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Sierra de Viján

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Sierra de Viján, Cuevas del Becerro

The Sierra de Viján is located in the municipality of Cañete la Real, near the locality of Cuevas del Becerro, in the province of Málaga.

TYPE OF ROCK: White Limestone

AGE: Jurassic Period, in the Mesozoic Era


The crust is divided into plates (tectonic plates) which are constantly moving and, in some places, they separate and in others they collide. In the areas where the plates come together and collide, distortions are produced in the materials that exist between them. Limestone from the Viján Peak was formed from the sediment accumulated on the sea bed of a primitive sea, the Tethys Sea. This sea was located between the Iberian tectonic plate and the African plate. Although the strata or sediment layers were originally horizontal, the collision forces between the two plates compressed them, fractured them and raised them causing them to emerge from the sea thus forming mountains.


During the Jurassic Period all of this are was below sea level and over the centuries sediments accumulated on the sea bed forming a great amount of sediments. 20 million years ago a process caused the emersion of all these deposits from the sea, the formation of rocks and the development of mountain ranges. This process is known as orogeny.

The Sierra de Viján has been exploited by man from early days. On the northern slope of the Viján Peak the limestone is mixed with flint serving as a flint quarry for prehistoric man. They made arrows and other tools from this quarry. Materials have also been collected from this mountain range area to make buildings, paving stones, blocks of stone and mill stones. However, this site has not only been used to exploit raw materials but also used as a strategic defensive site. A watchtower was built here which gave a good view of the countryside and gave early warning of possible attacks on the town. In prehistoric times, the cavities were used as a refuge for prehistoric man. As we can see, the geology and the nature of the terrain of this mountain range has had in the past and has now great influence in the development of the towns and cities.

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