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History of Benamocarra

Diputación de Málaga

History of Benamocarra

Benamocarra looks across the Velez river valley from an elevated position( 126 metres above sea level) on the Loma de la Quera, which separates the two smaller rivers; the Jurado and the Campanaja, a tributary of the Iznate River. To the west of the river the landscape is a series of hills covered mainly by olive or almond trees, while to the east, and towards the end of the valley, the landscape is changing quite a lot due to the recent development of sub-tropical plantations; mainly avocados, that grow up the sides of the softly sloping hills near the village. There are also quite an important number of orange and lemon tree orchards, too.

The name Benamocarra, which means children of Mukarran, gives away its Arab origin and its pre-Christian Era history. This history is shared with many of the adjoining villages that were once only individual farmsteads. It is well known that after the Christian Reconquest of the village in the 16th century that it was mainly populated by Moors, however these were slowly expelled and thrown off their land and Christians from Seville and Antequera took their places.

Some traces of the early Arab settlements have been discovered near to the Pozo Luchina. The famous musician from Malaga, D.Eduardo Ocon Rivas, was born in this town and his house can still found amongst the village’s streets. The city of Malaga has named the city’s open-air auditorium in the Paseo del Parque after him in his honour.

The “mocarreños” (inhabitants of Benamocarra) have always been considered as good “dealers” as they have travelled around the other villages in the region buying and selling whatever came to hand. It is, therefore, quite difficult to come across un-worked land and the young people in the village have always had to be entrepreneurial in spirit. This has led to a change in the physical aspect of the urban development of the village and nowadays the original houses and streets have to mix together with the more modern building styles, which in turn leads to the losing of the old enchantment of the original design. The Santa Ana Parish church is a good example of this phenomenon as the only elements that are have been preserved up to date are the old tower and the coffered ceiling, while the rest was totally remodelled in 1949.

However, luckily not everything is in the same state. There are streets and monuments that have been kept very much in tact with their original layout and design. an example of this is the Calle del Pilar, where two of the three fountains in the village coincide as well as “La Plaza del Calvario”, and “El Barrio de San Isidro”. In any case, there are some different mosaics in different parts of the village that tell visitors about the historic past of Benamocarra.

In 1875 the phylloxera plague killed off the fruit from the vineyards in the village, as it did in the surrounding villages as well. However, the people in Benamocarra were wise and clever enough to substitute this crop for fruit and vegetable crops, mainly the citrus and tropical fruits, in order to re-float its local economy.