The Moorish past
You can see the Moorish culture everywhere in Andalusia. Especially Cordoba, Granada and Seville have fantastic buildings dating from this rich period. But also in the villages of the Axarquia you can find many Moorish and Mudejar remains. The tower of the church on central square of Cómpeta (Nuestra Señora de la Asunción) goes back to the Mudejar period. Mudejar refers to a style which was developed just after the reconquista and was heavily inspired by earlier Moorish architectural styles. Some of the Moorish buildings are barely distinguishable from Mudejar, but nevertheless developed its own features, such as the use of brick towers and palaces, or extravagantly decorated wooden ceilings. The Mudejar style goes back to the transitional period of Arab domination to the Catholic rule (reconquista) of the Reyes Catholicos.
Ferias y fiestas
Spaniards love to celebrate/party. The whole year round throughout Spain and especially in Andalucía Ferias y Fiestas are organised. Ferias resemble our fairs usually combined with a craft market and often with flamenco performances. Also competitions of music such as folk ensembles and sevillana verdiale are often organised. The fiestas have their own character everywhere. In summer, every village around its own fiesta.
A few examples:
- Noche del Vino in Cómpeta (mid August) to celebrate the grape harvest.
- Feria de-Cómpeta: (end of July)
- Fiesta del Nispero in Sayalonga, the feast of the medlar. (beginning of May)
- Arenas has its Fiesta de la Mula where the villagers go on their mule or horse (mid October )
- Fiesta de San Anton in the Canillas Albeida: the Blessing of the Animals (January)
Then there are the national Catholic holidays. Beautifully decorated religious icons are taken from the churches and carried around on huge stretchers through the villages in a very solemn manner, accompanied by the village band. An absolute highlight is the Semana Santa or Easter week. There are very spectacular processions in Seville and Malaga, but also in small villages like Cómpeta extended processions are held.