Pueblo Blanco

Pueblo Blanco

Arcos de la Frontera, Spain – November 28, 2009

During our Thanksgiving trip to Rota, Spain, we took a day trip to Arcos de la Frontera.  The town lies about 70 kilometers (43.5 miles) east of Rota.  So, in about 50 minutes, we were looking for a place to park.

The roots of the town now known as Arcos de la Frontera trace as far back as 1011.  The population today is around 30,000.  It is easy to see why the location appealed to people of that era.  The castle and much of the old town sits atop a limestone formation with some cliffs as tall as 46 meters (150 feet).  It is a beautiful little town on a hill.  Arcos de la Frontera is at the western edge of an area known as Pueblos Blancos (white towns).  They get this name because virtually the entire old town area is white.  It is really quite striking.

As with some of our other excursions, I focused on the many unique examples of door hardware.

An overlook showing a portion of the town.
The roundabout near the Parque El Paseo (Park Walk) parking area.

This is the first town where we were really glad we parked the 4Runner before we arrived at the city center.  I don’t think it would have fit on many of the roads in the old town area.  If the 4Runner had fit, I am not certain it could have made some of the 90-degree turns.  This can be seen well in the “Calle de Olivares” photo below.

Door knocker hardware.
Door knocker hardware II.
Door knocker hardware III.
Door knocker hardware IV.
Residents only!
Door knocker hardware V.  We have moved.
Door knocker hardware VI.
Door knocker hardware VII.
Looking back down the road up which we climbed.
The road continues up and it narrows significantly.
Door knocker hardware VIII.
Side/rear door of the Basílica Menor de Santa María de la Asunción (Minor Basilica of St. Mary of the Assumption).
Door knocker hardware IX.
Door knocker hardware X.
Door knocker hardware XI.
Door knocker hardware XII.
Minor Basilica of St. Mary of the Assumption bell tower.
View from the Parador de Arcos de la Frontera.
A lovely window grill at the Parador de Arcos de la Frontera.
Door knocker hardware XIII.
Door knocker hardware XIV.
The building at Calle de Núñez del Prado and Calle de Platera.
An entrance to the Palacio del Mayorazgo on Calle de Núñez del Prado.
Door knocker hardware XV.
A small fountain in a courtyard.
Hillary and Leslie on the terrace of an art gallery.
Door knocker hardware XVI.
Tyler, Leslie, and Hillary posing on Calle de Olivares Veas. Cars actually drive on this narrow street!
As noted…cars on the very narrow streets!
Door knocker hardware XVII.
Door knocker hardware XVIII.
A man carrying a sack of oranges.
Walking back to our vehicle…thankfully downhill.
Door knocker hardware XIX.
Arcos de la Frontera.
Another view of the town.

One of the main sights of the town is the Minor Basilica of St. Mary of the Assumption.  It is located on a square right next to the Parader hotel.  We did not go into the church.  It may be that a mass was in progress at the time, I cannot remember.

We walked a little farther east from the Minor Basilica of St. Mary of the Assumption and stumbled across the St. Peter Church.  We did go inside that church.  One of the things that struck us was the old, decaying body in a glass coffin.  It is allegedly an uncorrupted saint, I do not recall who.  Regardless, it was a little creepy.

A statue of St. Peter in the Iglesia de San Pedro (St. Peter Church). The church dates from the early 1500s.
A side chapel in the church.
The remains of an “uncorrupted saint.”
The main altarpiece in the church.
The organ above a crucifix.
A side chapel.
Some of the seating in the choir area of the church.
A wider view of the main altarpiece.

As I noted before, I was amazed at the width of the streets.  That was really evident at one location where we were entering an art gallery.  When we turned around, we could see just how narrow the entrance was.

Even though this is one of the first cities we have visited in Spain, we really enjoyed it.

The view from an art gallery to the street.

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