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History of Rincón de la Victoria

Diputación de Málaga

History of Rincón de la Victoria

The town of Rincón de la Victoria is built on the site of what was known as Bezmiliana from the 12th century. A lot has been said about this name and many varients have ben suggested like: Bezmiliana, Bismiliana, Mismiliana, Bisillana, Bazilyana or Bezillana; but what is sure are its Latin roots and that it probably was the name given to a large country estate that existed in the coastal area during the Roman Empire.

However, it is more difficult a task to find evidence of the existence of a settlement here, despite the fact that it is well known that in the 3rd century there was a Roman fortress on this precise spot, which was probably used to watch for pirates. Some ceramic remains from the Bizante period have also been discovered here, which suggest that the fortress probably remained in tact until the arrival of the Arabs.

The first information about the settlement is from El Idrisi back in the 12th century. Once the reconquest began instigated by the Catholic Kings, the settlement then was left almost uninhabited as the Moors were thrown out. This situation lasted until 1492 when people from other nearby towns and villages were encouraged to come and set up home in the area and as compensation for their losses elsewhere they were to be given a written document that gave them legal status over lands and houses in the abandoned town.

Halfway through the 16th century Bezmiliana once again found itself uninhabited. This time it was due in part to the Mayor’s lack of concern for protective measures around the town as what had once stood their in the form of the fortress was no longer as it had been totally destroyed during the Moorish uprising of 1569, and he had not rebuilt.

It was not until the 19th century that this area began to see people repopulating it again. New country estates and houses were constructed in the area, which was still known as Bezmiliana. At the start of this current century the town is well and firmly settled and has a new name; Rincon de La Victoria, which seems to be from the Monestary de la Victoria in the area which owned a lot of land and houses in the area..

The proximity of the capital city Malaga places this town mid-way between the urban sprawl of the city and the natural interior area of the Axarquia region, which allows it to be ableto offer both sun and beach tourism and other alternative activities off the coast. Benagalbón, which is one of the three small hamlets that form part of Rincon, offers visitors a glimpse of a typical inland village very much like all those found within the Axarquia region. The other two places within Rincon are: La Torre de Benagalbón and La Cala del Moral, which are both on the coast. It is the many kilometres of coastline that offer most opportunities for economic growth within the municipality. This may be in the form of: hotels, housing estates, new constuction projects, golf courses and all kinds of tourism. Finally, Rincon can be considered as the gateway to the whole Axarquia region as the A-92, the main road that crosses the entire region, begins here, as do many of the routes through this beautiful region.

 

Culture is also high on the agenda in this town as can be seen by the presence of the several museums in the area like the Museo de Artes Populares de Benagalbón or La Cueva del Tesoro, with its half a kilometre of galleries and halls. on top of this, there are several unmissable traditional processions which are part of the rich folklore of this town, the most mportant being the Virgen del Carmen. Another yearly event of great interest is the Certamen de Verdiales (Typical local music competition) and the old-fashioned car show that passes through the town on ayaerly basis, too. The most outstanding monument in the twn is the Casa-Fuerte de Bezmiliana from the 18th century. It has been restored to its original state and is used today as a kind of Municipal Arts Centre where painters and artists from all over the province can exhibit their work.

The town’s wealth comes mainly from tourism, as has been said before. However, there are also quite a lot of small constuction companies and other industries like glass blowing, pottery and cement manufacturing that are also important for the local economy. As for agricultural farming, the only place where there is any activity is in Benagalbón. However, this is limited to some subtopical crops, the traditional olive and almond grooves, and several vineyards. Along the coastline fishing is still a way of life for many, as is to be expected in somewhere so close to Malaga and bathed by the Mediteraen Sea.