Antequera Spain history.
Occupied by the Iberians, the Tudetas, and later to become part of the Roman Empire and known as Antikaria, no one can say that Antequera hasn’t had an interesting and varied history! Then to be attacked and conquered by the Visigoths and in 711, invaded by Berbers from North Africa.
The Moors renamed it Medina Antaquira and then tried to protect it from the Christian Kings for over two hundred years. Finally, the Moors were driven away in the early 15th century when Ferdinand 1 of Aragon, regained the dominion of this much sought after city.
Antequera’s golden period of expansion developed from 1410 when the Christians conquest occurred, through to the 16th and 17th centuries. Its exceptional situation attracted wealthy merchants, aristocratic families as well as many artists and artisans, poets and writers who also came to reside there.
An astonishing amount of monuments, museums, churches, convents, palaces and ancestral homes, were built during the golden period. As a result, Antequera thus developed in multi-styles of art and architecture and the city advanced and became an important Andalucían cultural centre.
Dating back to the Bronze Age on the northern outskirts of the city there are two Bronze Age burial mounds (barrows or dolmens) the Dólmen de Menga and Dólmen de Viera, dating from the 3rd millennium BC. They are the largest such structures in Europe.
The larger one, Dólmen de Menga, is twenty-five metres in diameter and four metres high, and was built with thirty-two megaliths, the largest weighing about 180 tonnes. After completion of the chamber (which probably served as a grave for the ruling families) and the path leading into the center, the stone structure was covered with earth and built up into the hill that can be seen today.
When the grave was opened and examined in the 19th century, archaeologists found the skeletons of several hundred people inside. The Dólmen del Romeral, which dates from the early 2nd millennium (about 1800 BC), is outside the city. A large number of smaller stones were used in its construction.
The architectural history of Antequera dates back as far as the Bronze Age. There are two huge Bronze Age dolmen burial mounds, known as the Dólmen de Menga and the Dólmen de Viera. These are the largest megalithic structures in Europe.
Most recently in 2007 the site of Los Silillos, another Bronze Age prehistoric settlement, was discovered during excavation work in constructing the A-45 Motorway. A settlement covering an area of 180,000 square metres is located approximately nine kilometres north of the town.
The discovery includes architectural elements of 52 subterranean structures, which are only a portion of the numerous circular dwellings built by prehistoric peoples here. Farming implements and copper tools found at Los Silillos have been dated to 2500 BC by researchers at Malaga University. It is thought that some of the tools found at Los Silillos may have been employed in constructing the dolmen burial mounds.
here is extensive prehistoric settlement in this region of southern Spain, probably linked to the mild climate, rich mineral resources of the Iberian Pyrite Belt and proximity of the Mediterranean Sea.
Not much has changed in present day as many of the reasons for setting here then are the same today amongst many foreign residents.
From the 7th century BC, the region was settled by the Iberians, whose cultural and economic contacts with the Phoenicians and Greeks are demonstrated by many archaeological discoveries. In the middle of the 1st millennium BC, the Iberians mingled with wandering Celts and Turdetans of southern Spain.