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- Town history
Iznate is a small village of white houses and winding streets that evoke its Andalusian past. Surrounded by vineyards, almond and olive groves, this town inside the Axarquia region is known for its muscat grape and its beautiful natural surroundings.
Strolling through Iznate is a very delighting experience. Facades decorated with pots, flirtatious squares, flowerbeds and houses that are perfectly adapted to the uneven terrain draw their urban landscape: the villa that has preserved the charm of yesteryear.
IN IZNATE YOU CANNOT MISS
The church of San Gregorio VII is the main monument of Iznate. It was built in the XVI century, but was rebuilt after the Moorish rebellion, and later in the XX century. It has a single nave with wooden roof and in it you can see some interesting artwork. The most prominent is a polychrome wooden carving of the Immaculate of the XVII century and a painting of San Francisco de Paula, possibly Rivera School.
Of the Muslim era, Iznate retains its urban layout and two sources: that of Noguera and of the Encime or of Three Wishes. Although the Fuente Blasonada (Blasonada Fountain), named by the shield Marquesado (Marquis) de Campos that decorates it. It can be seen in the Plaza de la Virgen de los Dolores.
Climbing the highest part of town, you can see the Mirador Iznate Morocco. From this point, exceptional views of the Sierras de Tejeda and Almijara, of the surrounding towns and that of the Mediterranean Sea are obtained. You can even see the Moroccan coast and the Atlas Mountains on a clear day.
It's best to get to Iznate from Málaga on the E-15 towards the MA-3203. The journey will take about 40 minutes.
Due to its location, on a hill, Iznate offers a fabulous panoramic from its natural environment: the Sierras de Tejeda, Almijara and Camorolos. Several trekking trails lead to the sites located beneath the impressive peaks Chamizo, Navachica and La Maroma.
From the centre of the town itself, there is an itinerary that leads to the Loma de Barcos, with its formidable viewpoint, and extends to the vicinity of Iznate river. It has a source in the Pools of Tejero and empties into the river Almáchar.
The rural landscape of this town in the Axarquía is dominated by hills covered with olive trees, almond trees and vineyards. Crops from which comes the famous muscat grape of Iznate from which wine and raisins of recognized quality are obtained.
Every August Iznate pays tribute to its most precious product with Moscatel Grape Festival. Music, dancing and food tasting are the main attractions of this event, declared of Provincial Tourist Singularity.
Iznate celebrates its festivities on Good Friday. The procession of the Saint is the most emotional ceremony, though not lacking parades, popular games and a lively verbena.
And on Easter Sunday, the streets of the town are decorated with palms and flowers in honor of the Virgin of Sorrows, which is transferred to the chapel of the Holy Christ. There is a dramatization of the moment performed in the twelve apostles seeking the Resurrected, represented by a size of the Child of God. The image is hidden around the shrine, and when found, neighbours celebrate firing rockets. Four girls take Jesus before the Virgin and the veil covering her face is removed.
Other events featured in Iznate are the Day of the Cross in May, and the festivities in honor of San Antonio de Padua, in June.
Raisins and muscatel wine are the most typical products of Iznate. The traditional dishes include maimones soup (similar to garlic soup), ajoblanco (cold almond cream and garlic with grapes), Cateta salad with oranges (with potatoes, cod and olives) and 'fritá 'with morcilla (lightly fried vegetables with sausage). On Easter, it is also customary to eat pancakes with honey cod and chickpea stew and beans.
In the confectionery section, the major role is played by hornazo and fritters.
Iznate was established when Southern Spain was dominated by the Arabs, as shown by the town"s layout, the dates of some of its fountains and the town"s name: from hisnat, meaning "castle" in Arabic. Some historians believe it is the birthplace of Umar ibn Hafsun, the ninth-century leader of anti-Umayyad forces. There are other scholars, however, who believe Ibn Hafsun to have been born in Parauta, Serranía de Ronda.
In the past, the village enjoyed the right of behetría, which means that villagers could choose their own lord. Becoming subjects of a Christian ruler later must have been hard.
Iznate surrendered to the army of the Catholic Monarchs in 1487, together with Vélez Málaga. The Moors stayed in the village for some time, Christian abuse feeding their rebellious spirit and leading to the 1569 riot. The rebels were crushed and severely punished, and the town weakened. In 1574, Philip II"s envoy, bachelor Peláez distributed the land among the Christians coming mainly from Antequera and Estepa.
In the late sixteenth century, Iznate was one of Spain"s main grape producers, with orders even coming from Madrid. The phylloxera pest in the nineteenth century, however, had disastrous consequences for local vineyards. Today, the village boasts a booming farming industry, producing great muscat grapes that go into the making of excellent wines and quality raisins.
Iznate’s most traditional crops are raisins and Moscatel wine. The maimones soup, ajoblanco, the bacalao salad with oranges (ensaladilla cateta con naranjas) and the fritá with blood sausage. During Easter Week, people will eat cod fritters with honey, along with chickpea and stew.
When it comes to dessert, the pestiños are the most traditional sweet treat.
- Inhabitants (501-1,000)
- Inland area