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Periana, Malaga Towns
Periana is a pleasant village spread out over a hill at the foot of the Sierra de Alhama in the High Axarquía, above the Viñuela reservoir. This is a very scenic area attracting growing numbers of foreign house buyers.
In fact the abundant water and microclimate of the region has attracted settlers since prehistoric times, as the archaeological remains found at the Cerro de la Alcolea testify; neolithic remains have also been discovered in the area.
During the Moorish period there were a number of small hamlets and farmsteads in what is now Periana municipality, while the existing village did not begin to be take shape really until the end of the 18th century.
Periana was established as a municipality in its own right in 1761, having come under the jurisdiction of Vélez and then become a dependency of Riogordo. But much of the village was badly damaged by an earthquake on Christmas Day in 1884 – 58 local people died in the disaster - and many of the buildings are therefore relatively new. The streets nevertheless remain steep and winding.
Surrounded by fruit and olive groves, Periana’s main claims to fame are the succulent peaches grown in the area and the high quality of the local olive oil; there is even an olive oil museum a few kilometres outside the village. But there are several other points of interest.
The most important monument in the village is the neo-Mudejar style San Isidro Labrador Parish Church. Originally a hermitage, it was rebuilt after the earthquake, and has three naves and a brick and masonry facade.
Also of interest are the two village squares, the San Isidro Fountain and surrounding narrow streets, the 18th century mansion house in the Plaza del Ayuntamiento, the three arched stone bridges over the river and the old municipal laundry.
Up until the 19th century the area’s big attraction was the Arab baths in the village of Vilo, just 2.5 kilometres from Periana. The 21°C sulphorous waters are reputedly particularly beneficial for skin complaints.
The baths fell into a state of disrepair due to a dispute between the local authorities of Vélez and Periana and a private individual over ownership. At the end of the 19th century, the then owner Emilo de San Martín, carried out a series of improvements on the installations, which were then severly damaged by a storm in 1907.
The Town Hall acquired the baths at the beginning of the 1990s, and they are currently undergoing renovation works before being reopened.
The countryside around Periana is really beautiful, and is ideal terrain for walking, mountain biking and riding enthusiasts. It is also possible to practice watersports on the nearby Viñuela reservoir.
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Periana 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