Frigiliana is also known as the village of the three cultures. This fact has its origins in a really special discovery in our village, a ceramic vessel with a symbol that combines the cross, the star of David, an the moon, symbols usually associated with the Christian, Jewish and Muslim religions respectively. If you want to learn more about the story of this vessel, do not hesitate to join one of our guided tours.
This cermic vessel was found in a house in El Torreón, when the owner was carrying out some construction works there. Marta Taylor Whitehead, known in Frigiliana as “Doña Marta”, and one of our first foreign residents and adopted “aguanosa”, decided to place it on her front door, so that everybody could see it.
For those who got to know her, Marta Taylor Whitehead was a woman well ahead of her time for a society as the one in Frigiliana then. She was born in Luxembourg and after going to the UK to study, she could not leave the country due to the outbreak of the WWII. Then, Doña Marta visited Spain in the 60s, and fell in love with Frigiliana, its culture, traditions and people. A generous, modern, economically independent, and divorced woman who worked as a top model coming to a rural village during the Spanish Dictatorship was a great cultural shock for the inhabitants of Frigiliana. Doña Marta remodeled her house, located in El Torreón, and old defensive tower, that also served as silo. Since she loved the culture and traditions of Frigiliana, she remodeled her house respecting the typical architecture of this place and the structure of this historical building.
The first entry of our blog, is obviously devoted to the beginning. We cannot understand our present without our cultural and historical background, and in Frigiliana, the best place to learn about them is the Archaelogical Museum, which moreover is the starting point of our guided tours.
The Archaelogical Museum of Frigiliana (MAF) opened in 2009, becoming the first museum in the Axarquía region belonging to the Andalusian and national museums networks.
The building: Casa del Apero
It was originally built at the beginning of the 17th century and was closely linked to the Ingenio, the Palace of the Manrique de Laras, Counts of Frigiliana. En su origen este edificio construido a principios de siglo XVII estaba estrechamente ligado al Ingenio, el palacio de los Manrique de Lara y Condes de Frigiliana. Tenía la función de atender y recibir las actividades de arriería vinculadas al Ingenio, sirviendo de granero, caballerizas y almacén de útiles de labranza. Es un edificio de planta rectangular con patio en su interior del que solo se conservan dos laterales y está construido en dos niveles con muros de tapial con verdugadas de piedra. Los arcos y pilares están levantados en ladrillo al igual que la portada de acceso. En la actualidad ha sido restaurado y es la sede de la biblioteca municipal Mármol Carvajal, la oficina de Turismo, el Museo Arqueológico y una Sala de exposiciones temporales.
Cueva de los Murciélagos (Bats’ Cave)
One of the most important archaelogical sites of Frigiliana is the Bats’ Cave or Cave Frigiliana-I. The Archaelogical Museum of Frigiliana (MAF) displays many of the remains found in this site. Although the entry to the cave is walled up to avoid stealing and looting, the main remains of this site can be admired at the museum. After the archaeological intervention, the site has been assigned to the late Neolithic Era and the Copper Age.
Among the most outstanding archaeological pieces displayed in the museum, we can highlight an infant skull of an individual who lived eight years, which was found in a burial site in a cave. He was buried with a ceramic container and other elements. Another important object is a flint double blade which couald have een used as a knife, and which has been dated back to the Neolithic or the Copper Age.