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Historical Review

Archaeology provides us with hard facts regarding the continued human presence in the municipality of Rincón de la Victoria throughout different cultures and societies, as befits a territory that offers freshwater, the protection of caves and hills, fertile land, marine resources and communication routes between East and West, and to the interior.

The caves in Los Cantales give clear evidence of the presence of groups of humans from the Middle Palaeolithic (Mousterian) and Superior (Solutrean), and during recent prehistory (Neolithic and Chalcolithic).

Neolithic pots found in the Cueva de Higuerón (Cueva del Tesoro) in the National Archaeological Museum

The oldest settlement of the municipality is a Phoenician settlement dated to the 7th century B.C., located to the south of Loma de Torre de Benagalbón. This lasted until Roman times and then moved to the plain, where the remains of a maritime Roman villa of the 3rd century are preserved, awaiting development.

Mosaic from the Roman villa of Torre de Benagalbón and a herma found during excavation

Map of "Villa Antíopa" - the Roman villa of Torre de Benagalbón

The largest concentration of remains of human settlements are located at the junction of routes communicating the coastline with the interior controlled from Castillón hill. At its peak can still be seen the walled grounds of a Moorish castle, and inside Pre-Roman pottery remains have been identified.

Manuel Laza's excavations at the castle around 1956

Image of the southern enclosure of the fortification on Castillón hill

From the 9th to the 15th centuries the medieval town of Bezmiliana stood at the foot of the hill extending towards the beach. The name is known from texts by Muslim writers of the time, and it underwent several successive urban layouts, unfortunately now hidden under recent constructions.

Urban layout of 9th - 12th centuries uncovered in 2006 when building the Plaza de la Constitution

After the passage of the Catholic Monarchs' army from Vélez Málaga towards Malaga in May 1487, a depopulated Bezmiliana joined the Crown of Castile, and was repopulated by Christians.

During the campaign to strengthen the system defending the area against increased coastal piracy, Fernando de Uncibay transformed one of the mosques into a fortification, and now only the mosque's cistern is preserved.

Mosque's cistern beneath the remains of the Uncibay fortification

In 1511 the records indicate the depopulation of Bezmiliana. The population moved inland and the name is preserved in Ventas de Mixmiliana, located next to the Camino de Vélez, a road which saw little traffic due to insecurity, since it was subject first to Moorish piracy, and later by English.

Under Carlos III a line of fortifications was built, and the Realenga del Camino Viejo de Vélez was repaired and improved. Increased security revitalized commercial traffic on the coastal road, and favoured new settlement. Levantine fishermen established themselves between the rocky outcrops of El Cantal and the promontory of the Pedrizas, in the area under the ownership of the friars of the Order of Minims who cared for the Santuario de la Victoria in Malaga.

Throughout the 19th century orchards proliferated and traffic grew because of the supply of vegetables and fish to Malaga, as well as the transportation of the traditional crops of figs and raisins to the interior.

The arrival of the railway in 1906 brought even more prosperity to the coastal region, and in 1950 the capital of the municipality moved from Benagalbón to Rincón de la Victoria.