Cártama

Travel Guide Europe Spain Andalusia Málaga Cártama

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Introduction

Cártama is a small town near Malaga city. Today the town is a quiet one, but it has a long and impressive history. Cártama was founded by the Phoenicians under the name Cartha, which means 'hidden city'. In 185 BC the Romans renamed it Carthima. Under the Romans the town flourished and became wealthy, but it went into decline together with the Roman empire. Later the Moors rebuilt the castle, the ruins of that castle can be visited.

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Sights and Activities

The Chapel overlooking Cártama

The Chapel overlooking Cártama

© theo1006

The three main sights in Cártama one can do in one walk uphill. On top of the hill once stood a Moorish castle, of which only some ruins remain. Somewhat lower on the hillside devout Catholics flock to the 18th century chapel. And along the zigzag cobblestone path uphill one can read – in Spanish - the interesting tale El Abencerraje. The walk starts at the town square, where excavations are in progress. At the side of the square stands the Iglesia Parroquia de San Pedro Apostol, originally built in 1502 and lastly restored in 2005. Adjoining the church is a small museum dedicated to Ntra Sra de los Remedios.

  • Iberian ruins – In the town square in front of the church excavations have uncovered the remains of a house that was part of an Iberian settlement even before the Phoenicians founded Cartha.
  • Iglesia Parroquia de San Pedro Apostol – The church dates from 1502, shortly after the Reconquest by the Catholic Kings, and may well have been built on the site of a former mosque. It has three naves, separated by pillars supporting half-point arches clad in wood, mixing Gothic, Mudejar, and Renaissance elements. During the restoration of 2005, wall paintings dating from 1824 were found on the tower.
  • Museo de Ntra Sra de los Remedios was inaugurated in 2007, adjoining the San Pedro church, through which you enter. It contains 18th century photographs and other artefacts of the town, with particular emphasis on religious ones and those connected with the story of the Virgin.
Rodrigo de Narvaez and Abindarraez

Rodrigo de Narvaez and Abindarraez

© theo1006

  • Tale of the Abencerraje and the beautiful Jarifa - Along the zigzag cobblestone walkway uphill to the Ermita there are 12 ceramic billboards not unlike the stations of the cross to be found at other Catholic pilgrimage sites. But these billboards tell the Abencerraje story, a medieval tale of romance and chivalry during the conquest of Andalusia by the Christian rulers Ferdinand and Isabella.
  • Ermita of Our Lady of Remedies - At the end of the walkway with the Abencerraje tale - and half way to the castle ruins - one reaches a chapel named Ermita de Nuestra Señora de los Remedios (Sanctuary of Our Lady of Remedies). The chapel dates from the 18th century but the statue of the Virgin in the chapel is said to have been discovered under a stone in the 15th century by a shepherd. It is open to the public daily except Wednesday from 9am to 2pm and from 4pm to 6pm in winter, and to 8pm in summer. For those who are unable to climb the walkway to the chapel, there exists an access by car to a parking at the other side of the hill, from where the chapel can be approached by a mostly level, surfaced path.
Moorish Castle Ruins

Moorish Castle Ruins

© theo1006

  • The Moorish castle ruins - The Moorish castle of Cártama was built in the 10th century on the ruins of a previous Roman castle. In 1485 the Christians laid siege to the castle. It fell without much fighting and became a base from which the Christians attacked Málaga. The castle stood on the top of a hill overlooking Cártama. Actually the ruins looks more impressive from below than when one has climbed to the top. From below one can distinguish the two rings of defensive walls, the outer ring near the town and the inner ring near the top. But if you follow the irregular path uphill from the Ermita, you are rewarded with grand views of the town and surrounding countryside.

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Getting There

By Plane

The nearest airport is Málaga Airport.

By Train

Suburban line C-2 between Málaga and Álora stops at Estación de Cártama, wich lies 4,5 kilometres north of Cártama.

By Car

Cártama lies at half an hour's drive from Málaga centre, on the A-375.

By Bus

Avanza bus connects Cártama with Málaga, with a dozen rides daily.

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Keep Connected

Internet

Internet is widely available within Spain. Most airports have wifi-zones and in most towns there are internet cafés or shops where you can use internet for a fixed price. Wi-Fi points in bars and cafeterias are available after ordering, and most hotels offer Wi-Fi connection in common areas for their guests.

Phone

See also: International Telephone Calls

The international access code for Spain is +34. The emergency number for police, ambulance and the fire brigade is 112.

In cities you can find plenty of public phones, and 'locutorios'. The latter are small shops where you can use the phone and use internet. Most of them also sell prepaid cards for mobile telephones. These shops are used a lot by foreigners to call to their mother country.

The main mobile network operators in Spain are Yoigo, Vodafone, Movistar and Orange, as in most of Europe voice and data coverage is generally good in urban areas however it can be patchy in rural locations. Cheap mobile phones (less than €50) with some pre-paid minutes are sold at FNAC or any phone operator's shop (Vodafone, Movistar, Orange). Topping-up is then done by buying scratch cards from the small stores, supermarkets, vending points (often found in tobacco shops) or kiosks.

Post

If you want to post a card, you can head to the post office (Correos). The Spanish post is not yet as efficient as colleagues in other countries so receiving a card can take a bit longer than the number of days that it should take. On the website of Correos, you can find the locations of nearby post offices.
Post offices are generally open from 8:30am to 2:00pm, although times will vary according to the size of the city/town and the main post offices might be open until the early evening. Most will also open again on Saturday mornings, but in the smaller towns will close as early as 12 noon. When posting a letter, look for a yellow box and, if possible, post at the post office itself where there will also be divisions for local, national and international mail. Be prepared for long queues at the post office. This is why tobacco shops sell stamps and many will also have the facility to weigh packages. Standard letters/postcards of up to 20 grams sent within Spain are €0.34. However, non-standard letters/postcards of up to 20g are €0.39. Letters/postcards of 20 to 50 grams are €0.45. In the case of international shipping, the price is €0.64 to most countries within Europe for standard envelopes (letters/postcards) up to 20g, for a few European countries and outside Europe it is €0.78. If you want to send a package you are probably better off with a private courier company like TNT, DHL or UPS, as they offer quick and reliable services against competitive prices.

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This is version 10. Last edited at 9:12 on Mar 13, 19 by theo1006. 1 article links to this page.

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