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The towns in Malaga, which lay witness to the Moorish resistance against the Christian forces during the Middle Ages' Reconquista period, all have a storied past. But the residents of Alora and their sturdy castle have a more impressive story to tell.
Alora's history dates way back to the prehistoric times, as evidenced by remains found in some caves in Malaga.
When the Phoenicians came, they built a castle at the top of their village to fortify their defenses against possible invaders. Upon the arrival of the Romans, the castle was expanded and a municipium, which is the second-highest class of Roman cities, named %u2018Iluritanum' was built around it. An inscription bearing that name, which was dated at 79 BC, can still be seen today.
True enough, the Christians had a difficult time penetrating these walls for centuries during the Reconquista. The Reconquista refers to that lengthy period (about 800 years) wherein Chrisitan kingdoms in the Iberian Peninsula tried and eventually succeeded in driving the Moors out of Iberian lands.
In other parts of Malaga, many villages occupied by the Moors (even those having fortresses themselves) were easily captured and their castles burned down. But there were a few towns where resistance was really tough. Alora was one of them.
Raid upon raid, Christian forces continued to fail. It wasn't until 1484, after nine days of intensive battle, that the walls of the Alora castle finally gave way. Today, what's left of the Moorish resistance is the decorative steel door and the mirador.
As was common practice during those times, wherein Muslim structures were demolished and Christian ones erected in their stead, one of Malaga's most impressive architectures, the Nuestra Señora De La Encarnacion Church, was built on top of the town's mosque. It took practically a century (1600 to 1699) for the entire edifice to be completed.
Today, visitors are still awed by the majestic architecture of the church. These two, the castle and the church, are so much intertwined with Alora history, that your visit here wouldn't be enough if you didn't spend some time inside their walls.
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