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Arcos de la Frontera

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Arcos de la Frontera

Arcos de la Frontera is a town in the province of Cádiz in southern Spain. It lies on the east bank of the River Guadalete that flows in the bay of Cadiz. It sits atop a rock from which you have a magnificent view of Mount San Cristobal and the Guadalete Valley.

Arcos de la Frontera is one of the famous "white villages" with a population of 30,000. The rock on which the old town sits is 150 meters high. The name Arcos indicates the architecture of the village. All the old houses in the center have arched doorways and cross vaults. A typically Moorish influence in the Andalusian architectural style.

La Frontera indicates the frontier that the place formed between the Spanish and Moorish areas in the 13th century. The place was a stronghold of Christianity.

The Castillo de los Arcos was built in the 11th century when the place was a Moorish Taifa (small kingdom). In 1250 the site was conquered by the Christians. They used the castle as a stronghold because of the strategic position as a border town. The castle was inhabited by the Count of Arcos. The castle is now privately owned and not open to the public.

The Basilica of Santa Maria de la Asuncion dominates the Plaza del Cabildo. This church was built between the 16th and 18th centuries. The church is located on the site of a former mosque, and its interior is worth a visit. It has beautiful choir stalls, carved in mahogany, ebony and cedar. There is a beautiful Renaissance altarpiece and there are interesting murals.

The Church of San Pedro dates back from the 16th century and stand on the edge of a high cliff. There is a gilded altarpiece and paintings by Francisco de Zubabrán. From the tower you look at a dizzying depth down into the valley.

One of the finest Renaissance buildings in Arcos is the Palacio de Mayorazgo, opposite the San Pedro Church. It has a richly decorated façade and beautiful indoor patios. It is open for viewing.

The Mercado (market) of the city is housed in an unfinished church, built in the 18th century by the Jesuits.

Visit the Jardin Andalusi, a small garden in Moorish style and relax after a tiring trip along the attractions of the town.

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