1. Cómpeta history: Origin and Consolidation

It is true that, contrary to what happens in other cases, Cómpeta is located in an indefensible area of ​​possible attacks, but the fact remains that the traveler does not discover its existence until it has gotten almost in the village, so its location is ideal to go unnoticed from the coast.


His view from the farmhouse D. Lucas is, for the weary traveler who ascends the mountain, a snack and an invitation to abandon oneself in these bewitching parts. From this hypothesis Cómpeta, until the coming of the Muslims in the S. VIII, would be a place dedicated to commercial transactions between the inhabitants of the interior and the coast, taking advantage of the meeting to celebrate the holidays, "compitalias". The most logical thing is that villagers were slowly gaining land for agricultural use.


Later, with the arrival of Muslims rearing silkworms would be introduced.



The goodness of the climate and the good work of farmers and land made gradually Cómpeta an increasingly prosperous. Described Marmol Carvajal in his "rebellion and punishment of the Moors of Granada" that , referring to the places of the Sierra de Bentomiz he says: "There are a very large number of vineyards and grapes make the inhabitants sun dry grapes and sell to northern merchants who come to the Velez Tower sea each year to carry on their ships, Britain, England and Flanders, and from there a lot of to Germany and Norway and elsewhere. Others, harvesting wheat and almonds worth money, they take both bread (wheat) sufficient for their livelihood. Silk breeding is in quantity and so fine, which better equalizes with entering the alquicería of Granada ".


But the first known document that mentions the town, dated 29 April 1487, date of the surrender of the towns and villages of the Sierra of Bentomiz to the Catholic Monarchs in Velez-Malaga.


Cómpeta at this time was a consolidated town, because it had a population of about six hundred inhabitants.

2. "Morisco" Time

On the origin of Competa there are no written documents. One based on the etymology of its name, dates its Roman origins hypothesis. The Latin word RACE-ORUM evolved into Castilian to COMPETA. Its meaning is crossroads, where the Romans celebrated the "Compitalias parties" in honor of crossings of roads. At the foot of the mountains a road linking La Alpujarra with La Axarquía, and another linking the coast with Granada, road came a few years ago using the carriers; the crossing of two roads occurs in Cómpeta; While it is true that the main communication routes with Granada are those of Motril and Velez-Malaga.


After the surrender, the Castilian authorities appointed mayor of Cómpeta Luis de Mena, and as benefited Cristobal de Frias, in charge of religious affairs. Fall of Granada in 1492, decrees and royal decrees prohibiting the vanquished the use of language, dress, bathrooms, etc ... Forced people to convert to Christianity or leave the peninsula.


From 1,502 we can talk about Moriscos. As head of the new converts continued the benefited Cristobal de Frias being created in the year 1505, at the behest of Queen Isabel the Catholic, Competa Parish. However the negotiations with Christians get to suspend the prohibitions, but in 1567, Felipe II publishes an even more severe than previous ones, whose performance this time could not avoid edict. This coupled with the decline suffered by the silk industry, economic pillar of the locals and the hopes of foreign aid, led to the rebellion of the Moors in 1568.


Marble Carvajal tells us in his book cited above, in Cómpeta and other populations Bentomiz, there was peace and quiet, despite the news of the rebellion reached. But in April 1569, a Moorish of Guájaras called Almueden arrived way of Canillas de Aceituno to rescue his wife, slave of an old Christian arrived. The Moors came to be interested in the events of the Alpujarra; They make informed of this success of the uprising, and support they expected from abroad, rose in rebellion encouraged by the Moorish competeño Alwacil Martin, who will be soon joined the Moors saw all Bentomiz.


Apparently, Martin Alwacil expressed loyalty to the crown an excellent convert, so enjoyed good reputation with the authorities of Velez. Therefore the mayor Arévalo de Zuazo sent for him to keep calm the people of Bentomiz. But that, he thought it was to arrest him and then kill him, he refused to go. He gathered in the plaza of Cómpeta the rebels saw Bentomiz and encouraged them to struggle with an exciting speech about freedom and love of the land. Encouraged by this, and named ruler of Bentomiz, Martin Alwacil and warlords Hernando Darra and others.


There was in Cómpeta, by that time, 143 Moriscos neighbours (about 572 inhabitants) and 3 Old Christians (2 benefit and one sexton). The latter had taken refuge in the church tower to see into the village outsider armed people. Martin Alwacil people paraded before the tower several times in a row, but with different clothes and weapons at a time, in order to convince the refugees that the number of the rebels was much higher. Then he sent Cristobal de Frias benefited Velez intending to apologize to the authorities, blaming the revolt to such Gironcillo and foreign people. While the beneficiary was heading for Velez, Martin Alwacil and his (men, women and children), they took stronghold in the Rock of Frigiliana, provided with goods, food and weapons.


Arévalo de Zuazo tried to take the Rock with a small army on May 28, but had to give up against the resistance of the Moriscos. A second integrated by the forces of Velez and surroundings, and men of 25 galleys returning from Italy in command of the Commander of Castile, attack managed to defeat the Moors after fierce resistance. The Rock fell into Castilian hands, as well as numerous Moorish prisoners and a precious booty. The battlefield was littered with corpses in the ears of which still echoed Martin's voice Alwacil: "... It is better to die fighting than die by hanging, so if we die defending our freedom Mother Earth will receive what He produced, and you shall fail burial that will not lack heaven hide to cover it. God forbid to say that men knew Bentomiz not die for their country ... "After the setback suffered Alwacil Martin Hernando Darra and a few others, they managed to flee to the Alpujarra. It was on 8 June 1569.


