Surface Area: 18.2 square kilometres
What the natives are called: Cuatreños. Nickname: Pelones
Geographical Location: in the western part of the La Axarquía region, 10 kilometres from Vélez Málaga and 32 from the provincial capital. The village is 330 metres above sea level. The area records an average annual rainfall of 560 litres per square metre, and an average temperature of about 17º C.
The municipality of Cútar, halfway between Benamargosa and El Borge, is a prime example of La Axarquía landscape, beginning with the village itself. It is spread along the side of a hill, the Cerro de Cútar in this case, that is, in turn, surrounded by a succession of hills of varying heights covered by vineyards and olive trees. If you arrive at the village on the road from El Borge, you will make out in the background the Cerro de Comares hill, one of the most unforgettable images of La Axarquía.
Two short rivers, the La Cueva and its tributary the River Cútar, each shapes in its own valley an area of great scenic beauty, not only for the fertile gardens and orchards that line their banks but for certain topographic features that are worth a short detour to see, such as the Salto del Negro (El Negro waterfall).
Traces of the presence of prehistoric man in the area from the Neolithic to the Bronze Ages have been found at Peña del Hierro and on the River La Cueva, which is entirely reasonable since this territory is a natural pass between Upper and Lower La Axarquía. It is reasonable to think that these lands continued to be inhabited by the different civilisations that established themselves in the La Axarquía region, but likely as this hypothesis is, there is no proof of it.
Thus, despite the discovery of a number of Roman coins and ceramics, the situation in Cútar is the same as in other locations in Málaga in that its documented history begins with the arrival of Islam. The village’s name seems to derive from the term "hisn aqut". This translates roughly as "sharp castle" and in any event, this fortress has disappeared, but the present village grew up around it. Although some researchers state that Cútar was the scene of the Battle of La Axarquía, there is also not enough data to confirm this hypothesis.
It does seem that the municipality enjoyed a certain amount of prosperity under Muslim rule, mainly due to raisin exportation, but the Moorish uprising and its subsequent squashing by Christian troops brought those economic good times to a violent halt. The economy began to recover with the repopulation of the area by Old Christians from other places, but destitution would return centuries later in the form of the phylloxera pest. (It seems one of the first outbreaks occurred in Cútar’s territory due to its proximity to Moclinejo.) The urban district of Cútar was also greatly damaged by the earthquake on 25 December 1884.
Outstanding Sights: Nuestra Señora de la Encarnación church, Arabic fountain, archaeological remains at Peña del Hierro
If you are coming from the Costa del Sol take the Mediterranean Expressway A-7 (N-340) and turn onto A-335 in the direction of Vélez Málaga. It is not necessary to go into Vélez, about three kilometres past that place (at Trapiche) you can turn onto the MA-145, which connects with two other roads, the MA-146 and the MA-178. The first will take you to Benamargosa and from that village to Cútar. The latter road (MA-178) will lead to Almáchar, El Borge and finally to Cútar. Both routes are practically the same length.
Full graphical path: http://bit.ly/orGt75
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