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.
She takes me for a scenic drive along the back road from Torrox pueblo to the village.
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.
As we approach the village, the haze seems to burn off and we get a better view.
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.
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.
Door knockers also have other interesting shapes.
We also see some interesting door bells.
Most charming and pleasing are the doorways, patios and windows decked out with flowers and greenery.
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])
Calle Alta is another steep narrow street in the old district. Too bad the shadows make the street a little difficult to see.
Plaques along the walls of the streets tell the history of the village, in Spanish of course.
We stop at an overlook and admire the terra-cotta rooftops of the village. Here’s Marianne.🙂
Here’s me at a convergence of two streets, a great metaphor for my life right now.
We stop at a little wine shop to sample Vino Dulce Moscatel, a sweet Muscat wine.
And I enjoy looking at the colorful jams, sauces and dressings on the shelves.
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.
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.
We also stop in a little courtyard to admire 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.
Marianne has written much about Frigiliana. Here are a few of her posts:
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.