Casarabonela is located to the northeast of the Valle del Guadalhorce, bordering on Antequera and Ronda. The town is to 500 metres above sea level and to 48 kilometres from the capital. The rainfall average is 710 l/m2 and the average temperature is 17º C
Casarabonela is one of the towns that has combined its Muslim and Christian past, preserving a part of the plan of the old Casr-Bonaira, and you can observe the Muslim heritage in each spot of this wonderful town: its white facades, narrow and steep streets.
The lands of this municipality go up into the region of Ronda through the mountains of Alcaparaín and Prieta, and come closer to the River Turón. The richness of flora and fauna just as the landscape variety made easier its integration in the Sierra de la Nieves Natural Park, declared by the UNESCO Reserva de la Biosfera in 1995.
The terrain loses height towards the central area of the region, where you can find olive groves and the growing of cereals, while around the town you can observe the effort of the man in order to model the land, and its rich vegetable garden, inherited from the art of the irrigation introduced by the Arabs, together with its numerous spouts and springs, that relieve the traveller’s thirst in summer.
As for the history of Casarabonela, the appearance of Neolithic traces in the caves of the mountains in the municipality, prove the presence of the man in these lands in distant times. But the most important old testimonies belong to the Roman Age. These ones create in what nowadays is located Casarabonela, a first settlement like an advanced post that called Castra Vinaria –castle of the wine – and built roads that crossed its region. We can observe remains two of them, one that linked Casarabonela to Málaga through the south and another with Ronda through the west.
The Arabs extended and reinforced the old Roman fortress and kept its name, that due to popular distortion finished pronouncing Csar Bonaira, from what its present name came from. The Arabs increased their defences so much, that it was the last town of the area that fall into the Christian troops during the Reconquest. From the XV century it is used the name of Casarabonela.
After the expulsion of the Moorish, the lands were distributed among inhabitants from Extremadura and other areas of Andalucía. In 1574, Felipe II gave it the title of Villa, according to the Carta Puebla that is preserved in the archive of the Town Hall.
Barrio del Arrabal
Caños y Fuentes
Casas – Cueva
Qasr Bunayra Castle
Santo Cristo Calvario Chapel
Santiago Apostol Church
Sacred Art Museum
Plaza de Buenavista
Torre Chimenea (Chimney Tower)
Arc of Christ
Main entrance of the villaje. Set picturesque states in a landscaped area, the arrival Casarabonela. The most prominent feature is the entrance arch, white and red brick that was a marked Arabic style. At the top is the name of Casarabonela. It was built after the Civil War and is popularly known as the Fuente del Arco louse, then source of Christ, to be near the source. Source known for the freshness and quality of water flowing through two channels.
Gastronomy of Casarabonela
Casarabonela is famous because its olives and pickles, cold meats, honey and homemade confectionery.
We have to emphasize some typical dishes like the stew, lean with tomatoes, tripe, carrillada, rabbit, salmorejo (a cream consisting of tomato and bread), loin, moragas and the gazpachuelo (fish stock, mayonnaise made with garlic, yolk and olive oil), as well as the wild asparagus.
How to get there
The most advisable approach road that departs from the Costa del Sol to Casarabonela is the Motorway A-357, from Málaga to Ardales. In this town you have to take the MA-446, and after covering 12 kilometres, you have to go off course by the MA-445, that leads to Casarabonela. Another access departs from the Motorway A-7 (N-340), in the stretch between the airport and Torremolinos. The road A-366, towards Coín, leads us to Alozaina, and from there you have to go off course by the A-6208, that leads you to Casarabonela.
Distances from Casarabonela
Málaga 46 km
Granada 170 km
Marbella 47 km
Antequera 58 km
Pizarra 16 km
Álora 22 km
The Hispano – Moorish City
The cities of al-Andalus were characterised by an almost total lack of any town planning regulations, although they did have a series of elements in common:
1 – Medina (al-Madinat): The Medina was the primitive nucleus of the town. Within this area the main mosque and the major quarters of the city were built.
2 – Arrabales (al-Rabad): These were the outlying quarters built outside the mosque area as the city grew.
3 – Alcazaba (al-Qasaba): A defensive area standing on the highest point of the city. It had its own surrounding walls and was home to the civil powers and the military garrison.
4 – Cemeteries (Maqbaras): These were built outside the walls, alongside the roads leading into the city.
5- Sa`rías: Esplanades located outside the city walls. They were used for military practice and for religious rites.
Puerto Martínez – Alcaparaín Path
“Lime and lime-making”
Sierra Prieta, Cruz Alta, Comparate and Alcaparaín are famous for their limestone outcrops, which have been used, throughout the ages, to extract the raw materials required for the production of lime.
Quicklime is obtained by subjecting limestone to a temperature of almos 1,000 ºC, using wood an bushes found in the surrounding areas as fuel.
Some uses include: mortar construction, fresco paintings, whitewashing buildings, disinfecting trees, as a disinfectant during outbreaks of contagious diseases, to prevent the putrefaction of still water, as a cure for diarrhoea and vomits, as well as many other uses in industrial processes.
The traditional limekiln used at Casarabonela was built by digging a round pit, taking advantage of the slope of the land, near the lime quarry. The pit was three or four metres deep and had a capacity of three or four cubic metres.
A base was prepared inside the pit to place the limestone that was to be burned.
Once the limestone had been extracted from the quarry, it was classified and place in the rows. Then the lime-maker and his assistant “loaded” the kiln, which consisted in filling it with limestone; a task that required an advanced level of knowlege and skill. The outside was then covered with a layer of mud.
The fire had to be kept burning for three days and three nights, making sure it always amintained the appropriate temperature. Once all the material had burned, it hat to be left to cool for a few days.
Lime-makers were superstitious and did not let women who were menstruating come nea the kiln when they were burning limestone because they believe the women would brin bad luck.
When the lime was extracted, it was placed in baskets, which were used to transport the product on donkeys. The product was then distributed throughout the village and the surrounding area.
This traditional craft has been replaced by industrial kilns, for generations; however, lime-making was a trade that supported many families in the village, leaving a lasting mark in our popular culture, as can be seen by the survival of many nick-names related to this activity.
La Puente (Bridge)