Zahara de la Sierra is a beautiful small white Spanish town in the Cadiz Province, which is one of eight provinces in Andalucia at the south of Spain.
The white Spanish town lies at the centre of Calle San Juan on the top of one of the mountains in Andalusia.
The following brief article is about Zahara de la Sierra in Andalusia, Spain and the surroundings.
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Zahara de la Sierra is at the north of the ruins of the Moorish Castle, which was built in the Middle Ages and it takes about 2 hours to reach it from the city of Cadiz, the capital of the Cadiz Province.
It is one of Andalusia's famous "Pueblos Blancos" or "white" cities, because of its houses and other buildings, surrounded by lush green fields and olive groves.
There is an information centre called Punto de Informacion Zahara de la Sierra and there are few hotels and a guesthouse, such as Hotel Al Lago (guesthouse), Hotel Arco de la Villa and Hostal Marques de Zahara.
Along the streets are palm trees, bougainvillea and orange trees. The castle is from the 12th century and it is at the highest area of the village. It takes about 15 minutes to climb to it.
The town dresses in white like a bride in her wedding day, or perhaps the white is an open color to symbolize the virginity of its beautiful women and the nature in the white town and the surroundings.
The Moorish Castle as one of the historical locations in the area was built in the eighth century around the year 742 and rebuilt again in the fourteenth century.
The near surrounded area is also including Gibraltar, a strategic location southern of the Iberian Peninsula, which lies between the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean.
The Iberian Peninsula itself includes Spain, Portugal, Andorra and the self-governing British Crown colony of Gibraltar.
The small white town of Zahara de la Sierra overlooks beautiful gardens and a lake made by people. The white town seems very beautiful place among 43 towns in Cadiz province up the valley where they built a sight-catching dame.
There are more than 1,600 inhabitants living in around 73 square kilometres in the town. The Cadiz province itself spreads to 7,442 square kilometres.
The town is still keeping its epic name from the Arabic word "Zahara". It is located not so far from other historical places in Spain that flavorous with enduring beauty and historical and cultural stories.
Among those places are Ronda, Granada, Alhamra Palace or Alhambra Palace, which is originally a castle built by Muslims during their rule in Spain called Moor and referred to people from north west Africa, certainly Moroccans.
The entire Andalucia was taken by the Muslims after the invasion of Tariq ibn-Ziyad in 711 and remained under this influence until the 15th century. However, there were coexistence of Muslims, Christians and Jews in the 10th century in Cordoba.
Despite this historical fact, the Islamic civilization existed longer in Andalusia than any other culture on the Iberian Peninsula. The name of Andalusia or Andalucia came from the Arabic name Al-Andalus.
Abu al-Hassan of Granada recaptured the castle in 1481. The castle remained on his hands until the fall of Granada few years after. Cordoba was taken in the 11th century and Seville followed in the 13th century.
In addition to the beautiful gardens in the place that were once symbols to the flourish of the Arabic poetry, there are some beautiful places such as Grazalema National Park and Lake Zahara El Gastor.
Olives are the main agricultural crop in the southern Spanish region covering 1.6 million hectares of land scattered around the valleys and on hillsides in the mountainous landscape.
Forests and mountains have a rich plant and animal life with a wide range of rare species. People have lived in the area since the dawn of recorded history. It shows the famous prehistoric cave paintings at La Pileta.
As a consequence of global climate change, it is expected that the annual rainfall in southern Spain will fall by as much as 40%, while it is predicted that average temperatures will rise by up to 4º C at the end of the century.
This will expose Andalusia and other parts of the Iberian Peninsula to a serious risk of desertification.
Olive trees may disappear, green pastures may change to bare deserts, and the basis for an agricultural production may severely be reduced.
Zahara de la Sierra
The castle at the top of the town was originally a Moorish outpost, overlooking the valley. Due to its position between Ronda and Seville, it was a perfect site for a castle to be built to serve as a fortress in case of attack.
The remains of the Moorish castle still exist and can be visited free. There are a few small hotels and hostels, along with many restaurants and an English-speaking tourist office.
Zahara de la Sierra
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