Monda

Basic data
Size: 58.11 Km²
Population: Approx. 1,720
Residents known as: Mondeños
Monuments: Church of Santiago, El Calvario, the Castle, the Fountain of La Jaula
Geographical situation: On the southern border of the Guadalhorce region, 71 kilometres from Malaga, at 377 metres above sea level.
Tourist information: Town Hall, C/ José Macías, 1. 29110. 
Phone:  952 457 069 Fax: 952 457 180.


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El Calvario, religious building from the 18th century

The town of Monda is situated on the sides of a small hill upon which sits what was once an ancient castle and is now a luxury hotel. The surrounding landscape is made up of olive groves and vegetable plots, contrasting with the small, white houses on the hillsides. The flatter land to the north borders with the neighbouring Coin municipality, while over the hills to the northwest is the town of Guaro.
The history of the place is ancient. One of the most important dates is March 17th, 45 B.C., when Julius Caesar defeated the brothers Cneo and Sexto Pompey in the Battle of Munda. At stake was the Roman Empire, no less, and it survived the great battle in what is now Monda. At the end of the 9th century, when the rebel leader Omar Ben Hafsun led his rebellion, the castle of El Mundat was re-constructed, only to be destroyed once more by the Moorish chief Said Ibn Al-Mundir. The castle was re-constructed again around the 11th century by the Hammudies, and by the 13th century Monda had become an important part of the Moorish defensive structure. The Captain of the Catholic Monarchs, Hurtado de Luna, captured the town in the early summer of 1485, and he was awarded the governorship of the town. At that time Monda was under the jurisdiction of Malaga, and the remaining Moors were allowed stay on as Moriscos (Moors "converted" to Christianity) until the rebellion of 1501 in the Ronda Mountains, when they were first forced to convert in 1570, later to be expelled definitively. Monda played an important role in the fight against the French in the War of Independece in 1811, the Spanish general Ballesteros leading his guerilla fighters against the forces of Soul, Duke of Dalmacia, from the area. The Castel of Monda thus became an important symbol of resistance.

Places to be visited
House-Museum Mari Gloria
This house was a bakery for many generations, and now one can see inside the various utensils used for the baking of bread, along with furniture of the period and other objects from the past that make a visit to the place really worthwhile.
Castle
Archaeological remains found in the castle date it as a Roman construction of the 3rd century B.C. It was conquered by Saib Ibn Al-Mundir in 920 A.D., and restored in the 11th century by the Hammudíes, as a refuge for Gomeres de Hamet el Zegrí. The forces of the Catholic Monarchs took it in 1485, and it was partially demolished in 1498. Now restored as a luxury hotel, it conserves part of the original walls from Moorish times. Its one-time importance can be confirmed by a royal order praising the Christian leadership for having captured the castle, and another complaining that the reforms ordered were not being done as well as expected.
Parish Church
This church was built in 1505 and restored four years ago with the full collaboration of the people of the town. Of special interest inside are the Chapel of Jesus, dating from the 16th century, and the Chapel of the Virgin, with a Baroque gesso vault. Outside, the most interesting items are the doorway, with a large arch and coat of arms of the bishop Fray Luis Alonso de Santo Tomás, and the round tile showing Santiago, donated by Jiménez Encina.
Fountain of La Jaula and Calvario
The Fuente de la Jaula, mentioned in documents dating from 1572, is a covered public washing place, open in the front with arches and with a permanent flow of water feeding it. This water flows from the fountain into the surrounding lands of Pitalata and Huerto. The Calvario is a religious construction from the 18th century on a patch of ground of the same name, housing a holy statue in its niche. To the right of it one can see the Stations of the Cross.
Where to eat 

Restaurante Castillo de Monda. International cuisine. Terrace and dining room. La Villeta, s/n. Tel: 952 457 142.
Restaurante Fonda Casa La Mariana. Local cooking and tapas. Terrace. Plaza de la Constitución, 6.
Tel: 952 457 564.
Restaurante Gun & Golf. International cuisine, large terrace, shooting club. Cuesta de la Herrera, s/n. 
Tel: 952 112 161.
Restaurante Bar de la Rubia. Home cooking. Plaza de la Ermita, 7. Tel: 952 450 044.
Tapas
Bar Hnos. Vera. Paseo de la Villa, 1, Bar Central. Plaza de Andalucía, 1, Bar La Jaula. C/Valdescobas, 41, Bar Luna. C/Valdescobas, 30, Bar del Sur. Pza. de la Ermita, 13.   
Where to sleep 
Hotel Mundatluz. Llanos de Purla, Km 27.Ctra Marbella-Monda. Tel: 952 113 232.
Hotel Castillo de Monda(3*). Extramuros. Tel: 952 457 142.
Casa rural La Mariana.  Plaza de la Constitución, 6. Tel: 654 119 464.
Casa rural Guajar. Paraje Guajar. Tel: 952 457 422.
Casa rural Lola. C/Estación. Tel:952 112 716.
Rural Accommodation in the province of Malaga (in Spanish)

Fuente de la Jaula (16th century ), officially declared to be of Cultural Interest

FIESTAS
Holy Week is the most import festival in Monda. The Hermandad Sacramental y Penitencial brotherhood walks in procession down the streets on Holy Thursday and Good Friday, doing the traditional Stations of the Cross. Other interesting festivals include the carnival, the ferias in honour of the town’s patron saint, San Roque, on August 16th, Christmas and the Día de la Sopa Mondeña (Day of Monda Soup), a tradition celebrated on a Sunday in March aimed to propagate the culinary virtues of the most typical dish of the town, made with bread, peppers, tomato, garlic, olive oil and eggs. This festival is organised by the Delegation of Culture of the Monda Town Hall, with the participation of the Association of Young People of Monda.

GASTRONOY
Apart from the Monda soup mentioned above, other specialities of the town’s cuisine include mostly pork products. Monda has a great deal of land under cultivation, and this provides the town with ample supplies of olive oil, citrus fruits, almonds and honey. The pastries of the area are also well known, normally made specifically for certain festivals.

COUNTRY ROUTES
There are three trekking route in the area around Monda. One is the Ruta de los Cantosales, which takes one through almond and olive groves, and areas where oak and carob trees grow in abundance, to the area where the battle of Munda took place. The Ruta de los Molinos Árabes is a walk through the southern mountains, to a wooded area with a small stream and waterfalls that flow into the plains of Alpujatar. And finally, the Ruta de Moratán links Monda with Istán and Tolox, through the Nature Park of the Sierra de las Nieves and the Sierra de la Canucha.