Cuevas de San Marcos
Cuevas de San Marcos is a municipality north of Antequera in Málaga with a village by the same name that sits on a hillside not far from the Iznajar River dam. It is just south of the Genil River.
Archeological remains in the Belda cave, not far from the village, prove that this area was inhabited as far back as prehistoric times. The cave is also home to one of Europe’s most important bat colonies as well as impressive stalagmites and stalactites.
This area was also inhabited during Roman and Moorish rule of the peninsula and in the San Marcos municipality in the Sierra del Calmoro there is a medieval village called the Belda Medieval Village where it is still possible to make out the layout of the houses as well as a water deposit and other important features.
Sights to See
The town of Cuevas de San Marcos has an archeological museum where you can actually see some of the remains recovered from prehistoric times all the way through Moorish inhabitation of the area. You’ll find this museum on Pablo Ruíz Picasso street.
The San Marcos Church is an example of Barroque and Neoclassical architecture. It was built in the 17th century and freshened up in the 18th century. Another religious building to see in the town is the 18th century hermitage known as the “Ermita del Carmen”.
Those interested in historical bridges should check the steel truss Puente Luis de Armiñan over the River Genil. It is located a few km north of the village on the CO-211. In its day it was an important point of communication between Cordoba and Malaga. It was officially opened on 13th February 1913 by the Malaga MP (Diputado de las Cortes) representing the Archidona district for the old Partido Liberal, Luís de Armiñán, (Cuba 1871 – Madrid 1949) who was also Director General de Obras Hidráulicas. (Director of Public Works) It is noted for its single bowstring arch truss and stone abutments, and the section fabricated with cast iron rivets, rather than soldered. Today painted green standing out in worthy splendor. The bridge is a copy of his successful bridge of the same name in Malaga city inaugurated on 20th November 1911.
If you are looking for artesan goods “Made in Cuevas de San Marcos” you had better have a good size boot in your car – at least if you plan to purchase a set of wicker furniture while you’re there! On the smaller side are handpainted fans that make nice souveniers.
In terms of local gastronomy, expect good home cooking, mountain-style and very Andalusian. Roast meat is one of the main specialities and there is a much-loved home-style soup called “sobreusa” (which, if you turned that compound word around could be “usa sobres” and could translate as “use leftovers” – quite an appropriate name for a soup!). This very typical Cuevas de San Marcos soup is actually made with broad beans, egg and cilantro.
When it comes to festivals, the most notable celebration in Cuevas de San Marcos is the patron saint day. Not surprisingly, this is San Marcos Day (Saint Mark’s Day) which falls on April 25th. In addition to all the usual feasting and celebrating, villagers carry out a ritual called “tie up the devil” which requires tying a knot in a handful of grass or straw without breaking the stems. The annual town fair takes place in August and there are special celebrations during the February carnival season. In fact, the Thursday before the carnival there is the Fiesta los Compadres and the Thursday after is the Fiesta de las Comadres.
To reach Cuevas de San Marcos from Málaga city, take the N-331 heading towards Córdoba/Sevilla. When you reach the connection with the A-92 motorway, take that until you reach exit 149 where you will connect once again with the N-331 as it goes towards Córdoba. Next get on the MA-201 and then the MA-202 will take you to the town’s centre.