Archaeological Site of Medina Belda
Archaeological Site of Medina Belda – Cuevas de San Marcos
The Archaeological Site of Medina Belda is located in the municipality of Cuevas de San Marcos, at the top of the Sierra del Camorro.
Located at the top of the mountain range, the remains of Medina Belda show the ancient settlement of the city during the time of Arab domination. Currently only the foundations of two houses are seen, however, according to archaeological research, this only corresponds to 2% of the remains. They have come to identify structures of houses, streets and towers, in addition to the cistern as a more outstanding construction. It is cataloge as a monumental archaeological site of the first order.
This settlement was inserted inside the old defensive belt of Archidona, due to its elevated position and difficult access. In fact, the Christian legends spoke of the presence in the Belda Cave of a demon that prevented the conquest of the Medina. It was a friar who ventured to enter it making the sign of the cross with two jaramagos, tying the hands of this devil with the branches. From here the tradition of Tie the Devil on the day of San Marcos, festivity celebrated with a day of family coexistence where the branches of the brooms are tied asking for health and luck for the whole year.
In the year 711 the Arabic invasion takes place and the weakened Visigoth power in the Iberian Peninsula finally crumbles. In the south of our region Muslim invaders consolidated important urban centres in the Northeast area of Málaga, being some examples the medinas (Arabic cities) of Archidona and Belda, located int eh mountains of Camorro.
In the second half of the ninth century the revolt of Umar ibn Hafsun against the Omeya State, represented by the Emir Muhamad I takes place. This revolt has its most important centre in Bobastro but he erected castles in other parts. Among them we can stress the Castle of Belda, in Cuevas de San Marcos, in the hill of Camorro, which was part of the belt of fortresses built during the second half of the ninth century.
From the end of the ninth century until the beginning of the 10th century Belda and its fortress became one of the main rebellion centres against the Omeya state. Definitely and after several decades of disputes and clashes, in the year 919 this area is conquered, finishing with the rebellion.
The castle remained standing until the year 1424, when the Castillian conquest of Cuevas Altas took place by Pedro de Narváez. He, before the impossibility of defending this position, given its bad state of preservation and the remoteness from Antequera, ordered the complete demolition of the walls and towers making up this historical fortess, razing it to the ground.