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History of Iznate

Diputación de Málaga
Detalle farol y relieve, Iznate. Axarquía

History of Iznate

The origin of the word Iznate can be traced to the Arab root “hisnat”, which means “castle”. Therefore, Hins Aute means the Castle of Aute.

Whatever be the case, historians have not found any traces of any human settlement on the site of this village before the Arab period.

The Moor troops surrendered to the Reyes Catolicos at the same time as Velez Malaga, which was about the end of 15th century. They were severely punished for their part in the uprising and there were only about 100 inhabitants in 1574.

This village’s development coincided with the departure of the Marquis of Iznate, who abandoned the area to move to Buenos Aires. His ancestral home, known as “El Palacio” by the locals, was abandoned and still stands in ruins today, although some of the land fell into hands of the locals. However, in general the family of the Marquis had been very united to the village for a long time they were always very compassionate with the needs of the people. One of the family, the Jesuit Father Nicolas Campos de Torreblanca, who was one of the noble family’s children, donated a lot of the family’s money to restore the Iglesia de San Gregorio 7th. As well as this, he provided the village with an incalculable cultural wealth in the form of a painting of San Francisco de Paula which was said to have been painted by Zubaran, another Salvador and a Dolorosa from the 17th century. This is how the village’s links with painters and painters began. Perhaps the most outstanding of all the painters the village has seen was Antonio del Castillo y Aguado, who was a historical artist from the 19th century who stood out for his paintings of the Royal Courts.

Iznate is located some 7 kilometres off the Costa del Sol on the outer foothills of the Montes de Malaga and about 8 kilometres from Velez Malaga. This rather accessible position has led the village to develop as far as tourism is concerned. Its inland situation also helps it to maintain its time old traditions as well, even when some may consider them to be rather strange, like the living theatrical representation of Christ’s resurrection, which is something that they have been doing for many years, even centuries. The locals dress up as the Apostles of Christ and wear masks.

Its proximity to Velez Malaga has helped locals find work without having to think about abandoning the village, especially after the terrible phylloxera plague destroyed most of the agricultural activity in and around the village. However some locals still grow raisins, almonds, and olives, while others grow other crops on the banks of the Iznate river.