Things to See in El Burgo village

Things to See in El Burgo village

Probably the first glimpse of the pueblo from any direction will contain the church and fortifications built into a small rocky outcrop. The castle and compact pueblo are perched on a hill within the river basin, surrounded by the district's larger hills and mountains. The entrance of the village is dominated by the post-Civil War triple arched bridge that carries the Malaga-Ronda road across the Río Turón. El Burgo's streets are narrow and visitors should park at the entrance to the pueblo, very near to the petrol station. The two maps of the village by the roundabout are well laid out and without hesitating you should immediately head forwards. A new satellite barrio or suburb has just been built behind the petrol station but has little to explore.

The village is dominated by the Church of La Encarnacion, built in the 16th century. Its foundations are on the site of a former mosque and the church is surrounded by the ruins of old fortifications from this era. Its main entrance, on the side of the central Plaza la Villa is not used but has a fine baroque décor. When open, the church can be entered from the west end and consists of one large nave. The building does have side aisles, but they are not pronounced and give the impression of one large space. A simple altar screen gives the overall impression of a welcoming place of worship, minus any overly religious trappings. The Spanish Civil War of 1936 saw many churches destroyed by the Republicans who believed the church complicit in their suffering. This may have been a factor in the simplified interior. The bells in the tower were taken from the former local convent soon after 1853 and remain a source of great delight (see Convento de la Sierra de las Nieves).

By the entrance to the church is a Mirador, overlooking the fortifications and the small gorge. A walkway has recently been constructed below and has excellent views of the town and surrounding campo. The ruins of the Castillo can be found just down from the Plaza La Villa, and although a plaque indicates the location of the castle, most of the ruins have been incorporated into later 19th century buildings. The castle seems to have survived the Christian conquest, as it was noted that the 1755 earthquake destroyed many of the walls and a tower.

On the way down into town, to the main commercial area is dominated by a large hotel, Iglesia de San Sebastian. This is the second church of the pueblo and for religious occasions, Ermita de San Agustín is also used. The town hall, built in the 18th century, is also worthy of note.

Leading out on the Ardales road is the old pack horse bridge, known at Puente Malaga (Malaga Bridge). Its foundations are said to be Roman, but a close inspection suggests medieval at the earliest. If it is Roman, it indicates that the ancient road did indeed come this way linking Ronda with Malaga. The narrow width of the 17th century bridge is evidence that even after the Christian conquest transport relied solely on the backs of mules and not a horse-drawn cart.

Before the bridge, a track leads up to the right and onto Fuente Nueva. This seems to have been the medieval town's source of fresh clean water.