Frigiliana, Spain – A White Village in Andalusia
No glossy coffee table book about Andalusia and her white washed villages which does not prominently feature images of Frigiliana.
Voted ‘the prettiest of them all’, Frigiliana more than lives up to that reputation.
Approaching from either nearby Nerja or Malaga, the capital of the province, and rounding the last bend, the brilliantly white houses of Frigiliana spill down the steep hill of El Fuerte on the foothill of the Sierra Almijara.
The white is dotted with red, resulting from the thousands upon thousands of geranium flower pots which adorn the wrought iron balconies and open spaces in the many tiny squares.
The white city Frigiliana, is best explored on foot to truly appreciate the beauty of every corner of this romantic as well as historic gem in the South of Spain.
For all the present day beauty, the village has a rather violent and bloody past.
Dominated for 500 years by the Moors, they were finally defeated in 1569 in the battle at La Axarquia by the reconquista army of the Catholic Kings, Ferdinand and Isabel.
Legend has it, that many Moors, rather than be captured by the conquerors, threw themselves down the hill of El Fuerte and indeed, archaeological finds of bones at the foot of the hill seem to prove the truth of the legend.
On the other hand, the Moorish culture which ruled the area for so long, accounts for the unique aspect Frigiliana has today.
A combination of southern Spanish style and exquisite mosaics, tiles and fountains of Moorish origin makes for a picture perfect atmosphere.
It’s no surprise that each year, at the end of August, Frigiliana celebrates the Festival of the Three Cultures, commemorating the Muslim, Christian and Jewish past of the place.
Glued to the mountain side as it is, the cobbled streets are very narrow and very, very steep, interspersed with even steeper stone steps which lead from one level to the next.
Not a place to explore in sandals or heels, solid footwear is a must.