AREA: 12,10 km² ALTITUDE ABOVE SEA LEVEL: 96 metres AVERAGE ANNUAL RAINFALL: 522 l/m²
AVERAGE ANNUAL TEMPERATURE: 173 ºC POPULATION, CENSUS 1994: 1.662
History and Landscape
Situated by the Benamargosa river, it is surrounded by plots, orange trees, lemon trees and subtropical fruit trees which carpet the narrow valley of the river in green and ascend the sides of the flanking hills in plots. A real oasis which strongly contrasts with the dryness of the hills where the miracle of water has not reached.
Although there is no clear background of the founding of Benamargosa, the name reflects Arabic origins (coming from Ben-Ha-Maruxa). The botanist, Ibn Beithar tried introducing citrics in Benamargosa at the beginning of the 13th century with a publication of an essay about lemons. There is also evidence of the existence of two oil deposits in the town centre. But its not until the 15th century that we hear of more frequent news about this town. We know that from the town's chroniclers of that time, they called it Benamargoja and Morgoza and united it with Comares, to which it belonged along with other farmsteads.
In 1496 the town had 45 Mudejars and the importance of the town began to grow, building an inn for wayfarers. In 1550 it had a Moor counsel and although they were considered to be "peace Moors" (they didnt intervene in the riots), they were also expelled in the 16th century and the town was practically left uninhabited. Little by little it recuperated and detatched itself from Malaga in order to join its development to the city of Vélez Málaga, the same as other towns.
Places to Visit
In the lower part of the town which goes up hill, is the parish church of the Encarnación which was built at the end of the 16th century on an octagonal base, and with additions in the 17th century. It consists of three naves and has a tower attatched to it, and inside there is an octagonal niche which opens up beside the Gospel, preceded by an antechamber to the chapel which is covered with an eliptical dome. Next to the upper end, there is a square based niche which sticks out on the exterior and leans on an archway which overflies the street between the church and the next house.
The municipal cemetery has a mid 19th century chapel which has no architectural interest.
Places of scenic or picturesque interest outside the town are the bridge over the Cueva or Benamargosa river and the plots for the leafiness formed in the avocado and lemon plantations.
: As well as the handicrafts common to the region such as esparto grass weaving, there is a specialist in iron forging.
The authoctonous, all year round gastronomy, is based on blended avocado, tomato soup in the winter, and cold soup in the summer. The oil cakes and homemade muscatel wine complete the brief culinary offers.
Festivities and traditions
The town's fair takes place on the first weekend in August, although the patron saint's festivity in honour of San Sebastián is on the 20th of January. At Easter, Good Friday is the most particular day as the procession of the brotherhoods of the Dolores and Jesus of Nazareth is made in complete silence. Corpus Christi also has special treatment with the decorating of the streets, facades, and balconies, and small altars are erected which according to tradition are to receive the Santisimo's guardians at certain stages of the procession.