Frigiliana is one of Andalusia’s charming white villages and is well worth exploring if you’re jetting off for a holiday in this part of Spain. Nestled on a ridge in the mountains to the north of Nerja, it makes a great day trip from one of the Costa del Sol’s popular resorts.
We put this guide to Frigiliana together for anybody who wants to plan a trip to this gorgeous village.
A Guide to Frigiliana
The area in which Frigiliana is located has been inhabited since Neolithic times, with the earliest human settlements thought to date back as far as 3,000 BC. The Romans also occupied this region for a time, but the people who influenced Frigiliana as you see it today were the Moors.
This whole region of Spain was ruled over by the Arabs for centuries until the Christian armies arrived and took power. There was a period where the Moors had very few rights, which resulted in several bloody battles and rebellions. For many years, the village struggled with natural disasters and plagues, before finding better fortunes more recently.
What to Expect in Frigiliana
Frigiliana is everything you would imagine a whitewashed Spanish town would be, with distinctly Moorish overtones to its architecture. Think narrow cobbled streets winding their way up steep hills and traditional houses decorated by colorful flowers and potted plants.
The best way to explore here is to simply walk and not to worry too much about getting lost – follow the maze of labyrinthine streets and alleys through the old center and you’ll come across some wonderful tapas restaurants, bars and charming shops. From the upper levels of the village you’ll have fantastic views across the mountains and down to the coast.
Sights in Frigiliana
One of the most important landmarks in Frigiliana is the Fort el Fuerte, which was constructed by the Moors and is now in ruins. In its heyday, this structure spanned 4,000 sq m and was an important stronghold for the Arabs.
It was also the site of the final stages of the battle between the Christian armies and the Moors in the mid-16th century, in which the Christian forces finally triumphed over the last of the Moorish settlers. You’ll find what’s left of the fort overlooking the village at the top of the hill.
In the center of Frigiliana is the fountain La Fuente Vieja, which was installed in the 17th century by the fifth lord of the village Inigo Manrique de Lara. The fountain bears his family’s coat of arms and is of an ornate design – you shouldn’t struggle to spot it as you wander around the centre of the village.
Another important monument here is the Church San Antonio de Padua, which was built in the late 17th century and then refurbished around 100 years later. The place of worship is dedicated to Frigiliana’s patron saint and although simple in appearance, it is a focal point for the Christian community.
San Antonio is also the patron saint of travelers, fishermen and sailors – it’s easy to see why he’s associated with a village that’s close to the coast in this region of Spain and has a strong connection to the ocean.
Photo Credit: Romtomtom via Creative Commons