For anyone with an interest of how things have changed over the past 100 years, as well as anyo...
'El Torcal de Antequera' is the most visited nature reserve in Andalucia. Declared a Natural Site of Natural Interest by UNESCO, it covers 1.171 hectares and is a magnificent example of a karst landscape. ‘Karst' is the geological term for the unique rock formations in the sedimentary rock, caused by millions of years of erosion and 'karstification' (dissolution by splitting).
It dates back to Jurassic times, when the majority of Europe was submerged under water (the Thetis sea). Over time, a sedimentary process took place whereby the remnants of the marine life formed layers at various levels. The tectonic forces lifted these sediments to more than 1,000 metres above sea level and erosion continued the process. This ongoing erosion caused by the elements (rain, wind and ice) means that today the landscape that has been left is truly unique, even being compared to a moonscape, filled with rocks clearly illustrating these layers, and strange shapes formed millions of years ago and consolidated over time.
This 100% natural process has left El Torcal de Antequera with more than 1,000 chasms and caves formed by the erosion and deterioration of the sedimentary rock. It also has had the effect of leaving rocks in interesting shapes, reminding visitors of day to day objects, such as a hat (‘el sombrerillo’), a dice (‘el dado’) or a screw (‘el tornillo’). This last shape has been taken as the logo for El Torcal de Antequera and has inspired many people and businesses in Antequera to use this image to represent their town.
El Torcal de Antequera is located approximately 14 kilómetros south of Antequera. It is open all day. The visitors centre is open from 10.00 to 19.00 April - October and 10.00 to 17.00 November - March. Free entry.
There are various walking routes as well as guided tours which take place during the daytime. (In summer months there are some stargazing and astronomy activities that are also open to the public).
Posted by Alicia Shelley