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The White Villages Of Cadiz - An Archaeological Route

Dec 18, 2007
The Sierra de Cadiz, constituted by 19 townships, is a region full of natural, environmental, cultural, historical, and anthropological resources. The so-called White Villages offer us a wide range of unparalleled tourist possibilities. The colour of its rough geography, the whiteness and brightness of its streets, the greenness of its natural spaces, the location of its towns and the history transmitted through every spot and its most prized possession...its people!

The Sierra de Cadiz has been inhabited and visited from the most distant times and it has contemplated the passing of numerous peoples, cultures and different ways of living and thinking. From the Palaeolithic to the present day la sierra has welcomed amidst its striking geographic and environmental resources, all those who have chosen it as a home, dwelling, refuge or frontier. That's why such a beautiful and spectacular landscape hides a treasure, the traces of our ancestors, our historical memory.

Remains of towns, settlements, cities, strongholds, villages, roads and paths exhibit nowadays a huge and rich cultural legacy represented in a substantial number of archaeological sites spread all around the regional geography. The archaeological route of the white villages is addressed to a public that is respectful to the patrimony and thirsty for knowledge and discoveries.

In the district of El Bosque, entrance to the Natural Park of Sierra de Grazalema, you can visit the Centre of Interpretation of the Archaeological Route of the White Villages. The Archaeological Route is divided in three sub-routes based on the three periods in which la Sierra enjoyed its most considerable historic prominence: The Prehistoric Period, the Roman-Iberian Period and the Medieval Period.

The Prehistoric Route is formed by the visits to the funeral assemblages dated between the fourth and the second Millennium B.C., between the end of the Neolithic and the beginnings of the Bronce Ages, such as the Alberite Dolmen in Villamarin, the El Charcon Dolmen in El Gastor, Tomillos Dolmens in Alcala del Valle and the Prehistoric Necropolis of Fuente de Ramos in Puerto Serrano.

In the Roman-Iberian route we can visit the city of Sierra de Aznar in Arcos de la Frontera with its striking "Castellum Aquae", the Roman-Iberian cities of Ocuri in Ubrique, Carissa Aurelia in Espera and Saepo in the so-called Cerro de la Botinera in Algodonales.

The Medieval route includes many villages of the Frontier between Christians and Muslims, like the medieval village of Zahara de la Sierra, Olvera's stronghold, the Great Wall of Torre-Alhaquime, the Barrio Nazari in Benaocaz and the paved roads on Villaluega del Rosario and Grazalema. Apart from the archaeological resources the area also offers two extraordinary Natural Parks: Grazalema and Los Alcornocales.

The Sierra de Grazalema is located between the Andalusian provinces of Cadiz and Malaga and it houses an important relict wooded-patch of Spanish fir, a tree that has become a symbol of these mountains. The entire territory of the Sierra de Grazalema Nature Park was declared a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO in 1977.

And Between the Sierra de Grazalema and Punta de Tarifa, stand a series of middle-sized mountains whose interior houses Natural Park Los Alcornocales, the 'kingdom of the cork oak' which is the most important formation on the Iberian Peninsula.
About the Author
With more than 20 years of experience in the travel industry Rudi van der Zalm is the founder of one of Europe's most popular websites for holiday homes in rural Spain . A wide selection of country houses and lodgings can be found at www.rural-tour.com.
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