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Nerja: Municipality


Nerja is a municipality 50 kilometers east of the provincial capital of Málaga. The inner city consists of many narrow streets and small white buildings. Above all the Balcón de Europa, the numerous and sometimes azure shining bays as well as the serenity of the inhabitants makes thousands of tourists come to Nerja every year. (Editor/Photos/Video: mit – Source:, Provincial Administration of Málaga, Info-tables on the places)

Scientists have discovered that people were living in and around Nerja 42.000 years ago because of the organic remnants they found in the cave of Nerja. Moreover they found remnants of a settlement in Nerja's district Maro which according to scientists is about 20.000 years old.

About 1.000 BC, the Phoenicians settled in and around Nerja as well as on the entire Costa del Sol, followed by the Romans shortly before Christ. They dominated the coast and founded three cities on the eastern Costa del Sol: Maenoba (Vélez-Málaga), Caviclum (Torrox) and Detunda (Maro). Particularly in the excavations in Nerja's district Maro, the scientists found coins and graves from the Roman period. In addition, an old melting furnace as well as the remains of groundworks could be found at the Río de la Miel in Nerja.

From the year 376 to 410, the Visigoths successfully fought against the Roman soldiers and finally took over the Roman Empire. Until 711 they ruled over the whole Roman Empire and thus also over the city of Nerja. But then the Moors came and defeated the Visigoths in the battle of Guadalete. From then on the Moors ruled Andalusia. The architecture, which can still be seen today in Nerja, comes partly from the Arabic. The trade in cotton, linen, wool and silk was strongly encouraged. The economy grew and science was promoted. Its name was given to the municipality during the Moorish era, too. Around 917 the place was called Nerja, Naricha, Narixa or Narija, which means rich water source.

Despite the conquest of the Costa del Sol by Catholic kings in 1478, Jews, Christians and Arabs peacefully lived together in and around Nerja. In the 16th century many Arabs moved or were expelled while Christians from other parts of Spain settled in Nerja.

In the course of the independence war against France in 1812, parts of the Iberian peninsula were occupied by Napoleon's troops. This included Nerja.

An economic emergency occurred in 1875, when a pest of grapevine-louses almost destroyed all the wine fields. Hardly recovered, a heavy earthquake of magnitude 6.5 on the Richter scale shook large parts of the Axarquía on December, 25th 1884 at about 21.08h . The epicenter was located in Arenas del Rey, above the natural reserve of Sierra Tejeda, Almijarra y Alhama. The earth wobbled for about 20 seconds. There were 900 dead and over 1.500 injured people. For this reason, Alfonso XII., who was King of Spain from 1874 to 1885, traveled to Nerja to speak at the Balcón de Europa. A bronze statue in life size of Alfonso XII. stands on the east wing of the viewing platform.

Nerja mainly lives from tourism. Especially the Balcón de Europa and the caves in Nerja's district Maro attract many visitors every year. Agriculture also plays an important role. Apart from avocados, chirimoyas, mangos and papayas, garlic, fruit and vegetables are cultivated in the municipality.

The climate in Nerja is mild and constant. Within the summer, from May to October, the temperatures rise up to 30 degrees and more by day while they never drop below 20 degrees at night. During the winter from October to May, the temperatures reach a daily value of about 18 to 22 degrees, while at night it could be cold by only ten degrees. All the year you do have a constant humidity. The water temperature rises from 23 to 26 degrees in the summer. In winter it hardly drops below 16 degrees. On average, there are 3.000 hours of sunshine per year.


Information Nerja's Ground: 84,9 km2 Inhabitants: 21.144 (2020) Detailed infos Detailed infos Famous people Famous peopleNuria Fergó Famous peopleAntonio Cortés Famous peopleRuth Núñez Famous peopleMiguel de Miguel Famous peopleMiguel Joven Braun Local radio Local radioRadio Nerja
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