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Archaeological Sites

Archaeological Sites

Driving past Algeciras on the N340, a passer-by would never suspect that nestled behind Cepsa´s vast petrochemical plant is one of Andalucia´s most significant ancient heritage sites. Yacimiento Arqueológico Romano Carteia (Carteia Roman Archeological Site) is a strange theatre of juxtaposition, with Roman structures of varying preservation, medieval additions, and a backdrop of smoke-spewing chimneys. These fascinating contradictions alone make the site worth a visit, but its rich history remains the focus.

The Alcázar is of Muslim origin and was the residence of King Taifa of Carmona. It was restored several times after the re-conquest and Pedro I of Castile restored it in the thirteenth century. The earthquake of 1504 affected the palace and since then the ruin has been progressive and is now a gracious if expensive Parador. Located on Calle Los Alcázares.

This site is located below the Plaza del Reloj in Calle Villa. Excavations have been left open and the visitor can see the foundations of the roman building. The upper room was probably mausoleum with a funeral chapel. Inside the crypt debris has been recovered which would have been decorative element of the original building.

Inside five small dolmens (standing stones) can be viewed. They are original and date from about 3,000 BC. Also on display are a number of pottery vessels, stone tools, arrowheads, axes, personal ornaments, necklace beads made of semi-precious stones and perforated seashells. The skulls and skeletons and other bones on display are reproductions as the originals are preserved.

The church of Nuestra Señora de Los Remedios is close by in the Plaza San Francisco. It was built in the 18th Century of local sandstone, which is rich in iron ore. As you walk around the outside walls, you will see many pieces of iron ore still embedded in the stone blocks.

There is little left to see of the great castle which once stood at the heart of Estepona, and what remains is not now readily apparent, but it is possible to trace the ruins around the high ground. Its construction followed the seizing of the town in 1457 by Enrique IV. He also built new defensive towers along the coast.

Plaza de las Flores has had a number of names over the years, beginning as Plaza Real, it became in turn Plaza de la Constitución, Plaza de José Antonio and finally (at least for now), Plaza de Las Flores. They were great times for the makers of street signs. Somewhere along the way it was also known briefly as Plaza de Abastos (Provisions Square), where the markets alternated with bullfights.

Estepona like so many villages in Southern Spain was fought over by the moors and the Christians until it was finally captured by the Enrique IV of Castile in 1457. He ordered the building of a church on the site of the old Mosque. The church was completed around 1473. it is the oldest ecclesiastical building on the Costa del Sol, but today only the clock tower survives. In the 18th Century a neo-classical dome was added.

There are about 100 different watchtowers (Torre Vigia or Torre Atalaya or Torre Almenara) along the coast of Southern Spain. Some are of Moorish origins others from date from the later Christian re-conquest period. All with the purpose of looking out for invaders from the South. They have lasted the centuries with remarkable strength.

The hermitage building was built at the beginning of the nineteenth century, with records dating back to 1829. It is believed that this hermitage was at first constructed for lepers who were encouraged to reside out of town. Since 1875, however, the site was established as a sacred building. The original building was distroyed in the Civil War in May 1936 and the present structure rebuilt after the Civil War.

Situated on a hilltop called Cerro del Castor, between the deep valleys of Rios Padrón & Castor, are extensive ruins dating mainly from the late Moorish and Christian periods. They have been called the least visited, least studied and least well known of the major archaeological sites in the province of Málaga.

Villa Romana de las Torres, Estepona is located immediately beside the Torre Guadalmansa watchtower. There were excavations in 1915-16 and 1929 which revealed an extensive Roman villa complex. The first excavation uncovered the remains of a large building and several pools, which led the leader of the dig, José Martinez Oppelt, to conclude that it had been a termas, or bath house.