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History of Benamargosa

Diputación de Málaga

History of Benamargosa

Benamargosa is the town that acts a kind of hinge between what is known as high and low Axarquia. There is little or no information as to its origins, however it is not difficult to see the Arabic influence in the ethnology of its name Ber-Ha-Maruxa.

Benamargosa was more recently given the name “Gibraltar Chico” (Little Gibralter). According to the story that is told around the region, the village was an important focal point for all kinds of smuggling, especially tobacco, during the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939). The inhabitants used to bring the leaves from the Vega de Granada then proceed to working them into a final project ready for the consumers. In its heyday the village supplied the whole Malaga basin with cigarettes and even reached as other towns further a field in Andalusia.

The village likes to boast about being the first one to pick the first fruits off the many lemon trees from amongst all the other villages of the province. There is a document that dates back to 1216, which offers the first indication of the beginnings of the link between the village and the citrus fruit. Ibn Beithar, the famous botanist, was the author of this written document in which he encourages the, then, inhabitants of Benamargosa to plant lemon orchards in the locality.

Its economy, therefore, is based mainly on the lemon crop, although at certain times the vineyards and its crop the grape were also important. That is until the filoxera hit and it began to die out. However, nowadays avocados, mangos, kiwis and cherimoyas are also grown