Álora is a municipality in southern Spain which is part of the province of Málaga (Andalusia). Located c. 40 km from Málaga, on the right bank of the river Guadalhorce and on the Córdoba-Málaga high-speed rail line, within the comarca of Valle del Guadalhorce. It is a typical pueblo blanco, a whitewashed village nestled between three rocky spurs topped by the ruins of the castle.
The municipality covers an area of 169 km2 that covers a wide territory in which the large landforms of Málaga are located. The hills are occupied by cereal, olive and oak trees and orchards of fruit and vegetables that cover the valley floor. Its population is 13,436 inhabitants, according to the INE census of 2008.
Álora’s history dates back to prehistoric times in the Hoyo del Conde, a little over a kilometer from the city. The ecological environment (hunting, water, natural protection) favored this presence until the Turdetanis of Tartessos and the Phoenicians discovered the commercial potential of the area. The latter built the foundations of the castle, which the Romans would take advantage of by fortifying it.
Álora’s castle was first built by the Phoenicians and subsequently expanded under Roman rule. In the 5th century the castle was virtually destroyed by the Visigoths, only to be rebuilt under the Moors; remnants of this era still remain, namely the decorative steel door and the traditional Arab mirador.
Other sights include:
• church and convent of Nuestra Señora de Flores (16th century)
• Iglesia de la Veracruz (16th century)
• church of Nuestra Señora de la Encarnación, located on the site of the castle’s mosque.
It houses a crucifix by José Navas Parejo.
• chapel of St. Brigida (16th century)
• chapel of Las Torres (15th century), in late Gothic style