Bentomiz, was virtually empty as a result of the disbanding of the Moors, now inhabited by old Christians and, we assume, for some other morisco. In late December of 1569, again Cómpeta Martin Alwacil and who had fled with him, and from there distributed by their hometowns burning down churches, killing the old Christians and looting their property as they had seen in the Alpujarras, then taking refuge. In 1570, he settled in Cómpeta a prison with a garrison of 200 soldiers under the command of Antonio de Luna to control the arrival of Moors and reduce those who had taken refuge in the mountains.


The fate of the Moors of Cómpeta, we assume, was parallel to the rest of the people of the Kingdom of Granada: expelled from the place and distributed by Extremadura and Galicia and subsequently expelled from the peninsula in 1609, and its assets distributed among the repopulattors.


3. Distribution


From this year the settlers were coming, 58 in total, mainly from Puente Genil, Estepa, La Roda, Sevilla and Baena, including the 64 lots that were made with assets seized from the Moors were distributed.


Each lucky consisted of:

- 1 House

- 2 ounces of mulberry leaves to raise silkworms

- 2 aranzadas good vineyard (1 aranzada = 4.290 m2 approx.)

- 4 aranzadas reasonable vineyard

- 3 aranzadas poor vineyard

- ½ aranzada vineyard next to the villa

- 4 bushels and 8 State Authority of irrigated land (2,254 m2 approx.)

- 44 almonds

- 30 olive trees and 3 olive trees cut

- 6 bushels of dry land (1 bushel = 6,460 m2 approx.)

- 4 aranzadas of wasteland.

In addition to these assets described, there were 1,570 in Competa, 3 ovens for baking bread, 3 oil mills, 25 apiaries, 3 traps for manufacturing tiles and bricks, 1 winery; and assume that there would be shops, butchers, bakers, etc.


The 58 settlers benefited from the distribution of lots were, although it is true that they were not alike, because while 34 neighbors received 1 luck, 1 received 5, 1 received 3, 4 received 2, 4 received 1 and a half, and 12 received ½ luck each. The criterion for the distribution was more likely to cultivate the land, received a lot more.


Between 1,575 and 1,593 settlers absented 13, between 1,575 and 1,621 arrived 40 new. Each repopulator had to pay 1 royal per year per household, the tithe of the fruits collected except the moral and olive trees that paid the fifth of the first 10 years and thereafter the third and was forced to remain for 25 years on their luck, to cultivate it and keep it in perfect condition. This, together with the taxes they had to pay in 1750 led almost all the lands of Cómpeta did not belong to their original owners. This year there was a new distribution of land among 180 residents to a land where writing consisted tax payable to the Treasury by eliminating all other charges was delivered.


In 1751, of less than 1,000 hectares of arable land, 38% was devoted to cereal crops in dry land, 19% to vineyard wine, 39.4% to vineyard raisins and 3.3% to garden and irrigation.

4. Century XIX

Surplus agricultural production pushed the resurgence of trade, mainly raisin export, resulting in gradually monoculture of the vine (76.4% of the land in 1857 and 96% in 1881) and increased arable land (1,700 hectares in 1870).


The agricultural boom led to a gradual increase in the population, as seen in the picture of the story line. At this time (1,870) Cómpeta enjoyed a welfare, economic and social boom will soon that begin its decline.


1,877 fall in export competition passes, performing better the Californian Raisin.


In 1884 an earthquake destroyed part of the village (many houses and tower of the Church).


In 1885 a cholera epidemic decimated the population (about 350 people died in the summer of that year).


1,887 phylloxera wiped out most of the vine strains.


In ten years, Cómpeta plunged into an economic crisis, today, a century later, it begins to emerge supported in tourism and in the services sector.

5. Century XX

After all the events during the late nineteenth century, Competa begins to rise from the ashes. We find a municipality that enters a new century, large in events. Acts as important as the electrification of the village and replenishment of new vineyards, olive and almond trees, occupy the first years.

The Second Republic has significance in our village, because its long-awaited land reform was not implemented. Similarly, the Spanish Civil War hardly had impact, some acts were not carried out by the competeños, such as burning and looting of sacred images from the archives of the Church and the Town Hall.


After the Civil War several episodes featuring the so-called "Maquis" ( "people of the mountains"), which will be strong in the mountains waiting for the return to constitutional normality, normalcy will take a few years to happen.


Towards the middle of the twentieth century, a resurgence based economy begins, especially in agricultural development, experiencing a new boom, we must not forget the national context, because Spain is in an era of "openness" that will benefit the whole economy. Thus the municipality begins to have a new era characterized by the splendor of the vineyards.

After the age of 60s and half of the 70s,  development begins in the municipality, new industry: tourism. With the development of this, the people give an economic turn, sectors such as construction and hospitality are developed while the influx of foreign consolidated.


The economic boom experienced in the age of the 80s, it means building will be consolidated as one of the pioneering sectors that contribute to the development of the municipality along with tourism.


In the late 90s we presented very positive, if in early centuries, the peasant fought against the inclemency of nature to cultivate the vine panorama, now the farmer is part of a world network that revolves around the development. This comes from the hand of other economic sectors. The activities that arise are quite attached to them. Blooming estate while the service sector is strengthened due to the shock wave of development in construction.


Cómpeta enters the XXI century and the new millennium with a very promising future prospects. Tourism development makes us present a different but promising picture. The services sector has experienced a development that was unthinkable a few years ago, the traditional economy adapts and survives with this new form. The model is almost touching rural urban due to the "modernization" of our services.


Development, hopefully sustainable, makes the most decrease, while we move on the eve of a new era of unemployment.





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