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Teba

 

A 40 minute drive from El Chorro, Teba is a small town with a large historical legacy and a little-known link with Scotland.

Teba sits in a remote and agricultural region of Andalucia and dates back to Roman and Neolithic times.

Of particular historical interest, however, are the events of 1330, when Teba was under siege by the armies of King Alfonso XI of Castilla who wanted to take Teba from the occupying Moors. At the same time, Sir James Douglas, also known as Black Douglas, who had helped Robert the Bruce of Scotland defeat the English at Bannockburn, was leading an army to the Crusades. Douglas took his army on a detour to help King Alfonso. He was carrying the heart of Robert the Bruce in a casket to inspire his men and he infamously threw the casket into the fray at Teba in order to provoke and motivate his men to charge forward in a spirit of bravery.

The casket was retrieved and returned to Melrose Abbey in Scotland where it was buried. Black Douglas did not fare so well and was killed in the battle. Alfonso’s attack was unsuccessful.

However, Teba’s connection with Scotland was further strengthened when a passing Scottish Crusader army, led by the Earl of Selkirk, also challenged Teba's Moorish rulers. Their legacy was a one-ton slab of Dumfrieshire marble, which can now be seen as a commemorative plaque in the town's central Plaza de España, renamed Plaza de Douglas in the Crusader's honour.

Alfonso finally managed to conquer the town in 1389.

As well as its castle, Teba also boasts an impressive 18th century parish church of Santa Cruz, with three naves and towering columns of red marble quarried from the El Torcal region.

Teba has some amazing views in every direction. Nearby, the Garganta de Teba is a gorge cut through the mountains by the Rio la Venta river. The gorge, known as the Tajo del Molino, is a prime site for butterfly and bird enthusiasts, and its remote setting makes it perfect for spotting eagles and other raptors.