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This town is one of the gateways to the Los Alcornocales natural park and a bridge between the Sierra de Cadiz’s mountains and the Barbate Marshlands. This area has been inhabited since Prehistory, as revealed by the paintings and anthropomorphous tombs dug out of therocks at Peñón del Tajo de las Figuras (the finest collection of schematic cave paintings in Prehistoric Western Europe) and the caves at El Arco y Cimera. From the Muslim period remains the “Torre de la Morita”. Noteworthy monuments include the Nuestra Señora del Socorro Church.
But undoubtedly the episode that sadly made this town famous was the “Sucesos de Casas Viejas”, an anarchist revolt that broke out in 1933. The liberal uprising was put down by the police, leaving 22 civilian casualties. These tragic events turned Benalup into a symbol of anarchist freedoms and an emblem for the peasant movement.
A wide range of leisure activities are available in the local countryside. The “Mirador del Parque”, popularly known as “Tajo de la Sima”, is the ideal spot to watch migratory birds. Around the Celemín Reservoir’s area you can enjoy multi-adventure activities at parks like Wakana Lake, also is ideal for hiking, playing golf (FairPlay Golf & Spa), or picking wild fruits such as tree strawberries or asparagus.
The municipality of Benalup-Casas Viejas has several visitor centres where you can learn about its history, including its prehistory, the tragic events of 1933 or the town’s heritage. The municipality has been independent from Medina Sidonia since 1991.
Another interesting activity is walking or cycling along the riverbed to the dried La Janda Lagoon, which is still used as a stopoff point by migratory birds.
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