Teba is an exceptionally nice little town located to the west of Antequera, not far from the Guadalteba reservoir, which is surrounded by fertile, undulating countryside covered with wheat fields and olive trees, and mountain ranges.
Easily the most important landmark is the Star Castle on the 600-metre high hill behind the village, from where there are superb views of the village and the surrounding countryside.
The castle remains are Moorish, although it was the Romans who built the first body of towers and walls. A few vestiges from the period when the area was known as ‘Attegua’ have been found in the castle and in what today is known as Old Teba, including coins and pieces of pottery.
But it was the Arabs who were the first to build a proper settlement on the site of the existing village at the bottom of the hill, which they called ‘Ostebba’, and who in the 9th century gave the castle a walled enclosure. In its time the castle covered an area of 25,000sqm and had two walled grounds and 18 towers, making it one of the largest fortifications in Málaga province. It was declared of Historical-Artistic interest in 1931.
Alfonso XI of Castile captured Teba from the Moslems at the end of the 14th century. It was at this time that a commander in the Scots army, called Sir James, or ‘Black’, Douglas, was killed in front of the walls of Teba castle. He had been on his way to the crusades, allegedly carrying the heart of the King of Scotland, Robert The Bruce, and decided to ally his troops with the Christian forces to engage the Moslem infidels who held the castle. There is a commerative plaque to the historic battle in the centre of the village.
Teba’s other most important monuments are the 15th century San Francisco convent and the Santa Cruz Real Parish Church, which was built between 1699 and 1715 by José Tirado, the master of works at Seville cathedral. The church has three naves, separated by eight metre high columns made from red marble from El Torcal, and an attractively ornate bell tower.
There are also a cuple of hermitages in the village: the contemporary century Nuestro Padre Jesús Nazareno and the 16th century Nuestra Señora del Carmen.
But just wandering around the town, which has been declared of artistic-historic interest, is a pleasure, taking in the small palaces and mansións dotted around the town and the photogenic nooks and crannies.
Teba’s location makes the town a great base for exploring the great outdoors, whether on foot or by mountain bike, and there are camping facilities in the area known as ‘La Puente.’
The area attracts more extreme thrill seekers too, including hang gliders in the Castillo and del Carmen sierras.
The ‘Tajo del Molino’ mountain pass, declared of Natural Interest for its beauty, is not far from the village, and rock climbers can try out their skills scaling the sides of what is effectively a huge gash out of the landscape. An open air rock climbing school is based at the pass.
The nearby Ardales and Peñarubia reservoirs are ideal for canoeing, and the Guadalteba reservoir for fishing.
There is a parish museum of religious art in the Santa Cruz Real church century, where there is a magnificent collection of antique silver and gold-work on display, and an archaeological hall in the Casa de Cultura, with exhibits from three local archaeological sites.