By Tom Powell
STANDING atop a hill, bathed in floodlights, Cartama castle at night is a magical juxtaposition of ancient and modern.
The crumbling remains are lit up beautifully by lights, recently installed by the Town Hall.
But by day the castle is equally worth visiting, as it is a hard task to find any other place offering such far-stretching and diverse views of the Guadalhorce valley.
Cartama spreads out beneath this hill at the head of the Rio Guadalhorce, where a restored iron bridge spans the river and connects the town with its train station.
A rocky, zig-zag path begins from the main square and leads up to the castle, with pine trees providing shade and benches available for much-needed breathers.
At the top stands a pretty shrine to the town’s patron saint – the Ermita de Nuestra Senora de los Remedios.
Built in the 17th century over the top of the original 15th century building, the sanctuary was restored as recently as 2007.
Inside the shrine you can see an ornate ceiling, crystal chandelier and elaborate decoration, contrasting with plain wooden benches for the congregation.
Further up from here are the remains of the 10th century Moorish castle. The crumbling walls immediately set the imagination running, conjuring up images of this once impenetrable fortress.
The first defensive wall originally had ten towers and the second eight, but the expansive views will always remain just as strong.