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Nerja History

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Nerja History

According to recent discoveries in the Cueva de Nerja, the first settlers who settled the area date from the Paleolithic and later the Bronze Age. This is demonstrated by the significant human remains belonging to the Cro-Magnon. There are no more traces found until the Roman era, with the discovery of remains of a smelter, an aqueduct in ruins, some vases and coins, all in the area of Nerja. With the advent of the Muslims in 711, began the conquest of the peninsula. Found in the writings of the period is the formation of a new town in the North of Malaga wich the Muslims christened with the name "Naricha" or "Narija" (means "abundant spring"), had its own fortress, which, you can still see some remains. With the conquest of Malaga by the Christians in 1487, Nerja continued being inhabited by Arabs and Jews, until they were expelled, leaving the city very deserted in the early XVI century.

Since Nerja was in an area that suffered continual attacks by pirates and Arab invasions, people started arriving from other regions of the peninsula, to repopulate and defend their coasts, which were built to guard towers and armed themselves with the existing guns, like the Tower of the Guards (Balcony of Europe today). In 1515 Nerja gets its Home Rule Charter and stops relying on Velez, beginning in these years to grow the city, being the main activities the war and agriculture. With the Moorish rebellion of the Alpujarras and the victory two years later by the Christians (1567), we can say that it started the development and prosperity for the people.

In 1655 the city had a street circuit with its first streets, Carmen, Tajillo, Sea Gate and some years later ended with the first phase of the Church of the Savior. As far as agriculture is concerned, with the sweet-cane it was to build the first sugar factory in Spain, late XVII century. Until the early nineteenth century, the city experienced a period of growth, development of new industries, improving cropping systems, mining and road construction to join it with Malaga and Almeria.

Two important events were those that led to new population reduction and a new stage of decline. The first was the Independence War against Napoleon's armies, which led to the destruction of the most emblematic buildings of the city, the Castle of Nerja and La Torrecilla etc. On the other hand, the 1884 earthquake, which caused extensive damage in material and were added to this drought, pests that destroy crops, cholera, typhus, and finally people migrating to South America. After 1950 is when we can notice some progress, boeing the symbol of this improvement the discovery of the Cave of Nerja, followed by tourism development, bringing progress and prosperity to Nerja.

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