Montefrío, Comarca de los Montes Occidentales
Montefrio is to be found to the northwest of the province of Granada, part of the Granada region of the Montes Occidentales (western mountains), bordered to the north by Priego and Almedinilla ( Córdoba ) and Alcala La Real ( Jaén ), to the south by Illora, Villanueva de Mesia and Loja (Granada), to the east by Illora and to the west by Loja and Algarinejo (Granada). It is part of the Western Granada region, occupying most of the northern zone.
Montefrio has collected on its lands traces of different cultures and civilizations. The ancient Arab historians wrote eulogies in praise of “Montefrid’. Ibn-Al-Khatib, in describing the different areas of the Nazari Kingdom of Granada, says of Illora and Montefrio: “Between the two were large areas of excellent wheat, a large farmstead and many cattle barns.” The Moorish king’s court of Ishmail III, crowned by Abencerrajes in the place known as Angostura, was here for all of seven years, as he was fearful of returning to the court of Granada.
In 1341 King Juan II in 1341 tried to conquer Montefrio, but a severe storm with high winds and torrential rains thwarted his plans, and his armies were dispersed.
Nevertheless Ismail helped Abencerrajes to lay siege to Granada, but the crafty Muhammad X slew the last of these in the hall of the Alhambra, which is now called ‘los Abencerrajes’. Ishmail fled to the Alpujarras and later was to be proclaimed king of Granada with the title of Yusuf V.
Enrique IV again attempted the conquest of Montefrio, laying waste to the fields and destroying vineyards and olive groves and destroying watchtowers.
On June 25, 1486 Montefrio was conquered by the Catholic Monarchs, who built a church within its walls. Those people who would not submit to their rule fled to the capital, Granada. This conquest, together with those of Loja , Illora , Moclín and Colomera, which had been taken earlier, was a blow to the normal development of the activities of the Nazari kingdom, and left in Christian hands the possibility of the farming and development of the Vega and control of communications with Malaga , which henceforth could only be maintained through long and difficult routes.
Castle and walls, medieval military architecture.
Iglesia de la Villa (fifteenth century), Gothic-Renaissance style, built to plans by Diego of Siloam. It has been declared a National Monument.
Iglesia Mayor de la Encarnación (eighteenth century), an interesting example of Neoclassical-Granada.
The Granary, neoclassical style, built in the second half of the eighteenth century.
Convento de San Antonio, neoclassical, XVIII century.
Village and Megalithic Necropolis of Castillejos.
Dolmen de la Peña de los Gitanos and Estacion arquiologica de Hippo Nova.
Unique ‘old town’ atop an impressive rocky hill.
The gastronomy of Montefrío has an impressive repertoire of traditional recipes, with dishes like kid with garlic, el relleno de carnaval, los sesos al mojeteo, casseroles, omelets with asparagus and ‘collejas’, ‘el remojon’ (a tomato and roasted pepper salad, with orange, onion, eggs and tuna), and ‘hornazos’, not forgetting game specialties, cooked meats and pastries, scones with butter, oil and raisins, bagels, local bread, ‘borrachuelos’, ‘cuajaos’ and fritters.
Leaving Granada. Continue along: A-92G. Turn right: N-432 heading towards Atarfe – Córdoba. Pass Atarfe – Pinos Puente and Puerto Lopez. Turn left: GR-3410. Follow signs to Montefrio.
Distances from Montefrío
Tocon 16 km
Illora 19 km
Lojilla 11 km
Granada 50 km
Brácana 18 km
Trasmulas 34 km
Alomartes 22 km
Algarinejo 20 km
Pinos Puente 34 km
Villanueva de Mesia 21 km