Cartajima, in the province of Malaga, Andalusia, has a long history that goes back to Neolithic Age where Neanderthals and other cave dwellers settled. During the Bronze Age, Turdetani of the Tartessos, a pre-Roman tribe, has been noted to settle in Cartajima. There have also been significant evidences that Cartajima had been inhabited by Phoenicians and the Romans. Graves with human remains and various coins have been found in excavations in the surrounding areas. A necropolis and remains of ancient Roman roads were found in Cartajima.
Like all Andalusian and Southern Spain towns, Cartajima has been particularly important with the arrival of Moor conquerors and settlers. The name of Cartajima itself lends from Arabic, tagmazib or Al-Z’jaima, meaning “the site of a great height.”
Cartajima is one of famous Pueblos Blancos or White Towns of Andalusia, which are distinctive and well known for their houses and buildings with whitewashed walls and red and brown tiled roofs. Like many Andalusian and Southern Spain towns, Cartajima had many structures, buildings, and a town plan heavily influenced by Christian iconographies, especially during the Spanish Inquisition. Though the period of Catholic governance succeeded more than centuries, Moorish influences have remained evident in every aspect of design. Most of the attraction sites are the old Christian churches and Moorish buildings. This includes streets, piazzas, and houses with heavy steel designs reminiscent of Moorish inspirations. Some of the houses still have the cottage industry of old times like woodcarvings and pottery.
Though Cartajima suffered losses of records and destruction of structures, like many of Pueblos Blancos, Cartajima also includes a peaceful countryside landscape and environment. Most people go hiking and camping in the nearby areas.
Cartajima hostels provide tranquility with a limestone mountainside view. Hostels in Arcos de la Frontera all feature the distinct whiteness of Pueblos Blancos and the combination of Christian, Moorish, and natural influences.
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