a morning with marianne in frigiliana

Saturday, July 13:  This morning, Marianne and I head off for a girl’s outing to a number of places, the first of which is the lovely whitewashed village of Frigiliana, nestled in the mountains in the easternmost region of Andalucia.

First glimpse of Frigiliana
First glimpse of Frigiliana

She takes me for a scenic drive along the back road from Torrox pueblo to the village.

Me with Frigiliana in the background
Me with Frigiliana in the background

We make a stop at the snail-shaped bungalows of Los Caracoles Restaurant & Hotel for views of the village, blurred slightly today by a haze.

the view of Frigiliana from Los Caracoles Hotel
the view of Frigiliana from Los Caracoles Hotel

As we approach the village, the haze seems to burn off and we get a better view.

getting close to Frigiliana
getting close to Frigiliana

We walk into the old district inhabited by the Moors before and after the Reconquista. The name Mudéjar is used to describe not only the Moors or Muslims who remained behind after the Reconquista without converting to Christianity but also the architectural style used by Arab craftsmen working in Christian territory. The quarter is made up of steep cobbled alleyways winding past white houses resplendent with flowers. (Wikipedia: Frigiliana)

We begin the uphill climb into the old district.  I love the pebbled walkways with their interesting patterns.

walking up the streets of Frigiliana
walking up the streets of Frigiliana

Many of the houses have door knockers in the shape of the hand of Fatima. Usually depicting the open right hand, an image recognized and used as a sign of protection in many societies throughout history, the hamsa is believed to provide defense against the evil eye. The symbol predates Christianity and Islam. In Islam, it is also known as the hand of Fatima, so named to commemorate Muhammad’s daughter Fatima Zahra (Wikipedia: Hamsa).   The door knockers in Frigiliana don’t quite fit the profile of the open right hand, as these seem to be a closed left hand.

Hand of Fatima door knocker
Hand of Fatima door knocker
hand of Fatima on a bright blue door
hand of Fatima on a bright blue door
hand of Fatima
hand of Fatima

Door knockers also have other interesting shapes.

Foxy door knocker
Foxy door knocker

We also see some interesting door bells.

interesting doorbell
interesting doorbell

Most charming and pleasing are the doorways, patios and windows decked out with flowers and greenery.

pretty entry
pretty entry
interesting flower
interesting flower
Frigiliana
Frigiliana
Frigiliana
Frigiliana
pretty entryway in Frigiliana
pretty entryway in Frigiliana
pretty window in Frigiliana
pretty window in Frigiliana

This is Calle El Zacatin, one of the most photographed streets in Frigiliana.  This view is taken from the top.  According to Marianne herself, in her blog, the steep street reveals “the original Arab layout of the village – winding streets, secret corners and adarves (little squares shared by a few houses and belonging only to them).”  The street “is the original site of a Moorish street market, filled with merchants and artisans, over a thousand years ago.” (Photographs I love …. and why! [Part 9])

El Zacatin in Frigiliana
El Zacatin in Frigiliana

Calle Alta is another steep narrow street in the old district.  Too bad the shadows make the street a little difficult to see.

Calle Alta in Frigiliana
Calle Alta in Frigiliana
sunflower at an entryway in Frigiliana
sunflower at an entryway in Frigiliana

Plaques along the walls of the streets tell the history of the village, in Spanish of course.

a plaque telling the history of the village
a plaque telling the history of the village
another pretty doorway in Frigiliana
another pretty doorway in Frigiliana

We stop at an overlook and admire the terra-cotta rooftops of the village.  Here’s Marianne.🙂

Marianne in Frigiliana
Marianne in Frigiliana
rooftops of Frigiliana
rooftops of Frigiliana
Frigiliana
Frigiliana
Frigiliana
Frigiliana

Here’s me at a convergence of two streets, a great metaphor for my life right now.

me in Frigiliana
me in Frigiliana
Frigiliana cafe
Frigiliana cafe

We stop at a little wine shop to sample Vino Dulce Moscatel, a sweet Muscat wine.

two glasses of Vino Dulce Moscatel (Sweet Muscat wine)
two glasses of Vino Dulce Moscatel (Sweet Muscat wine)

And I enjoy looking at the colorful jams, sauces and dressings on the shelves.

sweets for sale in the wine shop
sweets for sale in the wine shop
more jars of sweets
more jars of sweets
dressings in pretty bottles
dressings in pretty bottles

