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Rincón de la Victoria. SUR
Rincón de la Victoria: victorious friars in a rocky corner
THE STORY BEHIND A PLACE NAME

Rincón de la Victoria: victorious friars in a rocky corner

The name of the town is thought to be related to members of the religious order of the Minims, who came from a sanctuary in Malaga city

Eugenio Cabezas

Friday, 10 March 2023, 01:00

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The origin of the name Rincón de la Victoria does not have a precise origin, according to local historian Miguel Alba.

It is “a term that has evidence dating back 30,000 years on the walls of its extraordinary caves,” he points out, referring to the Cuevas del Tesoro and Cueva de la Victoria.

Alba adds that “Phoenicians, Romans, Muslims and a long etc. of visitors have passed through Rincón de la Victoria”.

“The first part of the name may have its origin in the location of a monastery in a ‘rincón’ [corner] between two rocks; and Victoria relates to the sanctuary of the religious order Victoria of Malaga”, Alba explains.

There are no remains of this religious building, although Alba suggests that it would have been close to the Cantal tunnels el La Cala del Moral.

The historian lists as “clear proof” of the area’s long history the Roman Villa in Torre de Benagalbón, which has recently opened to the public and the El Castillón and La Casa Fuerte de Bezmiliana watchtowers; now used as an exhibition space.

Alba details that the first writings about Rincón de la Victoria appear in the Nasrid period of the twelfth century under the name of Bezmiliana.

During that period the town had inns and baths and a population whose activity revolved around fishing, transporting goods and welcoming travellers.

Friars of victory

During the reconquista of the late fifteenth century, King Ferdinand the Catholic is said to have camped with his army in the area around Bezmiliana.

“At that time a house with vineyards was donated to the Order of the Minims in gratitude for their spiritual support to the Catholic King in the capture of Malaga”, says Alba.

In the words of the Order’s chronicler, Father Lucas Montoya, “when the Catholic Kings gave us the chapel and inheritance, he called us the ‘friars of Victory’ throughout Spain”.

Alba, who has written a number of books on the area’s past, points out that another point of interest about Rincón de la Victoria is that it is made up of several population centres which have maintained, over time, their own identities; the source of historical tensions between people from La Cala del Moral (Caliños), those from Benagalbón (Benagalboneses) and ‘Rinconeros’ from Rincón de la Victoria.

In 1835 Rincón de la Victoria separated from Moclinejo and founded its first constitutional town Hall.

In 1948 the town hall took the decision to change the name of the main town from Benagalbón to Rincón de la Victoria and this was made official in 1950.

Benagalbón still exists in the form of the inland village and the coastal Torre de Benagalbón, both of which belong to modern-day Rincón de la Victoria.

Rincón de la Victoria is the closest Axarquía town to Malaga city and its population has more than doubled in size in the last decade to almost 50,000 inhabitants.

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