Malaga Us - Costa del Sol Travel Guide
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Sayalonga

Located in the valley of the River Algarrobo-Sayalonga on hard, dry land occasionally punctuated by orchards on the outskirts of the village and in the lowlands.

As is so often the case in this region, the Arabic origins of this interesting village are manifest in its urban design, the highlight of which is the Mudejar-style St. Catherine's Church.

There are few documented facts regarding the history of Sayalonga, though it seems certain that it appeared as a result of the expansion of an early farm during the period of Moslem domination.

Shortly after the capture of Velez Malaga (1487) by the Christians, representatives of the Sayalonga's Moslem community paid homage to the Catholic Monarchs in an attempt to avoid reprisals and retain some semblance of rights for the morisco (Moslem converts to Christianity) population. In the end, however, the morisco rebellion which swept the Axarquia region in the second half of the 16th century was particularly significant in this area of Andalusia: the difficult living conditions endured by inhabitants dominated by Christian troops created hostility which ended in open rebellion led by Martín Alguacil -a native of Competa- and Fernando El Darra. The moriscos established themselves at El Peñon de Frigiliana, where they managed to repel the first battalions of the forces sent by the governor of Velez-Malaga, Arevalo de Zuarzo, in May 1569; it took reinforcements from Granada, supported by Don John of Austria, and hundreds of rebel deaths to finally crush the uprising.

The village and its municipal area were also affected by the major tremor known as the Andalusian Earthquake on Christmas Day 1884; among the material damage suffered was the destruction of several houses.