From El Torreon , Calle Real now descends to the church square, although just before we reach the square, we have the opportunity to take a first look at El Zacatín, without doubt one of the most typical and beautiful streets in the region, especially in spring when it is a riot of colour thanks to flowers and plants which abound there. It may be that all the corners of Frigiliana abound with plants and flowers throughout the entire year, but it can be said without fear of contradiction that El Zacatín is the most emblematic and the most attractive to visitors.
Its location and structure make it somewhere very special, climbing steeply, bordered by palnts and flowers, the houses with their plastered white walls, typical of the district, and ofeering a view up to where Frigiliana’s castle stood in days gone by. At this point we must decide whether to to continue into the square or whether to go up El Zacatín. If we choose to go into the square, we can have the possibility of seeing El Zacatín from above later in the walk. We leave the visitor to choose, but our walk continues in to the square a few metres beyond the foot of El Zacatín.
Built in 1676 in the renaissance style and restored a century later, the church is set out in the form of a latin cross with three aisles separated by semicircular arches set on rectangular columns. The transept is surmounted by a hemispherical dome set on crenelated arches and culminating in a lantern, whilst above the two arms and the chancel are barrel arches with windows.
Set above the entrance porch is the choir with a rococo cornice combining straight and curved elements. Below the choir is an interesting wooden “cancel” screen with one main, double door, and two side doors, designed and built by Bartolomé de la Cruz Arjona, a 23 year old Córdoban living in Frigiliana.
Inside the church we can admire the recently installed reredos; it replaces the original which sadly was destroyed during the Civil War. The church is accessed via a courtyard with iron railings, on the semicircular portal of which can be seen the coat of arms of the bishop, Fray Alonso de Santo Tomás.
If our walk so far has generated a thirst, especially likely in summer, we can take refreshment at the fountain in the centre of the square, an exact reproduction of the one which stood here many years ago.
Looking at the church from the square, we can see a narrow alleyway to the left of the building which will lead us into the heart of the Barribarto. This is the route we choose for the next stage of our walk. No sooner have we left the church behind than we enter another of those especially attractive corners of the historic quarter, Calle el Garral.
Here the visitor encounters a set of steep and narrow steps, festooned with plants and flowers which lead directly up into the Barribarto, whilst on the left is the tiny and picturesque Callejón del Inquisidor, where, to mark the first Festival of the Three Cultures, a small fountain was installed, incorporating the symbols of the three great cultures, Jewish, Christian and Muslim.
We will have the opportunity to go up into the Barribarto shortly, and so for the moment we will go down Callejón del Inquisidor and into Calle Chorruelo (the continuation of Calle Real from the church) which we follow for a few metres and then, in a square on the left come to the Fuente Vieja (Old Fountain), which dates from the XVII century and was constructed by Don Iñigo Manrique de Lara, fifth Lord and first Count of Frigiliana, around 1640 and which bears his coat of arms. It wass built onto the back wall of a house and was designed to supply water to the neighbourhood. Today drinking water is available from a pipe opposite the fountain.
If we continued on down through this square, steps would take us down to Avenida Carlos Cano, but we will retrace our steps to Calle Chorruelo in order to continue down to the end of the old quarter and visit the chapel of El Santo Cristo. Just at the end of Calle Chorruelo, as we emerge from the historic quarter, on our righthand side we find a sculpture
commemorating the first Festival of Three Cultures, “Three Cultures, Two Sculptors, One God”.
The old quarter has been extended beyond this point with modern apartment blocks, but if we follow the street for about 300 metres we arrive at the Ermita del Ecce Homo (Chapel of the Ecce Homo), known locally as the Chapel of the Holy Christ.
Dating from the XVIII century it is a small chapel with a single nave beneath a simple roof of wooden planks. Access to the chapel is from the porch through a door beneath a semicircular arch. In earlier times the arch displayed an image of the Ecce Homo. It is now time toembark on that part of the route that takes us up to the Barribarto.
Rather than returning to Calle Real, we take the stepped street (Calle Almona) which goes up to the left of the Three Cultures sculpture. In order, on the one hand to enjoy the views over the countryside and on the other, to avoid exhaustion, we recommend that you pause often on the way up this street, by which you will shortly reach the entrance to the Barribarto where our Moorish heritage is displayed in all its splendour, and whose corners and alleyways with their gleaming white walls never fail to impress and enchant the visitor.