Antequera was our hub in southern Spain, instead of moving to a new hotel each night as we visited the cities and sites of southern Spain, I chose to have us base in Antequera. From here Malaga, Cordoba, Grenada, and Seville are all about an hour away in four different directions.
Apparently, this fact was not lost on the Arabs as they invaded in 716. In order to protect the territory a Moorish castle was built in the late 1100s and for 200 years withstood repeated attacks from the northern Christian kingdoms. It finally fell in 1410 as the Muslims were driven to Grenada and eventually out of Europe.
This castle still stands and looks down upon the city. A cathedral was built right next to it that is also worth a visit and you can get a combined ticket for both, but to me that is not the main attraction to this city.
My favorite part were the three prehistoric burial mounds called Dólmen de Menga, Dólmen de Viera, and Dólmen del Romeral. The first two are around 5000 years old and use massive stone slabs placed next to each other and then topped with several others. Think of Stonehenge, but making a 25 meter diameter room with a 4 meter tall ceiling. Then they went and buried it all within a mound. Why did they go through this effort? These are the questions that make sites like this fascinating to me.
Usually older places are my favorite, but in this case Dólmen del Romeral was my favorite and it is only 4000 years old. ???? This one had two chambers made of much smaller flat stones and was more like sandstone. On top of this they puta massive round slab and then buried it as well.
I loved these sites because not only are they a World Heritage Site, but also they were totally different than anything else we were seeing (mosques, cathedrals, castles, ect) and was a fascinating look into prehistory.