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History of Igualeja

Diputación de Málaga
Nacimiento Río Genal, Igualeja

History of Igualeja

According to the only scarce information relating to the origin of this village, it would seem that the earliest settlement in Igualeja was from the Arab and then it was said to be within the province of Takuranda. however, from the conquest of the village by the Reyes Catolicos on it was included in the jurisdiction of Ronda which was governed by the Infante D.Juan. On his death it was inherited by his wife and when she died it was handed back to the crown again. From that moment on there is no information as to dates or changes being made.

The El escudo de Igualeja Coat of Arms, which contains the royal stamp, is a single-eyed bridge coloured gold, timbrado de la Corona Real, consta de un puente de un solo ojo en dorado, mazonado de sable sobre ondas de plata y azur, surmontado de dos casas doradas aclaradas de azur, puestas en faja en los flancos, y todo ello sobre campo de azur.

The Serranîa de Ronda cannot be mentioned without at the same time, talking about the Rio Genal, which has its source some 983 metres above sea level deep inside this natural paradise. There are only 200 metres between the village urban centre and the river’s source, but it is not the only one that runs through the land that makes up the municipality. The mountain ranges that this village rests on (Blanca, Bermeja y Palmitera) are made up of a series of valleys which are home to the Rio Seco and the Rio Guadalmina. This means that 67 percent of the land surface is covered by forest, while the rest is mountainous and rocky. Only 10 percent of the land that forms part of the municipality is used for agricultural purposes.

Igualeja could almost be considered as the capital of southern part of the Valle del Genal region given that it is village that has the most inhabitants. Many of the residents from the village commute to work on the coast due to it being so close. But, its proximity to the coast has not affected its profoundly rural aspect. A stroll through the village will reveal the narrow, streets paved in cement, natural stone buildings, sep hills, and some beautiful spots that reveal the love and care that the locals have for their village. The air is full of the flavour of the local forests that surround the village, especially the chestnuts. There are also some “impressionist” touches in and around the village left behind by the many who emigrated and returned to Germany, Switzerland and France and Belgium and returned.


Further on along the stroll through the village is the most important building; Iglesia de Santa Rosa de Lima, with its minaret (a rectangular figure with four half-pointed arches on the belfry tier) or maybe the Ermita del Divino Pastor from the 18th century. Both these buildings are found in the village square that splits the urban centre in two. The houses are single or double floored, they have white-washed walls, balconies, iron lattice work, and red Arab roof tiles.