AREA: 128,40 km² ALTITUDE ABOVE SEA LEVEL: 209 metres AVERAGE ANNUAL RAINFALL: 610 l/m²
AVERAGE ANNUAL TEMPERATURE: 17 ºC POPULATION CENSUS 1994: 18,227
HISTORY AND LANDSCAPE
In Coín the sierras of the coastal mountain chain look out to the Guadalhorce between cork and pine groves of Alpujata. There, to the south of the municipality and of this region, the land of Coín hides beautiful spots. In La Fuente, the river Alaminos descends in gullies from the springs of Sierra Negra (1037 m.) by the Rosa slope and after a fall of 700 metres it lulls in the bottom of a narrow valley between plots speckled with farmhouses. The waters are so pure, that otters have been spotted in the pools of the Charco del Infierno, next to the Tajo del Rayo.
Close to this spot there is another quieter one but also of great beauty, La Albuquería, where the river Pereilas which descends from the Sierra Alpujata (1.073 m.) has formed a small valley covered in orange and lemon trees, which contrasts with the abrupt hillsides which flank it. Hillsides which go from corks and pines to terraces of subtropical fruits thanks to the excellent climatic conditions of the place and the abundance of water held within the sierra.
The plots which timidly look out to the Fuente and Albuquera spots, are converted into the main protagonists of the Coín landscape as they come out of the sierra, enveloping the town by Valdeperales, Huertas Viejas and Huertas Nuevas, or joining the valleys of the Grande river and its tributary the Pereilas before coming out to the Guadalhorce. There, where the water doesnt reach, the Coín countryside consists of olive groves which occupy the hills or cereals which cover the undulating land to the north of the Grande river.
The archaeological findings in the Llano de la Virgen, near the chapel of the patron saint of Coín, the Virgen de la Fuensanta, have brought proof of pre-historic man in these lands, possibly in the Copper Age. The site was occupied until the Middle Ages and the remains of a town, tombs, ceramics and other things have appeared.
Another historical site in Coín is the Cerro del Algibe, where Iberian-Roman remains have been found with an antiquity between the 1st century B.C. and 1st century A.D. It was possibly an indigenous town which posessed a certain economic entity in eras previous to the Romans and which was abandoned by its inhabitants in the 1st century A.D. in order to occupy lower lands.
During the Roman era, the city was called Lacibis, later La Cobin and finally Castro Dacuan, from which it is believed that the Arabs formed the name Cohine. The Arabs would be the ones who gave the definate impulse to the city, converting it into the most important one of the area.
In the year 929, Abderramán III erected the walls over the foundations of the Roman town, in order to defend the lands from the revolts caused by Omar Ben Hafsún. The Tangier traveller, Ibn Batuta on passing these lands described Dacuan as a "farmhouse or beautiful castle, with much water, trees and fruits". During the Muslim period, the agriculture was developed in an important way, to the point that a good part of the irrigation infrastructure of that era are still conserved. Attracted by Coíns economic strength, the Jews arrived and drove the commerce and dominated the commercial transactions of wines, oils, dates, raisins and almonds.
In 1485, the city was taken by the Christian troops and ten years later the properties and goods of the Muslims were distributed. After a period of decadence, the repopulation by old Christians allowed the resurgence of the village and the recuperation of its economy.
In 1925 Coín obtained the title of city by the grace conceded by Alfonso XIII.
Places to Visit
Coín is another exponent of the white villages and in spite of its great development still conserves some parts of urban areas with narrow streets, whitewashed houses, courtyards with archway entrances, windows and balconies with forged iron railings, etc. of unmistakable Arab structure.
Regarding its most representative monuments are the two parish churches: San Andres, more known as the Caridad having formed part of the hospital with that name, and San Juan. The former was built at the end of the 17th century with a strange L-shaped base having been added to the two existing naves forming a new perpendicular arm to the chancel, which allowed the separation of the sick from the other parishioners. The most interesting part of this church is its Mudejar coffering which covers the upper end and the belfry which crowns the facade, which occupies the same width as the front. The second of the parish churches, dedicated to San Juan Bautista, from the 16th century and reformed in the 18th century, was built taking advantage of the square tower, today a bell tower, from the ancient walls of the Arabic fort which was destroyed in 1485 after being taken by the Catholic kings. It is one of the largest churches in the province and consists of three naves - the largest being very tall - and doesnt have a transept. The high altar, covered by a Moor influenced coffered ceiling, and formed by an 18th century baroque reredos, holds the images of Saint John the Baptist and the Virgin. It has two magnificant main fronts over 16th century baroque steps of evident Arabic influence. This church has an official declaration of National Monument.
The church of Santo Cristo de la Vera Cruz, situated on the outskirts of the town and built in the first third of the 16th century, only conserves the triangular tower as the convent to which it belonged, first to the Trinitarians and later to the Franciscans, was abandoned by its monks after the sale of the Church lands in the first third of the 19th century. The church of Santa Maria de la Encarnación, a construction erected between 1485 and 1486 over an old mosque and next to a tower which is the actual bell tower, is another one of the singular buildings in Coín.
Outside Coín, on the road which leads to Monda, is the chapel or sanctuary of the Virgen del Fuensanta, which they began building in 1544 and the works lasted until 1620, therefore 76 years.
Coín has many craftsmen who are basically dedicated to pottery, although there are also specialists in forging, palm platting, saddlery, stonemasonry, etc.
The traditional cooking in Coín is based on all year round dishes such as spicy soup, stews in different varieties, fry ups, soup with mayonnaise, peppers and tomato soup, sauce, "matamario", and in the winter, boiled soup, and broths. In the summer there is cold soup. And for dessert, baked yams, porridge with syrup, rusks, raisins in liquor, date bread, etc.
FESTIVITIES AND TRADITIONS
On the first Sunday in May the pilgrimage to the chapel of Ntra. Sra. de la Fuensanta is organized. The traditional fair usually takes place from the 10th to the 14th of August, while in the first week of May they celebrate the so-called May fair because of the day of the Cross. On the night of the 31st of December, the neighbours have the custom of dressing up to receive and celebrate the new year. The meeting place is the Bermúdez de la Rubia square. In the first half of January they celebrate the popular dances.