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Teba

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Teba is a very old small town (population approx. 4000) located in the mountains north of Ardales. It is fairly isolated as are a lot of the local villages. There is evidence of Neolithic settlements, and the Romans built the first fort at the hilltop site they called Attegua, now known as Teba la Vieja (Old Teba). It is held to be the site of a famous battle between Pompey and Julius Caesar. The roman fort was reinforced by the invading moors in the 8th century.

In addition to the castle there is an impressive church, Santa Cruz built in the 18th century.

Teba has a couple of unlikely connections with Scotland. On the 25th August 1330 year Teba which was occupied by the moors at the time was under siege by the armies of King Alfonso XI of Castilla. The King received unexpected reinforcement from the armies Sir James Douglas, or Black Douglas who was on his way to the crusades. Douglas had been at Bannockburn with Robert the Bruce defeated the English. When Robert the Bruce died in 1329 his heart was cut out and put in a small silver casket, and this accompanied Douglas to the Crusades, apparently to inspire his men.On encountering King Alphonso, Douglas enthusiastically joined the siege, and at one point threw the box containing Robert the Bruces' heart into the battle and chased it into the fray followed by his men.The box was retrieved but Douglas was killed. The Moors survived the siege. The casket was returned to Melrose Abbey in Scotland.

 

A later Scottish crusader army led by the Earl of Selkirk attacked the Moors the following year, and left a 1 ton piece of marble that, for some reason they were carrying. This is now a monument, which is the centrepiece for a festival in Teba each year.