The royal cards game factory
Macharaviaya, a small village with a great history
We cannot dissociate the modern history of Macharaviaya from that of the Galvez family. There is also in the village a museum, a temple and a bust (Bernado de Galvez) which all bear the name of the family.
Among the illustrious members of the Galvez family, born in the village in the 18th century:
- Don José Gálvez y Gallardo. Representative of King Charles III, founder of the Texas City of Galvestown and Secretary of the Council of the Indies
- Matias Gálvez, Viceroy of Mexico
- Miguel Galvez, Spanish Ambassador to Russia
- Bernardo de Galvez (son of Matias), Governor of Louisiana, Captain General of Cuba and Viceroy of Mexico. who drove the English out of the Gulf of Mexico and helped the Americans gain independence.
The history of this village in Axarquia Costa del Sol is closely linked to the history of the United States of America.
Every year, there is a feria to celebrate the 4th of July the independence of the United States, in period dress.
The village is twinned with a Texan city (Galvestown…) and another city in Louisiana.
Finally, a detail of the story, but which is of considerable importance for the province of Malaga. The Galvez were the first promoters of the famous Malaga wine, made from Moscatel (Muscat of Alexandria) grapes on European tables and in particular in Russia.
If you come to see Macharaviaya, I can only recommend that you go and see the village of Benaque , about 5km away. It is absolutely charming and the central monument is to see….
Macharaviaya, the little Madrid
This village (360 inhabitants today) enjoyed a certain opulence thanks to the Galvez family. Indeed, by their statutes they obtained the installation of the royal card game factory in the village, with a monopoly on the sale of packets of card games in the Americas.
In its own way, this card game factory to help develop another Maro next to Nerja , since on the banks of the Miel river, a paper mill was built to make the paper needed to make cards. This now abandoned paper mill can still be seen right next to the beach that bears the same name (playa del molino de papel).
During this period, the opulence generated by this monopoly earned it the nickname “Little Madrid”.
The origins of the name Macharaviaya
I have to tell you a secret, to be honest with you…. I saw the Macharaviaya signo on road for 30 years without ever going here.
Every time I passed in front of this road signo, this name made me thinking of Mexico. I didn’t know anything about the history of the village, but the sounds of the words reminded me of mariachis, sombreros, “viva zapata”, and Guadalajara !
My surprise was great when I learned that the name of the village Macharaviaya, was the Hispanization, in 1572, of its old Arabic name: Mashar-abu-Yaha…
A local guide offers a half-day tour of this village and the neighbouring village of Benagalbon. A dive into the history and the typical and authentic Andalusia: see the Moorish and Colonial Axarquia Route -to the Americas-.
The festivities in Macharaviaya
- Fiesta de la Independencia de los Estados Unidos, July 4
- Feria de Macharaviaya y procesión de San Bernardo, 1st week in August
- Encuentro Provincial de Corales en Macharaviaya, mid-December
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