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Stories and Legends from the Towns in La Axarquía

Diputación de Málaga
Salares. Festival árabe andalusí. Septiembre. Fiesta Singular

Stories and Legends from the Towns in La Axarquía

Stories from the popular culture in the towns of La Axarquía that have been passed down by word of mouth through generations

People have told legends and myths for ages. With myths they tried to explain their own existence and the beginning of the world, and add fantasy to events and personalities, whose existence was evidenced up to a point, through legends.

The area of La Axarquia, which has been a way from the coast to the inland of Andalusia since prehistory, is full of stories that belong to oral tradition and, therefore, had been constantly modified in order to get adapted to different periods of time.

Battles between Moorish and Christian troops until the first ones were banished by Philip III in 1609 were source of numerous interesting stories about dark ways and treasure hunts. After the Christianization of the people in the area, divine power of some of religious paintings also helped develop some incredible stories. The topic of bandits became famous and a plentiful source of wonderful stories.

The following stories and legends are meant to show the visitors the side of the towns only known by local people, as well as their power to turn any event with the smallest real base into fabulous, passionate stories, which can often be part of a great literature.
Alcaucín and the snakes of the town of Zalia.
Alfarnate and the story about José María El Tempranillo in Alfarnate Inn.
Alfarnatejo and the hidden treasure.
Algarrobo and how it got saved from being destroyed by the French.
Almácharand the gift from the shipwrecked sailors to Jesus with the Green Sash.
Árchez and the story about the young single men who kissed the lizard on the bell of the Mudejar bell tower.
Arenas and the conquest of the Bentomiz Castle by an army of goats and sheep with oil lamps and bells.
Benamargosa - goods smuggling to the Rock of Gibraltar made it famous as 'Small Gibraltar.
Benamocarra and Christ's miracle working which stopped a cholera epidemic.
Canillas de Aceituno and the story about Our Lady of Cabeza, hidden for 500 years.
Canillas de Albaida and the end of the earthquake in 1884 thanks to the procession in the name of Our Lady of the Rosary.
Colmenar and the miracle which saved nine sailors who built a country chapel in honour of Our Lady of the Candles (Candelaria).
Comares and the story of St Hilary, who stopped the plague which affected the surrounding villages.
Cómpeta and the uprising lead by local man Martin Alguacil, who was helped by Moriscos from the Sierra de Bentomiz.
Cútarand the light of the Bird of Death.
El Borge and an attempt of theft of Patron St Gabriel's image.
Frigiliana - when navigator Francisco Pinto promised to build a cross and a niche.
Iznate - the legend according to which Umar ibn Hafsun, a famous Moorish leader, was born there.
La Viñuela - traditional festival celebrated at the end of raisin grape harvest.
Macharaviaya and an attempt of Gálvez family to tile the church floor with coins.
Moclinejo - when Christian troops were defeated by Muslim troops at the place called Hoya de los Muertos [the Hollow of the Dead].
Nerja - a love story on the Maiden's Fountain.
Periana and the suicide of lovers Ahmed and Sara.
Rincón de la Victoria - stories about Higuerón and Tresure Caves.
Riogordo - a great devotion to Jesus of Nazareth in Antequera.
Salares and the cold water coming from Albarrá spring in summer and warm in winter.
Sayalonga - how the image of Our Lady of the Rosary emerged from the sea in the middle of a storm and guided people to the cost.
Sedella and Queen Isabella the Catholic who answered to the news about a village and a battle with the words: 'I know about it' or 'Sé de ella' in Spanish which, according to the legend, was how the village was named. “Sé de ella”.
Torrox and a procession of spirits along the Bridge of Souls on All Saints' Day.
Totalán - the legend about the Moor's tomb where a battle leader might have been buried with a treasure.
Vélez-Málaga- how the village was created after an earthquake from the mouth of the Vélez River to the hill where the town fortress was built later on.