Size: 105 Km?
Population: 13,486
Residents known as: Cartame?os
Monuments: Hermitage of Nuestra Se?ora de los Remedios, bridge and aqueduct, natural surroundings.
Geographical situation: In the Guadalhorce Valley, 21 kilometres from Malaga, at 259 metres above sea level.
Tourist information: Town Hall, Plaza de la Constituci?n, 3. 29570.
Phone: 952 422 126 Fax: 952 422 349

C?rtama is one of the most historically important municipalities in the Guadalhorce region, and one of the biggest, with its population spread over an area of 105 square kilometres in two twin towns: C?rtama Pueblo and C?rtama Estaci?n. There are, besides, nine other smaller urban areas. Its archaeolgical sites are among the best in the province, with fragments of ceramics, metals, walls, Roman coins and columns having been discovered. And watching over the different settlements through the centuries is the ancient castle fortress of C?rtama. When the Phoenicians arrived at what is now the town, they found a small fortress inhabited by the Iberians, situated on top of the Cerro de la Virgen hill. Both peoples lived side by side for some time, establishing a factory in the La Vega and La Sierra area for the production of agricultural products of the region. For their mutual protection, they reconstructed the fortress and called the place Carth-Ma, meaning "Hidden town and mother". This was seized by the Roman consul Marco Poncio Cat?n in the year 195 B.C., who, once installed in the town, rebuilt the castle and fortified it, extending the building towards the mountainside. The Visigoths carried out later reconstruction work on it, but it was during the Moorish occupation that it achieved most importance. The shifting Moorish military and political situation was witness to crucial economic and social change in the area, and in the Nazari period the castle became of vital importance for the social and political life of the entire region. The aspect it would have had at this time would have been very like the castle in ?lora, with little decoration but strongly built to withstand attack. But the Christians did indeed attack successfully in 1485. The defenders held out for quite some time, and the Christians were unable to break through the thick walls. But they were forced to surrender in that same year and the Moorish period in C?rtama thus came to an end. King Fernando and his officers, conscious of the military importance of the building for the conquest of Ronda and Malaga, moved in and began further reconstruction work. A meeting of the Council of Nobles was held in the building, and from there the conquest of Malaga was planned. After the fall of Granada the castle lay more or less unused until the War of Independence, when it was the scene of an attack against the French troops that had taken refuge there following the General Ballesteros siege. The present building carries the scars of so much military action over the centuries.

Barbacoa R?o Grande. Ctra. Alhaur?n, s/n. 29570. C?rtama. Tel: 952 422 367.
Restaurante Don Lim?n. Municipal swimming pool. C?rtama-Estaci?n. Tel: 670 479 267.
Restaurante Berrocal. Los Ronde?os, 115. C?rtama-Estaci?n. Tel: 952 420 423.
Restaurante Buenavista. Urb. Los Limoneros, 1. C?rtama-Estaci?n.Tel: 952 421 104.
Restaurante El Tintero. Ctra. Churriana. C?rtama.
Mes?n La Moya. Avda de Andaluc?a, 24. C?rtama-Estaci?n.Tel: 952 420 269.
Venta Los Cabales. Ctra. de Co?n, Km.7. C?rtama.Tel: 952 420 091.

Hostal La Moya. Avda de Andaluc?a, 24. C?rtama-Estaci?n.Tel: 952 420 269.
Pensi?n Salvador. C/Marbella, 4. C?rtama-Estaci?n. Tel: 952 420 372.
Cortijo Rural La Palmera. C?rtama.Tel: 952 422 675.

The Feria del Ganado (Cattle Fair) in honour of San Miguel takes place at the end of September, its history going back many years. Since the two parts of C?rtama celebrate their own festivals and patron saints independently of each other, the Virgen de los Remedios festival takes place in Cartama Pueblo in April. The most important part of this festival is the bringing of the Virgin down from the high hermitage to the parish church of San Pedro Ap?stol. In C?rtama Estaci?n, the festival in honour of San Isidro Labrador takes place in the middle of May, during which a romer?a is held on the banks of the river Guadalhorce. Other interesting festive events in C?rtama are the Festival of the Sierra de Gibralgalia, held on June 24th in honour of San Juan, and the Fiestas del Sexmo on September 12th. Important too are the D?a de los Canastitos (Day of the Little Baskets), in honour of Santa Ana, and the San Juan bonfire night. The cakes baked for Easter Sunday are also considered to be cause for a fiesta, and there is a strong tradition of the verdiales musical form in the town.

There is a long and rich tradition of local cuisine in C?rtama, not only due to the typical products of the soil but also to the town?s proximity to the coast. The best-known local dish is the so-called sopa cachorre?a, followed by the asparagus soup. These soups are generally eaten with prickly pears, olives, onions, radishes, grapes or oranges. The local pork products have a very high reputation too, especially the Morcilla cartame?a, a type of black pudding. The Moorish influence has left us with the sweet torta cartame?a, the C?rtama tart, whose basic ingredients are olive oil and almonds, and of course, the oranges of the region.

Flowing the length of the municipality of C?rtama, the river Guadalhorce creates a valley surrounded by mountain ranges that makes the area one of the most beautiful and lush in the province. The very presence of the river, with its eucalyptus trees growing high on the banks, makes this an excellent place to walk or hike in, or to take a mountain bike and cycle in. There is the only crocodile park in Europe right here too, sheltering some 200 different species from all over the world and covering an area of 45 square kilometres.
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Villages of
The Axarquia