View of El Borge
The municipality of El
Borge, popularly known as the Raisin Capital, is roughly equidistant from
Malaga (28 kilometres) and Vélez-Málaga (24 kilometres).
The village itself is 237 metres above sea level, lying in the valley of the
River Borge, between two mountains, and climbing up the sides of a hill
known as Egido, not far from the Santo Pitar peak, which measures 1,019
El Borge has the typical appearance of Axarquía villages: one or two-storey
houses made of plaster, brick and slate slabs, with sloping roofs covered
with Moorish tiles. The walls of the houses are whitewashed, with splashes
of colour provided by geraniums on window sills and balconies. It is
worthwhile taking a wander round the narrow winding streets - they are cool,
too, a heritage from the days of the Moors. This legacy is especially marked
around the El Rinconcillo quarter, the most picturesque part, where steps
have been built on the steepest stretches.
The Arabic origin of the village is obvious from the original name, Al-Borg,
but very little is actually known of the history of the municipality. What
is known is that a community of Moors living under Christian rule resisted
the occupation fiercely. When the inhabitants of the Axarquía organised an
uprising El Borge was the centre of the rebellion against the re-conquerors.
The rebels fled to the Alpujarras mountains, in the provinces of Granada and
Almeria, with the help of supporters, and the Governor of Vélez-Málaga,
Álvaro de Zuazo, ordered a garrison to be sent to El Borge to quash the
title of the Raisin Capital was not given to El Borge for nothing since over
40 per cent of the land in the municipality is under production. Thus, the
landscape is largely vineyards surrounded by holm oak trees, rockrose and
to be visited
of Nuestra Señora del Rosario
The most interesting building, as in most villages in the area, is
the church. As in most villages in the province of Malaga, too, in
El Borge it was built in the early sixteenth century, on the
orders of Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand, on the foundations of
an old mosque. Dedicated to Our Lady of the Rosary, it was
consecrated on May 25th 1505 by the Archbishop of Seville, Diego
de Deza. Architecturally it is one of the most interesting
churches in the Axarquía region, being designed in an original
combination of Gothic and Renaissance. The church tower, however,
is baroque. Although its base is rectangular, further up the tower
becomes octagonal, being topped by a roof of vitrified ceramic
tiles. On one side of the square where the church stands there is
a fountain decorated with tiles representing the Virgen of
The Rinconcillo Barrio
One cannot visit El Borge without taking a stroll down the streets
filled with genanium pots in the windows. Particularly beautiful
is the barrio of El Rinconcillo, the streets themselves stepped in
places to accommodate the lie of the land.
El Bizco de El Borge
In the days before communications were so fast or so easy the
village was home to one of the most famous bandits in the province
of Malaga - El Bizco del Borge (the cross-eyed man from El Borge).
Described as bloodthirsty, depraved and treacherous, he was born
on September 2nd 1837 and died in Lucena, in the province of
Cordoba, in a confrontation with Civil Guards, on May 21st, 1889.
The scene of his most famous deed was the village of Alfarnate,
where he murdered a gallant young man known as El Chirrina, who
had given El Bizco away when he was planning an attack. The bandit
was twice wed but neither of the marriages was particularly happy,
due to his lifestyle.
Museum of Popular Arts.
C/Río, 3. Tel: 952 512 133. Visits on appointment.
La Plaza. Plaza de la Constitución, 2. Specialising in
tapas and home cooking.
Bar de Paco. C/Guillermo
Pérez. Home cooking. Tel: 952 512 168.
Bar "El Canijo".
(Open evenings and nights only). Varied tapas and sea foods.
houses in El Borge. www.seneca-web.com/borge/casas.htm
Accommodation in the province of Malaga
The church tower
HOW TO GET THERE
The town’s geographical position allows us to
enjoy rural and beach tourism at the same time, since it is only fifteen
minutes from the beaches of Torre del Mar and Rincón de la Victoría.
Access to El Borge by road is not particularly difficult. The best way
from the city of Malaga is along the Autovía del Mediterráneo, turning
off on the Benagalbón and Moclinejo road at Rincón de la Victoria. From
Vélez-Málaga, take the the C-335 road in the Benamocarra direction.
The main festivity in El Borge is held on
September 24th, celebrated as Raisin Day. Thousand of visitors flock to
the village to drink the wines and eat the grapes. Other local
specialities include two types of gazpacho, one made with broad beans and
one with cucumber. The feast of the patron saint of the village, St.
Gabriel, is celebrated on Easter Saturday, Sunday and Monday, with the
procession to the Camposanto. The celebrations begin after mass, when the
church bells ring out. Another popular festival here is the Sanmarqueo,
unique to this place, which takes place on April 25th. The romería in
honour of San Isidro is on May 15th, when the saint’s image is carried
in procession through the streets. And finally there is the San Juan
festival at the end of June, with the Noche de las Candelas, the Night of
The gastronomy of El Borge can be enjoyed at any
time of the year, although it is best to go there on a gastronomic trip
during the Día de la Pasa, Raisin Day, when visitors can taste the
different varieties of grapes, the aguardiente or the gazpacho soup with
beans or cucumber, a speciality of the area.