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History of Villanueva de Tapia

Diputación de Málaga

History of Villanueva de Tapia

Following the Christian conquest, the land that now makes up the village of Villanueva de Tapia was the subject of a dispute between Iznájar (Córdoba) and Archidona, both of whom wanted to incorporate it into their respective territories. It was this incident that gave rise to the village’s alternative name of "El Entredicho", meaning “doubt” or “interdict”. In fact, it was under this name that it was recorded in 16th century documents to be found in Iznájar Municipal Archive.

In order to resolve the dispute, in the early 17th century, Royal Exchequer advisers decided that the controversial borough of "El Entredicho" should become part of the Royal Patrimony, which it did on the 20th of June 1602. Later, however, Felipe 3rd, feeling that the Crown’s new territory was not proving excessively profitable for his patrimony, decided to sell it to a member of the Supreme Council of Castile, Pedro de Tapia. Henceforth, the village began to develop under the patronage of the Count of Tapia, with the name by which it is known today. Nevertheless, some still refer to it as Villanueva del Rosal, since, in the late 18th century, a descendant of Pedro Tapia, decided that the village should be associated with the surname of its owner, thus imposing his own surname, Del Rosal, on it for a time.

In fact, Villanueva de Tapia has long been coveted by its neighbours in Granada and Córdoba, provinces which border the 2,100 hectares that make up the municipal area. As we have seen, its location has been the source of a conflict that was finally resolved with the granting of the village’s autonomy and ownership of the land that makes it up, which is primarily dedicated to olive grove cultivation. Though this originally occurred in the late 18th century, it was not until the 1960s that the process was finally completed with the “seizure” of 426 hectares in the Sierra de Algaidas from Villanueva de Algaidas.

A stroll through the village will enable the visitor to admire the typical houses of the northern Axarquîa, with their whitewashed exteriors and old-style tiling. The focal point is Plaza de España, the village’s only square.