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History of Faraján

Diputación de Málaga
Faraján, detalle fachada con Fray Leopoldo

History of Faraján

The earliest recorded settlement in the area dates back to the Arabic era, when the name "Farraján", meaning "joyful" was coined. Several different tribes of North African origin settled here, including Magilas, Gumaras, Bahirîes, Habibies and Hawaras. Some of these co-existed alongside the Jewish and Christian minorities who had come to the area after being taken prisoner during different military campaigns. They all lived in small communities known as alquerîas or farmsteads, the most important of which were Albalaxtear, Balastar, Chúcar, Cenajen and Castillejo.

After the town of Ronda was conquered by the Christians, all of the districts listed above were abandoned, their inhabitants moving to Faraján and creating a town that belonged to the royal estate of Ronda.

The expulsion of the Moorish converts to Christianity or moriscos in the 16th century saw the area practically abandoned until the arrival of a number of Christian families from other areas.

On the 30th of October 1814, King Fernando 7th issued a Royal Charter granting Faraján the privilege of town status "in recognition of the steadfastness, loyalty and sacrifice exhibited during the War of Independence against the French". This same charter included permission to use the royal coat of arms and the motto "muy noble y fidelîsima Villa de Faraján" (“most noble and loyal town of Faraján”).

Faraján’s position halfway between the sea and the 1,156 metre peak of Monte Jardón means that it is an extremely quiet town and one well worth visiting. Its urban design consists of houses laid out in irregular fashion which generally feature three floors and a traditional Arabic roof, at the centre of which is the church whose tower stands out above them all.

Over half of the land within the town’s boundaries consists of hillside, with forests of pines, oaks, cork oaks, holm oaks, chestnuts and poplars. A few olive groves are also to be found, as well as a number of goats and pigs. Two activities which provide both business and leisure are the hunting of foxes, several birds of prey and roe deer, and fishing, the River Genal and its tributaries, the Guadarîn and the Balaztaz, being home to barbel and trout when the area is not affected by drought.