Lying north of Marbella and west of Mijas, between the Blanca and Alpujata ranges is the locality of Ojén, a mountain village whose cube-shaped houses with their flat tops offer the typical image of an Arab village. However these architectural elements are not characteristic of the area’s most typical dwellings, with their sloping roofs and high chimneys, rather they are a more recent innovation. In contrast to the other villages in the area, the walls of the houses are completely whitewashed.
Though little information exists regarding the history of the village, it is known that its present location is of Arab origin and must date back to very early times, since it seems Abderranmán II fought a battle against Omar Ben Hafsun, leader of the 10th Century uprising against the caliphate, before its castle walls. At that time Ojén was called Hoxán, which means ‘rough place’ in Arabic. After the defeat of the rebellion, the caliph decided to build a mosque. The castle was burnt down along with the rest of the locality during the Moorish uprising of 1569 and, though it was later rebuilt, only a few traces of it remain today on a slope at the top of the village.
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