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Benalup-Casas Viejas
Village guide
Historical notes
Benalup-Casas Viejas
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The area around the Laguna de la Janda (Janda lagoon), belonging to the township of Benalup-Casas Viejas was the setting for the life of the primitive settlers of the province. Proof of this is the large amount of havens and natural caves which can be found in the area, such as the group made up of the caves of the Tajo de las Figuras, the Arco y Cimera, declared an Artistic Architectural Monument in 1924.

A mention must be made of the beauty and variety of the cave paintings in the Cueva del Tajo and the remains of a group of dolmens nearby.

The richness of the testimonies of these remote periods are contrasted with the scarsity of information about the following periods. In this way, there are hardly any remains which tell us about the existence of a Tartessus or Phoenician enclave, nor that of Carthaginians or the Romans. However it is by no means daring to say that, due to the richness of its lands, Benalup supplied the nearby coastal colonies with agricultural and stock products, which is shown by the presence of a Roman road nearby, which goes from Medina Sidonia to the Gibraltar Straits.

During the Muslim rule the area recovered its importance. At that time it was joined to Medina Sidonia. By being dedicated to stock breeding, the Muslims knew how to make the most of the aquiferous richness of the surrounding lands for their plantations and fruit trees. It was they who built a castle called Benalup.

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