Arcos de la Frontera

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This article is about a Spanish town. For other uses, see Arcos (disambiguation).
Arcos de la Frontera
Vista de Arcos de la Frontera desde el Balcón de la Peña Nueva, Cádiz, España, 2015-12-08, DD 02.jpg
Coat of arms of Arcos de la Frontera
Coat of arms
Map of Arcos de la Frontera (Cádiz).png
Arcos de la Frontera is located in Spain
Arcos de la Frontera
Arcos de la Frontera
Location in Spain
Coordinates: 36°45′N 5°48′W / 36.750°N 5.800°W / 36.750; -5.800
Country  Spain
Autonomous community Andalusia
Province Cádiz
Comarca Sierra de Cádiz
 • Alcalde Jose Luis Nuñez (PP)
 • Total 527.54 km2 (203.68 sq mi)
Elevation 185 m (607 ft)
Population (2008)
 • Total 31,017
 • Density 59/km2 (150/sq mi)
Demonym(s) Arcense, Arcobricense
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Postal code 11630
Website Official website

Arcos de la Frontera is a historic city in the province of Cádiz in southern Spain. It is located on the Northern, Western and Southern banks of the Guadalete river, which flows around three sides of the city under towering vertical cliffs, to Jerez and on to the Bay of Cadiz. The town commands a fine vista atop a sandstone ridge, from which the peak of San Cristobal and the Guadalete Valley can be seen. The town gained its name by being the frontier of Spain's 13th century battle with the Moors.[1]


There is local evidence that Stone Age cave-dwellers used rocks to form living chambers. Roman ruins also exist in the area.[1]

Arcos became an independent Moorish taifa in 1011 during the protracted collapse of the Umayyad Caliphate of Córdoba. Arcos was associated with the Jerez by 'Abdun ibn Muhammad who ruled from c. 1029/1030 to 1053. The region was overtaken by the Almoravid dynasty in 1091. From 1145 to 1147 the region of Arcos and Jerez was briefly a taifa under dependency of Granada, led by Abu'l-Qasim Ahyal.

The town was a bulwark of Christianity after Alfonso the Wise of Castile (1252–1284) expelled the Moors. He constructed a Gothic cathedral which remains on its high ridge.

It is famed for its ten bells, which tolled throughout the war with the Moors. Several Moorish banners were taken in the nearby battle of Zahara and have been on display in a church in Arcos since 1483.[1]

Main sights[edit]

La Peña Vieja (The Old Cliff).
Gate of Jerez in Arcos de la Frontera.
  • Castillo de Arcos (15th-century castle)
  • Iglesia Parroquial de Santa María de la Asunción, a church built between the 16th and 18th centuries
  • Convent of San Agustín (16th-17th centuries)
  • Church of San Pedro (16th-18th centuries)
  • Ayuntamiento (17th-century city hall)
  • Iglesia de San Francisco (church built between the 16th and 17th centuries))
  • Iglesia de la Caridad (church built between the 16th and 17th centuries))




  • M. Mancheño y Olivares, Galeria de Arcobricenses illustres (Arcos, 1892)
  • M. Mancheño y Olivares, Riqueza y cultura de Arcos de la Frontera (Arcos, 1898)

External links[edit]