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Bolonia aspires to win the 2018–2019 Council of Europe Landscape Award

Martín Serrano – Photography: Fran Montes

@Fan Montes

The combination of landscapes around Bolonia Cove makes it a favourite bidder for an award which is considered to be the highest recognition for excellence in the implementation of measures for the protection, management and planning of sceneries by public bodies.

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Between 2000 and 2004 the Andalusian Institute for Historical Heritage (IAPH in its Spanish initials) published a Guide of the Cultural Landscape of Bolonia Cove.

This document contains the principal key to the awareness and management of the area and includes proposals for the conservation of its environmental and cultural attributes.

Reasons why Bolonia is worth visiting

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The village at Bolonia comprises a cluster of rural dwellings which offer a wide range of cuisine, based on a great variety of dishes and low density lodgings.

The unique environment is so rich that although thousands of people visit the place, mass tourism is not allowed.

Around the village is one of the most exclusive and beautiful settings in Andalusia and Spain.

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These are some of the reasons why one should visit this marvellous corner of the Tarifa municipality even though for maximum enjoyment it is best not to go during the height of summer.

THE RUINS AT BAELO CLAUDIA

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The ancient Roman city of Baelo Claudia can be found at Bolonia Cove some 22 km northeast of Tarifa.

This Roman city – factory which has been declared a Historic National Monument is in a surprisingly good state of conservation.

In Roman times it produced salted preserves used as the base for the fish sauce known as Garum which was exported throughout the Empire.

The archaeological site gives the Province of Cadiz one of the best remaining examples of Roman town planning.

Some of the buildings date to the times of the Emperor Augustus although most are from the reign of Claudius.

ARCHEOLOGICAL MUSEUM

The Archaeological complex of Baelo Claudia has a museum which is used as a base for a multitude of activities and display and development of things of historical interest.

The building has been designed with great sensitivity towards the surrounding area.

The exhibition presents Baelo Claudia under various themes: the economy based on the development and commercialisation of the fisheries; the urban spaces which follow the model replicated by Rome throughout the Empire

BOLONIA BEACH

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The beach at Bolonia is the southernmost extreme of Zahara de lo Atunes and Atlanterra although they are separated by cliffs.

More than just a beach, Bolonia is an almost untouched natural area, fine white sand and a pleasant sea breeze. This is a very clean beach and its waters are among the most crystalline in the region.

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@Fan Montes

Visitors appreciate and respect this unique environment. The beach is some four kilometres in length and about 70 metres wide.

THE DUNE

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The dune is the another of Bolonia’s great natural attractions. A massive ridge of sand formed by the wind which changes continually depending on the time of year. Do not miss the chance to climb it.

Take it gently because it is only once you start climbing it that it becomes an uphill task; and never better said.

Many climb it to watch the sun set and a camera is a must to record the experience.

THE LIGHTHOUSE OF CARAMINAL

The lighthouse is on Cape Gracia, which is in the Straits Natural Park between the beaches of los Alemanes and El Cañuelo.

Originally the lighthouse of Caraminal was a beacon called Torre Vieja (the Old Tower) or Cape Gracia Tower.

It was one of the coastal watch-towers built in the 16th Century by order of Phillip II to protect the Cadiz coast from pillaging raids by Barbary pirates. It was converted into a lighthouse in 1990.

CAÑUELO BEACH

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Because it is relatively difficult to get to and has no beach bars, this beach is quieter than those of Zahara.

It is also very clean and protected from the wind which makes it an attractive option on days when the easterly winds blow.

To get there requires a trek of at least half an hour across the Camarinal lighthouse from the spectacular beach of los Alemanes.

SIERRA DE PLATA

Except for the northern side almost all of the mountainside is protected as being of natural and scenic value.

On the side nearest the sea there are to be found the archaeological remains of Baelo Claudia, and in the Plata peak there is a pre-Roman site called la Silla del Papa (the Pope’s chair).

Moreover on the slopes there is another site, possibly of Celtic origin, , la Peña de Ranchiles, and caves such as the Cueva del Moro which contain ancient cave paintings.

The cave paintings which were found in 2017 using solar markers are unique in Spain and probably in all of Europe. They appear to have been used by the first inhabitants of the zone as calendars to calculate the times for sowing and harvesting crops.

They appear to have been used by the first inhabitants of the zone as calendars to calculate the times for sowing and harvesting crops.

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EL MORO CAVE

The Cueva del Moro is the southernmost Palaeolithic shrine in Europe. Inside are engravings of horses and other paintings in red.

Some of the figures which were found by Lothar Bergman are 20,000 years old which makes them older than the famous Altamira cave paintings.

NATURAL SWIMMING POOLS

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On the eastern side of Bolonia can be found natural swimming pools. As the name implies, they are a series of pools formed by the sea water remaining on the rocks at low tide.

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They are difficult to get to and so offer visitors peace and tranquillity.

THE POPE’S CHAIR

La Silla del Papa is on the highest point of Plata peak 457 metres above sea level. According to the researchers this was the site of a pre-Roman settlement built before Baelo Claudia on the coast.

It contains another pre-Roman shrine in the shape of a chair hewn into the stone, which gives it its name.

CUISINE

Bolonia’s richly varied cuisine rests on three pillars, seafood, vegetables and the local beef.

So if you come to Bolonia we recommend that you do not miss any of the options and you should try out what the earth and the sea have to offer the hungry visitor.

THEATRE

The theatre at Baelo Claudia is located within the urban centre of the Roman city which was founded in the second century B.C in a strategic position on the Strait of Gibraltar.

The space which is situated on an incline has been refurbished, restored and consolidated during several archaeological campaigns which has allowed some use for cultural events and which is particularly well known for its unbeatable views over the valley.

The forum for these performances have now been improved and contain seating for 500 spectators.

Ayuntamiento de Tarifa

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