Torrox is situated in the Axarquía, at the foot of the Sierra Tejeda and Sierra Almijara, 49 kilometres from Malaga and 23 from Vélez, at 145 metres above sea level.
The name of the town derives from the Arabic word for a tower, but the history of Torrox goes back a long way before Moorish times, to the 1st century A.D. We know this from archaeological remains found in the mouth of the river Torrox. The Phoenicians settled here, and after them, the Romans. The remains of a Roman fish conservation factory, named Claviclum, was discovered in the area, from where the celebrated "garum" was exported to Rome. The Moorish prince Abd-el-Rahamn Ben Muawiya, last representative of the Omeya dynasty in flight from Damascus, arrived in Torrox in 755, after having landed at Almuñécar, to unite with his own Al-Andalus brethren. He then gathered a large army of men and advanced on Archidona, where he was proclaimed Emir of the Believers in March of 756.
Abd-el-Rahman was the first independent Emir and Caliph of Cordoba, and his dynasty lasted three centuries of culture, art, commerce and agricultural advancement. But the population of Torrox was not happy with his rule, and things came to a head at the end of the 9th century with the rebellion lead by Omar Ben Hafsun against the Cordoba Caliphate. The Caliph Abd-el-Rahman laid siege to the Castel of Torrox in 914, capturing the rebels and burning the ships that came to their assistance on the coast. A completely Muslim population grew up in the town in the 11th century, dependent on the Frigiliana leadership. Torrox was conquered by the Catholic Monarchs in 1487 after the fall of Vélez Málaga, but the victory was not consolidated until a year later. The Catholic Monarchs awarded the town with the title "Muy Noble y Muy Leal Villa de Torrox" (Very Noble and Very Loyal_) in the year 1503, and Queen Isabel I authorised the building of a watch tower in the town as protection against coastal pirates. A series of earthquakes destroyed part of the town in 1884 and 1885.
Town Hall, Plaza de la Constitución, 1. 29770.
Phone 952 538 200
Gastronomy of Torrox
The most traditional dish in Torrox is the migas, delicacies fried in breadcrumbs, around which an annual festival has been organised. These are accompanied by sardines, cod, clams and olives, according to taste. The ajoblanco, an Andalusian soup, is also very popular here, and this often comes enriched with grapes. Torrox has it own special salad, and papas a lo pobre, a delicious potato dish, is also a speciality of the area. The wine doughnuts are eaten at Christmas, and the local arropía (syrup) is cooked for the Cruces de Mayo.
Eating out in Torrox
Paseo Marítimo, Bloque 85. Torrox.
Phone 952 530 899 El Chicle
Ctra. de Málaga-Almería Torrox.
Phone 952 530 173 La Reja
Ctra. de Málaga-Almería, Edf. Medina Torrox.
Phone 952 532 794Pata Negra
Urb.Laguna Beach, local 20, Torrox.
Phone 952 530 125
Fiestas and ferias in Torrox
Torrox has a busy festive calendar all the year round, its most important festival being from October 4th and 8th. The Fiesta de las Migas takes place on the last Sunday before Christmas, a festival in which visitors to the town can sample this exquisite dish accompanied by a glass of wine from the area and music and dancing in the streets. Carnival time is February, a festival that had been allowed to fade out in years gone by, but now recuperated for the enjoyment of everybody. In spring there is Holy Week, and later on, in May, the Cruces de Mayo. Local custom demands that one tries the arropía, a type of syrup of Moorish origin. On June 13th there is the Festival of San Antonio, which is especially relevant in the barrio of Ntra. Sra. de las Nieves. The Night of San Juan is on June 24th, and the local tradition here is to head for the beach and wash away the evil spirits. The festival in honour of the Virgen de las Nieves and San Roque, patron saints of the town, take place on August 5th, and finally, the festival of the Candelaria, with lighted candles in the streets, takes place in September.
Attractions ans activities in Torrox
The town centre of Torrox is exceptionally rich in historic architecture, its narrow and winding streets reminiscent of Moorish times. The town centre is filled with small houses built as the ground rises and falls. The central Plaza de la Constitución has a unique collection of Roman busts on the gable ends of the buildings, and there too is the imposing parish church.
Church of Nuestra Señora de la Encarnación
This church was built at the beginning of the 16th century over an old mosque, and restored and enlarged in the middle of the 17th century. Its design is Baroque, in the shape of the Latin cross. The interior is divided into three naves, the central one in timber structuring, and outside the most interesting item is the beautiful square tower with semicircular arches supporting a roof with pinnacles.
Convent and hermitage of Nuestra Señora de las Nieves
This is an important work of Mudejar architecture built in the 16th century. The ground plan of the Hermitage is the shape of the Latin cross, with naves and side chapels, presbytery, choir and spire. The convent is built onto the hermitage, and was founded by the Mínimos Fathers of the Order of San Francisco, who also founded the hermitage. It has two storeys with a cloister and interior patio. The convent was used for storing fruit in the 19th century, and later as a police station for the Guardia Civil, up to the 1970s. Another interesting religious building in the town is the hermitage of San Roque, dating from the 16th century. This is a simple structure with a single nave, choir and spire. Worth a visit too are the 18th century Aduana y Casa de la Moneda (Customs House and Mint) and the present Casa de la Cultura, built in 1863 by José Sevilla.
Where to sleep in Torrox
Hotel Costamar (2*). C.N. 340. El Morche, Torrox.
Phone 952 530 049Hotel Santa Rosa (2*). C.N. 340. El Morche, Torrox.
Phone 952 530 838
Hotel Rural Cortijo Amaya. C.N. 340. Torrox-Costa, Torrox.
Phone 952 530 245
Camping El Pino. El Pino, Peñoncillo, Torrox.
Phone 952 530 006
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