The XIX century Eagle Aqueduct – Acueducto del Águila is located on the Barranco de la Coladilla about 3km outside Nerja on the N-340 coastal road leading to Maro.
It was built under the direction of local master builder Francisco Cantarero and consists of four storeys of superimposed brick arcades with 38 arches. The facade was decorated with a gallery of blind, pointed horseshoe arches in the Mudecar style.
The aqueduct also features entrance templets on the top storey and a central templet with an inscription reading ‘Pura y Limpia Concepción’ (Pure and Clean Conception).
The aqueduct was restored during the period 2009 to 2011 after having suffered damage….during the Spanish Civil War. It is still in use today.
The Balcón de Europa – Balcony of Europe – is situated on a rocky promontory and was formerly a fortress designed to keep out British pirates and privateers. The rocks you see when looking over the end are the remains of the old fortress.
The area is the focal point of Nerja and is considered to be the ‘centre of town’. The name ‘Balcón de Europe’ itself is generally believed to have been coined by King Alfonso XII during his visit to Nerja in 1885.
The Promenade – Paseo Balcón de Europa – is pedestrianised, as are the adjoining streets (calle Puerta del Mar, calle Pintada, calle Cristo and calle Carabeo) and it is lined with cafés, restaurants and ice cream parlours. During the busy summer months it is a hive of activity until late at night with street musicians, artists and other activities taking place.
In the adjacent Plaza Balcón de Europa you will also find a lot of bars and restaurants, such as El Candil, Bella Roma, El Patio, Julie’s Place, Doña Lola, Centurion, Lizarran and a few more besides. And if that’s not enough choice, there are dozens more within a couple of minutes walk.
The Balcón de Europa was made famous by King Alfonso XII (1857 – 1885) and his statue can be found at the far end. There is also a sculpture commemorating the discovery of the Nerja Caves and a ship’s wheel which was previously located in front of Cafe Kronox.
Two old cannons adorn the viewpoint, these having been found buried within the municipality.
La Ermita de Nuestra Señora de las Angustias in Plaza de la Ermita, Nerja, was completed in 1720 and contains frescoes of the four evangelists dating back to the 17th and 18th centuries. The interior is quite ornate.
Nuestra Señora de las Angustias – Our Lady of Sorrows – is the patron saint of Nerja and features in many of the celebrations in the town.
The Ermita plays host to several small concerts (classical, choral, religious) throughout the year so keep an eye out for posters promoting such events.
Spain became integrated into the EEC in 1986 and, in commemoration of this historical event, the Rapto de Europa sculpture was erected at the western entrance to Nerja next to the N-340 coastal road.
The sculpture is the work of Aurelio Teno, and other examples of his work can be found in Nerja, including an equestrian sculpture located on calle Málaga and another in the iglesia El Salvador on the Balcón de Europa.
Aurelio Teno was born in 1927 in Las Minas del Soldado in Villanueva del Duque and worked as an apprentice to the sculptor Amadeo Ruiz Olmos and later in a silversmiths in the city. In 1939 he joined the School of Arts and Crafts in Córdoba to study drawing and painting and remained there until 1943. In 1950 he moved to Madrid and worked as a goldsmith before moving to Paris to further his art studies.
Aurelio Teno returned to Madrid in 1965 to continue what had been a successful career. In 1976 he achieved international acclaim for a monumental sculpture of Don Quijote which is displayed in front of the Kennedy Centre in Washington D.C. He died at his home in El Pedrique, Córdoba, in February 2013.
The Mirador del Bendito is a viewpoint looking out over Carabeillo beach, with seating and two large pergolas for shade and decoration.
The Mirador lies at the end of calle Hernán de Carabeo – also known just as calle Carabeo – and there are several cafes, bars and restaurants in the area.
The 17th century Church of El Salvador – Iglesia El Salvador – is located on the edge of the Balcón de Europa and is close to what was once the old Guards Tower.
The original church was erected in 1505, although the existing structure was not actually built until much later, in 1697, and it was then further extended during the period 1776 – 1792. It is constructed as a three naved cross, the central area covered with a wooden framework of paired braces, the sides featuring vaulted edges at the ends and half barrel vaults with windows in the remainder.
On the front of the church are two quite large and typical ceramic tile plaques, one detailing the history of the church, the other a colourful religious scene. The exterior features a four-sided bell tower, originally built in 1724 but later reformed.
The interior is noted for its 18th century frescoes decorating the Evangeline nave and the contemporary mural of the annunciation by the painter Francisco Hernandez.
The Fábrica San José on calle Antonio Ferrandis ‘Chanquete’ was built by the Martinez Manescau brothers and Gabriel Rodriguez Navas back in 1870.
In 1873 the property came into the hands of the Larios family and they proceeded to turn the building into one of the most important sugar factories in Nerja.
The factory continued to be fully operational until 1968. The building was later restored and turned into a state secondary school, with efforts made to retain some of its original characteristics. The tall chimney is one of the original features still remaining intact.
The main square, the Plaza de las Maravillas, is dominated by the 17th century church, the Church of Our Lady of Wonders – La Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de las Maravillas. It was completed by the end of the 17th century, although the architecture suggests that it was either built over another church or building or was designed long before it was actually started.
The modest interior contains the statue of the Virgen de las Maravillas. It has a single nave with a wooden beamed ceiling which was restored in 1887.
During the Arab occupation of Spain, Maro was known for its production of cane sugar. Just down from the main square, the Plaza de las Maravillas, there are the remains of the old sugar factory, El Ingenio de Maro.
In 1582, Felipe de e Armargol, a lawyer from Granada, purchased the title of ‘Lord of the Manor of Maro’ and promptly decided to cultivate sugar cane, constructing the first mill in the area. Building began in 1585 and this also resulted in the construction of a road from Maro to Granada through the Sierra Almijara mountains. The factory remained in operation until the 1850’s when it was damaged by fire.