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History of El Burgo

Diputación de Málaga

History of El Burgo

The origin of the name of the village is not clear. Some say that its roots are Greek and that the name, Purgos, means, “tower”, while others opt for the German word, Barugs. The final group say that the Arab word, El Borch, is the closest meaning, which also means, “tower”.

The archaeological remains discovered on the outskirts of the town demonstrate that it has been home to various civilisations over time; the Celts being amongst the first to arrive and the Arabs the most recent. During the Roman Trajano considered it to be extremely important, as it was a constant pass-though point for all the Roman legions on their way to Malaga from Acinipo. However, it was the Arabs that most profoundly left their mark on the village.

The situation of El Burgo, which is flanked by the river Turon on its southern side, has made its urban centre design quite unique. The streets are very steep, yet straight and wide and almost all of them end up in some square or other. Most of the houses have two floors and many have a space for the animals below. The most ancient of them all are made with large stones and mud with wooden or sugarcane pole supports. A stroll through the village will take the visitor to the Iglesia de la Encarnación and San Agustîn from the 16th century and then on to the remains of the Convento de las Nieves, de los Carmelitas Descalzos, that, at another time was considered as the spiritual centre of Andalucia. All in all, it is a village that cares for and values its heritage quite highly.

The inhabitants of this village are, by nature, environmentally friendly and they put great value on the pine, Spanish Fir and Gall Oak forest plantations. More than 65 percent of the municipality is made up of mountains and it is quite common to see foxes, hares and mountain goats. Furthermore, there more than a dozen small streams that run through the area, which accounts for the rather marshy, muddy kind of earth. In addition, there are about half a dozen streams that wind through the land, making the soil clayey and stony. However, it is the river Turón that is the life-giver for the area and the source of all the water for the crops and olive grooves, for the goats and pigs.

Nowadays, as is the case also in the Sierra de las Nieves region, tourism is beginning to have a lot of effect on the local economy of many interior villages such as El Borge. Therefore, locals are very careful to offer quality services in all sectors and to be extremely aware of the correct and sustainable use of the natural resources in the area. It should be remembered that this area has been designated as one of the few "Reserva de la Biosfera" that exist in Spain.