Comares

An unusual village in Andalusia

I belong to the Sol Classic Car Club in Andalusia, and one of the pleasures is in discovering new places to which I have not been before. A recent run took us to the village of Comares, to the north east of Málaga.

It is very different to the average “white village”, which we have in abundance in southern Spain. At a height of just over 700 meters, it is one of the highest villages in the area.

Although the name Comares is thought to come from the Arabic word Qumaris, which means “Castle on the height”, it was actually established by the Greeks and Phoenicians in the 7th century B.C., long before the Arabs came to Spain.

It was not until perhaps the 8th century A.D. that the Moors fortified the village. Omar ben Hafsun built a fortress there as part of his fight against the Caliphate of Córdoba. The village stayed in Arab hands until 1487, when it was captured by the Catholic Kings.

So, one way and another the village has a lot of history - some 3,000 years of it.

On the car club runs, it has become a bit of a tradition to stop for a small picnic on the way.

The couple who organised the run found a good place for us to park, high above Málaga, on the way up to Comares.

Here are some of the cars parked beside the road.

Parking is very limited inside the village and many of the streets are just too small for cars to pass, so we parked near the gates to the village.

This is the main entrance to the village. Although the gate, walls and guard towers look to be Moorish, they have been recently built, presumably in the style of how it might have been when the Moors were defending the village.

A series of very Moorish-looking gatehouses guard the approaches to the main gate.

On the edge of the village, many of the houses are built on and amongst the gigantic rocks and boulders,

The communication station is also built on top of a very large rock, next to a couple of houses.

Close to the entrance gate, there are several steep routes up a series of steps, leading to the upper part of the village.

Laundry day at one of the houses.

Although it was not a particularly clear day, the views across to the east were spectacular.

The view across the roof tops to the distant cemetery

In the main part of the village, the streets were typically Moorish - cobbled and too narrow for cars to pass.

I thought that the court-house was not only one of the smallest I have ever seen, but perhaps one of the prettiest too.

Nearby, there was a cat that looked like it was keeping guard.

The visit was a little rushed, since we still had to go for lunch with the club. However, we are already planning a return visit with the Shutterbugs Photographic Group in the not-too distant future. There are many good photos waiting to be taken.

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