Cuevas de San Marcos
Cuevas de San Marcos
Cuevas de San Marcos is situated in the north of the region of Antequera, in the lands drained by the river Genil. Distinguished in the local environment is the Iznajar Dam, on the northern slopes of Camorro de Cuevas Altas. There are pine trees and the remains of ancient oaks, sitting at the foot of the escarpments of the mountains, with olive and almond groves and some orchards. The remains found in the Cueva de Belda are proof that the area has been inhabited since prehistoric times, and was an important enclave in the Roman and Arabic epochs.
Cuevas de San Marcos, located in the Subbética Malagueña, has evolved over geological formations formed from the Jurassic period onwards, it is a landscape whereyou can find limestone and sandstone outcrops, marl and the soft hilly floodplain of fluvial origin.
As for the history of Cuevas de San Marcos, it is known that many important remains of the Quaternary period have been found in the so-called Cave of Belda, such as flint axes, spearheads and other implements of rough stone manufacturing, including human remains that have been found fossilized inside, as well as a dolmen culture, microliths, small idols, axes of the Bronze Age and steps carved into the stone, there is even a menhir in the place known as Las Cruces, which is given the name of Nino de Piedra.
As a population centre, Cuevas de San Marcos was known before Roman times, as Ptolemy in his ‘Geografia’, tells of the town of Belda in the year 298 a.d. During the Roman domination, Belda was one of the richest cities of Andalusia. Here was found a bronze casket, vases and coins of the Roman Empire.
There are traces of the Muslim population on the summit of Cerro del Camorro, thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, the floors of rooms, pieces of stucco walls, ceramic remains dry rope type, and part of the foundations of the castle.
Its inhabitants fled to Archidona because the raids and incursions of the troops of John II carried out in these areas, making the capture of the towns and villages easy. When the Arabs attacked Cañete, the mayor of Cuevas Altas, came to their aid with men and equipment, which aided the Muslims to raze the town and its castle, which was occupied and rebuilt by its former inhabitants again until 1424 when the mayor of Antequera destroyed it again. Juan II donated the region called the Dehesa de Belda, divided into four cortijos, Pilar, Frailes, La Mereda and Cedron, to the city of Antequera, giving rise to the grouping of the first two as Cuevas Altas and others as Cuevas Bajas.
Cuevas Altas residents requested of King Charles IV independence from the municipality of Antequera in 1801, and after a six-year lawsuit, they were conceded the title of Villazgo.
Cuevas de San Marcos Monuments
Iglesia de San Marcos Evangelista (St. Mark the Evangelist Church)
Ermita de la Virgen del Carmen (convent)
Noria de la Aceña
Puente de Luis Armiñán (bridge)
Archaeological Site of Medina Belda
Gastronomy of Cuevas de San Marcos
Some of the dishes of Cuevas de San Marcos are the salmorejo, sobrehúsa, gazpachuelo, casseroles, fried tomatoes with ‘black pudding or blood sausage’, bean stew, ‘rellenos carnaval’, etc..
Pastries worthy of mention are wine donuts, bagels, eggs, bread, figs, ‘ borrachuelos’, etc.
Leave Malaga and take the A-45 (N-331) towards Antequera. Before entering the city take the A-92, and after traveling less than three kilometres, take again the N-331 (which is no longer motorway) towards Lucena. Right on the border of the province of Cordoba take the A-6212, and having passed Cuevas Bajas, after eight kilometres, you will arrive at Cuevas de San Marcos.
Distances from Cuevas de San Marcos
Malaga 84 km
Cartaojal 26 km
Granada 102 km
Antequera 38 km
Villanueva de Algaidas 16 km