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Monda, Malaga Towns
It may be only a half hour drive from the hustle and bustle of Marbella, but the typical white Andaluz village of Monda nestling up in a valley in the Sierra de las Nieves is a completely different world, where the pace of life tends to be somewhat slower.
The village’s Moorish past is unmistakable in the steep, winding and in some cases extremely narrow streets of white washed one and two storey buildings, with splashes of colour provided by the terracotta tiled roofs, balconies and terraces crammed with colourful plants and flowers.
Going further back in time, it has been suggested the village was the site of the Roman ‘Munda’, the scene of the battle between Caesar and Pompey in 45 BC. But it’s more commonly believed the name stems from the 9th century ‘El Mundat’ castle, which was built by Omar Ben Hafsun as a defence against attacks by the last emirs of Cordoba. The castle was destroyed by Saib Ibn Al-Mundir, but then rebuilt by the Hammudies in the 11th century.
What remains of the castle today – the ruined walls and part of the old fortress - is Monda’s most obvious landmark. Part of the fortification has been renovated and is now a luxury hotel and restaurant, from where there are panoramic views of the village and surrounding countryside.
The Catholic Monarchs’ troops reconquered Monda from the Moors in 1485, led by Hurtado de Luna, who became its first Christian governor. The Moors were permitted to remain, but after a rebellion in the Serrania de Ronda region in 1501 they were forced to covert to Christianity. Seventy years later a decree passed under which Moriscos (Muslim converts to Christianity) were expelled from the kingdom of Granada, and the village was repopulated by 80 Old Christian families who were given the expelled Moriscos’ property.
Within the village the most important monument is the 16th century Santiago Apóstol Parish Church, which underwent extensive reforms in the 18th century. Also of interest are the Teja stream bridge, which is Roman in origen, and the remains of the Roman road linking Monda with Cártama, as well as the Mea Mea, Jaula, la Villa, Relumbrosa, Morales and Esquina typical fountains.
The countryside surrounding Monda is great for walking and mountain bike enthusiasts, with the Sierra de las Nieves Natural Park falling into the municipality. Recommended local hiking routes are: the Cantosales Route through almond and olive groves up to the castle; the Arab Mills Route; and the Moratán Route across the natural park and the Sierra de la Canucha.
Monda boasts an exhibition hall and the Mari Gloria Casa Museo, an old bakery where there are exhibits relating to traditional life in Monda: old farming, herding and milling tools, and various other antique items.
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Monda is one of the many towns in the beautiful region of Malaga Spain. Discover Costa del Sol with the history, local information, property sales and holiday listings at Viva-Malaga.com