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Arcos de la Frontera

Arcos de la Frontera is a town in the autonomous community of Andalusia in Southern Spain. It is one of Andalusia's most dramatically positioned pueblos blancos (white villages).

Arcos's population of 28,000 is divided between the newer town on the lower slopes of a sandstone ridge and the old town above. The old town, with its whitewashed houses and stone castle walls sits atop the ridge; from here, views can be seen extending for miles including those of the peak of San Cristobal and the fertile Guadalete Valley below.

The town was declared a national historic-artistic monument in 1962 in recognition of its exceptional architecture and impressive location. Evidence of stone age activity has been found locally and also there are Roman remains. Later on in the 11th century, Arcos was briefly an independent Berber-ruled kingdom. In 1255 it was claimed by Christian King Alfonso X for Seville after Spain fought against the Moors. It remained ‘de la Frontera’ (on the frontier) for the next 237 years until the fall of Granada in 1492.

The old town is a labyrinth of cobbled streets that lead up to a sandstone castle, the Castillo de los Arcos and today is a pleasure to walk around, although be prepared for some slopes and steps! A truly inspiring place, famous visitors have included Charles de Gaulle whom is said to have written his memoirs on the balcony of the Parador (once a palace known as Casa del Corregidor).

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