The village of Cútar in the Axarquía. Javier Almellones
Cútar: A pointed castle or a fountain of paradise

Cútar: A pointed castle or a fountain of paradise

A copy of a 16th-century Quran was found when local builder Miguel Lozano Ruiz and his son were renovating a house in the Axarquía village

Jennie Rhodes


Friday, 17 November 2023, 13:56


There is evidence of humans living in the Axarquía village of Cútar from prehistoric times, particularly on the Río de la Cueva and Peña del Hierro areas. However, the first known records of the existing village date back to the 10th century and Spain's Islamic period as a farmstead near the Islamic castle of Hins Aqut, which no longer exists.

There are two possible origins of the name Cútar: one is that it comes from Hisn Aqut, derived from the Latin acûtus, meaning sharp or pointed. So, the castle would have been known as 'pointed' or 'sharpened' castle.

The other theory is that it comes from the word Cautzar, meaning 'fountain of paradise' which existed in the area during the Islamic period.

In the 15th century Cútar was referred to in the 'libro de apeos y repartimientos' (book of surveys and distribution) carried out after the Reconquista when the Axarquía area of Malaga was taken by the Catholic Monarchs in 1487.

Historians Isabel Rodríguez, Juan Antonio Chavarría and Virgilio Martínez have published two books this year that reveal data on the transition fromthe Islamic period to after the Reconquista, 'Cútar Andalusí y el repartimiento castellano. Toponomía y onomástica. Siglos XV y XVI', and 'Cútar y Libro de la población (siglo XVI)', in which the original 'libro de apeos y repartimientos' book is transcribed.

The two books shed light on life in Cútar in the 16th century. Regarding the origin of the place name, Martínez also discusses the Latin word 'acûtus', which she also explains was later given the Arabic name Aqut.

Further evidence of Cútar's Islamic period appeared in 2003 when a copy of a 16th-century Quran was discovered by builder Miguel Lozano Ruiz. He and his son found the book along with an Arabic manuscript hidden in straw and mud inside the wall of a house that the pair were renovating.

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