th century, robbed travelers along with his band of 12 men.

Legends of Alpandeire

Alpandeire churchAmong the countless legends of Alpandeire, we highlight that of the Pospitara treasure:

It is said that during the year 1598, a man who was half Moorish and half Christian, with the appearance of a wanderer and carrying a bagpipe, gathered locals around him upon his arrival. No one had seen a musical instrument like that before, one of the reasons why this legend remained etched in popular memory.

This strange wanderer waited until it was dark and headed to Pospitara following the directions he had been asking for throughout the day. After waiting for the whole town to sleep, he went to the town's fountain and, counting 30 steps in one direction, began to dig, always making sure no one saw him without making too much noise.

It is said that after finding a large amount of gold and jewels, he filled his pockets and other bags he had with such wonders, after which he disappeared, and nothing more was heard of him. Near the well where he had been digging, coins and silver and gold were found, which would corroborate the story.

How much truth is there in this and other treasure legends in Andalusia?

Alpandeire monumentsPopular stories are generally a combination of reality and legend that are still commonly told in the area. It is a fact that Alpandeire was conquered, and the Muslims displaced; many of them could have hidden their money and jewels underground near where they lived to avoid being robbed on the way.

The journey of the mysterious musician with the appearance of a wanderer would be undertaken following the instructions given to him by his relatives, who told him exactly where to dig. Surely, a journey he made from Galicia, as indicated by the musical instrument he played.

If you visit Pospitara today, you can find remains of abandoned houses and bricks, ceramics, and vessels from those times. Other objects such as swords and pipes used by Muslims to smoke "kifi" back then were also found.

Tourist Attractions

Alpandeire, located in the province of Málaga, Andalusia, stands as a historical treasure with various tourist attractions. Discover some of the gems it offers in our "Tourist Attractions" section:

  1. Parish Church of San Antonio de Padua: The Parish Church of San Antonio de Padua, erected in the mid-16th century and subjected to restoration in the 18th century, stands out for its imposing dimensions, earning it the nickname "the Cathedral." (Map)

  2. Natal House of Fray Leopoldo: Marking the birthplace of Fray Leopoldo de Alpandeire (1864-1956), a renowned Capuchin beggar. This historic site attracts pilgrims interested in learning more about his fascinating life. (Map)

  3. Hiking Trails: The proximity of Alpandeire to various natural parks and monuments, such as Cueva Del Gato, Los Reales de Sierra Bermeja, and the Sierra de las Nieves National Park, offers exceptional opportunities for hiking and connecting with nature.

Additionally, the narrow streets of Alpandeire preserve the essence of Arab-Andalusian culture. The town is also renowned as the birthplace of Antonio Barbarán Jiménez, alias "El Barbarán," a legendary bandit of the Serranía de Ronda.

Fair and Festivals

Alpandeire immerses itself in intensity and joy during its Fair and Patron Saint Festivals in honor of San Roque, taking place from August 12th to 16th. These days are eagerly awaited, marking the return of many "panditos" to the village.

The festivities kick off with a lively fair on the night of Saturday, August 12th, where live music lasts until the early hours of the morning. Throughout the celebrations, enjoy snacks, popular lunches, and vibrant night fairs in the fairground. Don't miss the processional parades of San Roque, culminating on Wednesday the 16th.

Summer Fun All Around

In addition to the patron saint festivities, the Alpandeire Town Hall organizes a variety of cultural, recreational, and sports activities during the summer, catering to all ages. From summer school to aquagym classes, themed parties, outdoor cinema, bingo, popular games, championships, and much more, there are options for everyone. Dive into the fun with events like the colorful 'holi' festival, the fascinating 'Culturama' show, exciting trips, and the entertaining 'panditos' show.

Child of the Orchard Festival

The celebration of the Child of the Orchard is held on the last day of Holy Week. It's the perfect occasion to taste delicious 'Pestiños' and 'Borrachuelos,' typical of Andalusia and Málaga respectively, along with other regional sweets.

Organized annually by two male and two female stewards, the preparation includes placing a doll called "San Judas" in the square days before.

The festive day, starting with fireworks and a religious procession to the square transformed into an orchard, culminates with the selection of stewards for the next year. The celebration continues throughout the day with a bar in the square offering sandwiches, drinks, and sweets prepared by the stewards' mothers. The celebration concludes with the burning of the doll in the square.

Gastronomy

The gastronomy of Alpandeire, a charming municipality in the province of Málaga, Andalusia, unfolds as a rich and diverse culinary experience. Discover some of the standout dishes that delight local palates:

  • Rabbit with Garlic: Immerse yourself in tradition with this dish that combines the succulence of rabbit with the unmistakable flavour of garlic.
  • Lamb in Tomato Sauce: Enjoy the juiciness of lamb in a delicious tomato sauce, an option that captivates with its balance of flavours.
  • Gazpacho: In Alpandeire, gazpacho is served in a versatile manner: hot in winter and refreshing in summer, adapting to the seasons to satisfy all tastes.
  • Stews with Wild Herbs: Culinary tradition merges with nature in stews that incorporate wild herbs such as fennel, wild asparagus, tagarninas, and wild thistles.

Handcrafted Sweets from Alpandeire: Sweetening Special Moments

In the realm of desserts, Alpandeire's pastry reaches fame, especially during Holy Week. Indulge in the craftsmanship of typical sweets like borrachuelos, pestiños, suspiros, and the characteristic rosquillón. Other popular delicacies include sun-dried figs with walnuts and dried apricots, adding a sweet touch to the local culinary tradition.

How to Get to Alpandeire

This municipality in Malaga province is situated in the Ronda mountain range; thus you have to head towards Ronda and then follow the directions to Alpandeire. If you wish, you can hire a car in Malaga with us and check out the Google map here below to find out exactly how to get to Alpandeire from Malaga airport.

We hope you enjoy your visit, it’s one of those places you’ll enjoy and that will transport you to the past.

Tourist information about Alpandeire:

Town council: C/ Pilar, 19 - 29460 Alpandeire.
Phone: +34 952 18 02 54.
Official website: Alpandeire Town Hall.


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