Quéntar is located almost 900 metres above sea level in the foothills of the Sierra de Huétor on the edge of the Río Aguas Blancas. Its steep and narrow streets are very typical of mountain villages in Andalucía.
Surrounded by a picturesque landscape, this is a great place to start a tour of the Tajo del Castillejo, a huge natural gorge the stream forms before reaching the centre of the town. Another attraction is the Pantano de Quéntar swamp, one of the most spectacular waterworks in the province.
Quéntar is well known for its traditional festivals and re-enactments of historical battles between the Moors and the Christians, put on by the residents themselves in the most prominent locations in the city.
Iberian-Roman archaeological remains have been found here. The first references made to the municipality date back to the 13th century, during the Moorish period, when it was apparently one of the 28 districts (‘isqlim’ in Arabic) that made up the Cora de Elvira. One of these districts was Isqlim del Dur, which has now disappeared. The area also included the farmstead of Quéntar, which according to Seco de Lucena was also known as Qariat Quentar and divided into three settlements. The name of the town is still a mystery for the experts.
Due to its proximity to Granada the town fell into the hands of the Catholic Monarchs in the late 15th century and was the scene of the Moorish rebellion against Felipe II. It was here that the revolt was quashed by Juan de Austria in 1569. In commemoration of these events, the Batalla entre Moros y Cristianos (‘Battle between the Moors and the Christians’) is held here and in the surrounding villages. After the expulsion of the Moors the town was repopulated by people from other parts of Spain.
The local cuisine is based on locally grown products, such as almonds, olives and cherries. The pork and sausages are also very good and are included in many dishes. One of the most delicious recipes is Lomo con castañas y ciruelas (loin with chestnuts and plums).