Wall art is a big thing throughout the south of Spain, and Frigiliana has its share.  I am tempted by the geckos, and I end up buying two for my sons before we leave the village.

wall art in Frigiliana
wall art in Frigiliana
streets of Frigiliana
streets of Frigiliana

We drop into Frigiliana’s church where Marianne points out the statues that people actually carry through the streets during festival days.  People consider it an honor to carry these statues even though they are heavy and cumbersome.

church in Frigiliana
church in Frigiliana
church in Frigiliana
church in Frigiliana
one of the statues carried down the streets in festivals
one of the statues carried down the streets in festivals

We also stop in a little courtyard to admire La Fuente Vieja, the old fountain.

La Fuente Vieja (the old fountain)
La Fuente Vieja (the old fountain)

And Marianne points out the manhole covers that are engraved with the name of the village and a representative picture.

manhole cover with the city's name and picture
manhole cover with the city’s name and picture

Marianne has written much about Frigiliana.  Here are a few of her posts:

Photographs I love …. and why! [Part 9]

Looking across to Frigiliana

After leaving the village, we head to Nerja where we’re going to sample some paella at a seaside restaurant after we visit the Balcon de Europa.

15 thoughts on “a morning with marianne in frigiliana

  1. I’m so glad you enjoyed our visit to Frigiliana, Cathy. It’s always a favourite place of mine to visit. Do you remember I showed you where we used to live, in the house we rented in the village, for our first year living in Spain?

    Excellent photos!

    1. I really loved that little picture-perfect village, Marianne. I do remember you showed me your house and I took pictures of it, I think. When deciding which pics to include, I saw that picture, but then I was trying to remember if it was your old house I took a picture of, or just another charming house nearby. So I didn’t include it. But I should have because I thought it quite charming.🙂

  2. Absolutely spectacular photos! What a dream to be the guest of such a lovely couple! And what a dream for them to have such a wonderful guest! The further south you go, the more in love I am with Spain! But what a sad state of affairs that as a North American, my first reaction to the beautiful potted plants down public and private streets is “how amazing no one steals anything”! Of course in our neck of the woods, that is what would happen, sadly. You could never put anything outside on display as it will have grown legs overnight. My parents were absolutely heartbroken when a little garden knome went missing after 20 years in the same spot, hidden in a tiny corner of a huge garden. We though he was safe.

    So beautiful to see how much pride everyone takes in each others’ efforts in this lovely town!!

    The sea view we can see today, and it is beautiful!

    What is strange though is throughout your travels this summer, we see so few crowds at the height of tourist season. So sad for Spain that the economy is suffering so much. I suppose if you have money, now is the time to buy property in coastal Spain…!? But still, where are all the foreign tourists??!!!!!

  3. Frigiliana looks like a beautiful place! I love every single photo you have here, ..well,.. may be not so much for the two hand door knockers,😉

    1. Thanks so much d.mooncrab. Frigiliana is really lovely and I’m so glad you like the photos. I know the door handles are not very exciting, but they do have significance in the culture.🙂

  4. I’d heard so much about Frigillana but never realised quite how steep it was! Thank you for taking me on this wonderful photo tour and saving my poor old legs. 🙂
    I posted hands of Fatima too, on Cee’s knockers and door handles challenge. Off now to check out the photographs Marianne loves.

    1. I remember your hands of Fatima from that post, Jo. Yes, Frigiliana was very steep and very hot! But it was lovely and that sweet wine was a real treat.🙂 I’m glad I saved your legs by visiting there for you!

      1. we already have a date at a restaurant whose name escapes me but I think it’s in Nerja. but yes, that would be great too!! (and now I’m getting notifications of replies…goofy!)

      2. It might be the same restaurant where we went in Nerja. She took me to El Chiringuito de Ayo in Nerja for paella.

        By the way, if you get notice of late replies from me, it’s because my semester has started and I hardly have time to blog, read anyone else’s blogs, or reply to comments. I hope I’ll catch up eventually.🙂

  5. Reblogged this on Our Travels Around The Globe and commented:
    Over the past few days we’ve had Cathy staying with us. I met Cathy online through blogging and was delighted when she accepted my invitation to stay, so I could show her some of the lovely towns and villages, east of Malaga.

    This post is re-blogged from Cathy’s own blog, in which she describes our precious time together.

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