Casarabonela is a municipality in the province of Malaga, in Andalusia, that covers a central area of the province, situated in the Sierra de las Nieves region. The urban core of Casarabonela presents the typical aspect of a white village with Arabic ancestry, whitewashed houses, barred windows, a few balconies and Arabic tiles on the rooftops of the houses.
There have been found remains that reflect an important activity during the prehistoric period, as well as proof of cave occupations in the municipality, and amongst these cave paintings and burials.
The Iberian period still maintained a certain level of population in the area, as they found ceramics that reflects this, like the watchtower in the Quejigo Fountain; but it was during the roman period when an important population increase was detected with archaeological sites in the surroundings of the urban core and an occupation from the high-imperial period until the Visigoth invasion.
After the Arab conquest, the village was known as Qasr Bunayra, a very similar name to how we know it today, possibly Casarabonela originated from the need to make its pronunciation easier after the Christian invasion and conquest. It was in the mid-13th century when Casarabonela became an important defensive asset when facing the Christian invasion.
It was in the late 15th century when Casarabonela was defeated by the invaders, on the 2nd of June 1485, and in 1574 it finally received the title of a village from Felipe II.
The religious fervour and the reigning intransigence after the conquest made the lives of the Moors that had remained in these lands by becoming Christians, impossible so they ended up running away. It was that same religious fervour, typical of the Spanish middle ages that impelled the construction of religious buildings during the 17th and 18th century like the Veracruz chapel built upon an old mosque; whilst the population continued to increase with the arrival of Christians from villages nearby.
During the War of Independence in 1810, Napoleon Bonaparte spent the night in Casarabonela before heading to Malaga. It was in these Malaga villages where the bandits arose and rebelled against the French invasion.
There are several different places that we recommend to visit:
A 9th century Arab castle
Possibly originally roman, and was the neuralgic centre of the revolt in the year 922, as well as an important fortress in the war against the Christians who managed to finally conquer it in 1485 using it as a military fortress until the 18th century. If you visit, you’ll also be able to see a model that explains the life in Al-Andalus.
Los Mizos Windmill
Used till only a few years ago, it was a windmill complex used to obtain olive oil. The windmill is now open to the public and hosts a collection of agricultural tools from back then.
'Mora i Bravard' botanical cactus garden
In this garden we’ll find one of the best cactus collections with over 2500 species.
An originally roman bridge although with a medieval structure as it had to be reformed. It’s located in the lowest part of the village, by a stream.
Spouts and Fountains
The water is Casarabonela’s identity sign, having their own bottled water that’s commercialised all over Spain. Fountains have been recovered and decorated with historical motifs.
Inaugurated in 1860 and located in the upper part of the village.
We’ll find this garden at the foot of the Arab fortress which is a representation of how the garden looked during the Arab kingdom.
Religious museum and buildings
There’s a museum with religious art from the Christians over the passage of time with quite a representative display. The Christian conquest also left us several religious buildings like a 16th century church and two chapels from the 17th and 18th century.
There are several bus lines that will take us to Casarabonela from Malaga every day of the week, although the timetable may change on bank holidays:
- Casarabonela to Malaga line
- Malaga to Casarabonela line
Casarabonela is situated between Ronda and Malaga, to get there we must head towards Cartama, Pizarra and then follow the directions to Casarabonela. If you don’t have a vehicle of your own you can either catch a bus or hire a car in Malaga with us, with or without GPS to make the route a lot easier. On the map below you can observe the most recommended route to Casarabonela:
Town council: C/ Real, 5 - 29566 Casarabonela
Phone: +34 952 456 067
Official website: Ayuntamiento de Casarabonela.