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History of Mijas

 

 


     The earliest evidence of human occupation of the present town of Mijas, go back to the Bronze Age, around the second millennium BC.

  From 800 BC. the arrival of the Phoenicians on the coast of Malaga, imposes a major change to local communities. The Phoenicians settled in the mouths of major rivers in the peninsular south, converting them into lines of communication to the interior and generating a flourishing trade in mineral and agricultural resources. Thus, at the mouth of the River Fuengirola are testimonies of a settlement, probably related to the control of the communication channel of the Ojen and las Pasadas rivers, through which they would access the territories of the actual Mijas.

 

The mark of Rome


     From the second century BC occurs the arrival of the influence of "Romanization" that will culminate in the first centuries of our era. In relation to commercial and military needs, large roads are built to allow rapid and safe communication between the different and distant regions of the Roman Empire.
     In the concrete case of Mijas, the archaeological findings confirmed the existence of the Roman city of Suel, possible successor to the Iberian Punic city that was formed after the arrival of the Phoenicians
On the sides of the Roman roads emerge rural and commercial villages, whose remaining testimonies are the Roman tile Haza del Algarrobo and the Butibamba villa.      

During this time the exploitation of marble in the Sierra de Mijas was very important.

 

Mijas Hispanic Muslim


From the eighth century a military force composed of the Arabs and Berbers of the Umayyad Caliphate of Damascus lands at Algeciras and occupy almost the entire peninsula. Social unrest, the ideological crisis, economic depression, etc.., ills affecting the Visigoth kingdom, favored a quick and easy occupation. In this way, the lands of the actual Mijas pass under Islamic influence.
     After the occupation takes place a process of Arabization in which the language and culture are gradually assimilated and a process of Islamization that will end up with the practical religious unification of the whole territory under Islam, albeit with a certain tolerance for other religions monotheistic.     

During the Hispanic Muslim period, had to happen a significant increase both economic and demographic, as would prove the existence at the time of the conquest of these lands by the Catholic Monarchs in 1487, of three different villages: Mixas (Mijas) , Osuna (Osunilla) and Oznar (for some historians Hornillo), in addition to the fortress of Fuengirola; population increase that would be also suggested by the many farmhouses, now attested by a lot of rests of Hispanic Muslim pottery found throughout the municipality.

 

Modern Age


     In 1487 begins the conquest of Malaga by the Catholic Monarchs. When the news broke in Mijas, several neighbors went to Malaga to request surrender to Christian king, supposing that conditions of redemption would be the same that the ones offered to people from other places that surrendered without resistance: the freedom; but the resistance posed by Mijas in the campaign of 1485 made that the residents finished as slaves along with the people of Malaga. Only a few families were allowed to be free and to stay in their properties (probably those who negotiated their surrender).    

 Watchtower, la Cala de Mijas

The insecurity of the coast, caused by pirates who attacked the coast of Malaga from ports located in North Africa, led to the inability and the impossibility of repopulation of the area ofFuengirola Castle, which belonged to Mijas. In response to this insecurity were erected watchtowers along the coast. The testimonies of these constructions are numerous in Mijas: Calahonda tower, the new of la Cala del Moral, the old of La Cala del Moral (actual site of the Center Interpretation of the Watchtowers of the Historical-Ethnological Museum of Mijas), and the one of Calaburra.

Contemporary Age


     Already in the nineteenth century, during the War of Independence against Napoleon's troops, there is an oral tradition that indicates how a group of guerrillas from Mijas surprised Napoleon's forces at a place known as “La Matanza” ("The Massacre") in the area of Entrerríos of this municipality.

     On the night of December 2, 1831, took place on Playa del Carcón (beach in Mijas-Costa), the landing of General Torrijos and 52 men. They came from Gibraltar and their purpose was to march on the city of Malaga and rise up in arms in the province, restore the constitution of 1812, and put paid to the despotic government of Ferdinand VII, “el Deseado”, and his coterie.
     The General Torrijos did not think that an emissary sent by the Military Governor of Malaga, D. Vicente González Moreno, would make the ignoble ambush in which he was going to fall. The landing took place on December 2, 1831, they crossed the district of Mijas, from south to north, reached the top of the mountain and took refuge in a mansion of la Alquería, owned by the Count of Mollina, less than four leagues from Malaga, where surrounded by the force of Gonzalez Moreno, they were captured within a few hours..
     On December 3 of the same year about half past three in the afternoon, came by the road of Cadiz the cortege of the 52 men, they were walking, during the journey they did not receive food or rest. They walked serene, not dispirited, nor arrogant and in their eyes we could see the concern of the uncertain fate. Iban men of las Cortes, also a cabin boy, a boy of fifteen years with the illusion of being a sailor, had joined them when they embarked in Gibraltar; the priest, Francisco Vicaría, who confessed him, pleaded for the King Ferdinand VII to spare the 15 years old boy’s life, but he did not succeed and went mad as he saw the boy being shot.

 

 Excecution of Torrijos

On 11 December, that group of 52 men, including the fifteen year old boy had been shot on the beaches of San Andrés, without the plea for clemency, presented by the brother of Torrijos, being granted by Fernando VII, El Deseado. Sad story that was destined to start on the beaches of Mijas, where the landing had been made​​. García Lorca dedicated a poem.

 
   On May 30, 1841 took place the separation of Mijas and Fuengirola as independent municipalities.
      
     One of the most dramatic events endured by Mijas was the flooding occurred on November 2, 1884. About ten o'clock in the morning a downpour fell on the mountains and caused a flood of water that destroyed a significant number of homes and killed several residents and a large number of animals. To remember that disastrous day was erected a stone plaque on the Carril street, which indicates the water level reached, and was built a fountain in Constitution Square with the stones carried by the flood water, as indicated on the inscription of the fountain.

 

     Currently, Mijas constitutes one of the economic axes of the Costa del Sol, and is one of the main Spanish tourist destinations and has a wide range of leisure and culture for the delight of millions of visitors and tourists who come the town.

 

 

 

 

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