The serenity of the stately large houses and of the recently constructed, modern buildings intermingle in the streets of Campillos, a town of about eight thousand inhabitants, situated west of Antequera, about 70 km. from Málaga.
Despite the important archaeological findings made in the area, of which ceramic remains and coins of Roman- Iberian settlements and a Visigoth enclave of which three capitals have been preserved in the “Moralejo” (presently housing the school of San José) stand out, there is no documentation pertaining to the existence of the settlement of Campillos until the fifteenth century, after the conquest of the area by Christian troops. Dry farming, pig farming, poultry farming, and particularly, the leather industry, which is very well recognised beyond its boundaries, are the base on which its economy is supported.
Its artistic monuments, which stand out the most, are the parish church of “Nuestra Señora del Reposo” and the shrine of “San Benito”, patron saint of the town, both of which hail from the sixteenth century. Its natural environment is dominated by a combination of lagoons: … “Dulce”, “Salada”, “Capacete”, “Marcela”… that, even though dry in the hotter months, have been declared as National Reserve.
On the 10th and 11th of July, Campillos shows its best face in honour of its patron saint, Saint Benito Abad. With the arrival of summer, comes the moment to adorn the main town square for the fair of the first forthright in August, a good time in order to sample the great specialties of the Campillos cuisine: “la porra campillera”, mange prepared on a base of tuna, egg and ham. “El salmorejo”, vegetable stew with chickpeas, lentils and broad beans, “migas” and the cld vegetable soup complete a succulent gastronomic offer.
However, it is in the world of education that Campillos is best known for thanks to the School of San José, one of the most prestigious boarding schools in the whole of Andalucía; it has been opened for over half a century.