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Municipality of Canillas de Aceituno (Andalusia, Spain)

Málaga Province

Last modified: 2015-07-28 by ivan sache
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[Canillas de Aceituno (Málaga, Andalusia, Spain)]
image by Blas Delgado, 16 Oct 2005

See also:


Eduardo Panizo has it with a yellow upper band. The correct color is green.

Blas Delgado, 16 Oct 2005


Basic data:

Size: 42 Km²
Population: 2,762
Residents known as: Canilleros
Monuments: Town Hall, Church of Nuestra Señora del Rosario, Casa de los Diezmos.
Geographic location: In the Sierra de Tejeda mountain range between Sedella and Viñuela, 17 kilometres from Vélez Málaga
Tourist information: Town Hall, Plaza Constitución, 1. 29716. Malaga.
Phone: 952 518 002

The easiest way to get to Canillas de Aceituno is via Vélez-Málaga, taking first the C-335 country road and then the MA-125 local one. From the start of the latter the way climbs up to 645 metres above sea level, the height of the village itself. The village is situated in the foothills of the Sierra Tejeda and this position gives it one of the very best views in the whole of the Axarquía, all the way from Boquete de Zafarraya, at the boundary with the province of Granada, to the coast.

The municipal district of Canillas de Aceituno is surrounded by mountain peaks – Maroma (2,068 metres – the highest one in the whole of the province of Malaga, Fuerte (1,490 metres) and Rompealbaldas (770 metres). The village is 18 kilometres from Vélez-Málaga and just 7.8 from the next-door village of Sedella. There are magnificent views of the Vélez and Rubite valleys from the road linking the two villages, with olive, almond and fig trees and vines growing beside it, all defying gravity and forming a unique landscape. The special plots for drying grapes are also found here. The municipality is quite wooded, the trees being watered by a large number of local rivers, such as the Amánchares, the Bermuza and the Rubite, with natural springs, such as the Gazuela and the Yedra. The area around Canillas village is replete with natural caves, the main one being the Fájara, four kilometres away, with tunnels as long as half a kilometre in length. Keep going along the MA-125 and you will soon realise that it divides the village into two parts, the road itself being the only part of the village that is flat.

Once in the village, look for Calle del Convento and Calle Sierrecilla. You will get a panoramic view of the area from here and be able to pick out the Moorish legacy clearly in the layout of the streets. The Town Hall is situated in the Plaza de la Constitución, the only open space in the village. Another of the interesting streets in the village is Calle Castillo, where remains of the Arabic fortress are to be found. The street known as Calle Cementerio is in fact built over the old Arabic cemetery, from which it gets its name.

The origin of the name of Canillas del Aceituno is Canillas de Azzeitun, which means olive groves. It was not until 1569, a decisive date in the Moorish uprisings of those days, that the village was named as a significant settlement on the Marqués de Comares estate. The outstanding event in this period was a raid on the Pedro Mellado country inn, led by Andrés el Xorairán, who was born in next-door Sedella. This attack caused the wrath of the local keepers of justice, who captured and tortured eight Moors living under Christian rule, picked arbitrarily, among them the Mayor of Canillas himself. As a punishment Canillas was destroyed and left uninhabited and its castle was razed to the ground by order of Philip II in 1571.

Blas Delgado, Oct 16 2005