The town of Antequera is 25km north from our gay holiday property (about a 25 minute drive).
Antequera has an impressive history, starting in the Neolithic and Bronze Ages (2500 BC to 1800 BC); later it became an important Roman town, then a Muslim one with its obligatory moorish fortifications; in the 16th and 17th centuries, many large churches and villas were built in the town. Even today, dozens of these churches survive, scattered throughout Antequera.
The main Neolithic remnants are the Dolmens (burial chambers, built with huge slabs of rock and then covered in earth). It is amazing to think that 4,500 years ago, Neolithic man had the ability to move these slabs of rock, the largest weighing more than 180 tons! These chambers are the largest in Europe and are also considered to be the finest example of this type of construction in Europe. Similar to the temples dedicated to the Sun God in Egypt, at midsummer the sun shines directly into the burial chamber. Well worth a visit!
The fortifications (Alcazaba) overlooking Antequera are free to enter, and give great views over the town. They are also a good place to stop for a rest, as part of the fort has been turned into shaded gardens.
Not far from the fort is an impressive archway, called the Arcos de los Gigantes which was built in 1585. The builders re-used stone from the Roman remains, and the Roman inscriptions can be seen in the arch. Next to this is one of the most picturesque churches in Antequera - the 16th century Colegiata de Santa Maria la Mayor. Admission is free, and although no longer used as a church, its Renaissance architecture and frescoes are definitely worth a look.
As usual, as with any visit to a Spanish town or village, give yourself plenty of time to wander (or get lost in!) the narrow backstreets and to stop at the occasional picturesque bar.
On the outskirts of the town is an olive oil museum. They have brought 1st, 17th and 19th century olive mills to the museum and faithfully reconstructed them here, even down to the original wasps nests found during the dismantling process! The 17th century press is of particular interest to us as it shows what our presshouse would have looked like in its heyday.