I have written about Antequera before. Last time I bemoaned the fact that the opening times of the Dolmens meant I couldn’t visit because the are closed on Mondays. I am glad to report that I have been back for another visit and have finally managed to see The Dolmens of Antequera.
The Dolmens, in the words of UNESCO, are outstanding examples of megalithic architecture. There are three of them to see, although one, El Romeral, is quite a distance from the site containing the other two and the visitor centre. Your first stop should be the visitor centre, of course, and in there the informative video will give you an idea of what you are about to see and how it was constructed. Backbreaking work if ever I saw it, and I’m so pleased not to have been around in those times.
The biggest of the three is La Menga. This is the one you will have seen being constructed in the vistor centre. It’s easy to see the stones making up the walls, the roof and the central supporting columns. It is nicely lit inside and you certainly get a feeling of being somewhere special when you enter. It was rather smaller than I had imagined though.
Almost alongside stands La Viera. This chamber is much smaller and far less impressive with no central columns. The stone clad entrance is possibly more impressive than the chamber itself. A busload of visiting Spanish tourists were heard to mutter “Is that it?” as they came back out.
Looking out over the countryside is the statue of a naked man. I’ve spared you from the full frontal! He is called “El Caminante” (The Traveller) and if anyone has any more information about this incongruous creation, please let us know in the comments!
A couple of kilometres away tucked away behind a disused factory is El Romeral. Personally this was my favourite. It sits under a perfectly round dome which is clear to see from any angle. The tunnel-like shaft takes you inside like a time travelling machine.
It’s such a shame that any artifacts or bones discovered here are not located in the visitors centre, but instead in the city’s museum. Perhaps if UNESCO confirm their decision to award World Heritage status then things will change. Changes are required for this to happen as a Via Verde footpath needs to be constructed linking all the dolmens and the Peñon de los Enamorados which stands proudly above the landscape. This would certainly be a welcome addition. The award will also be linked to the impressive other-worldly rock formations of El Torcal.
A visit to the dolmens is good in itself, but it won’t take you too long unless you combine it with a trip to El Torcal and/or the city itself. You don’t mind the brevity of the visit if it’s free – just don’t try to go on a Monday!