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To go to Macharaviaya from Malaga, one has to take the eastern A7 motorway and take the Macharaviaya exit after Rincon de la Victoria. One turns inland and the white town is about 7 kilometers away.
Macharaviaya is a very small white town that has a very big church, the Church of San Jacinto. This church was built in 1505, remodeled in 1875, and is in the form of a Latin cross. Under the church is the crypt of the Galvez family.
The town contains the Museo Galvez, dedicated to this prominent family. The family went to the town in the 16th century, but they became very prominent only in the 18th century. Jose de Galvez was born in the town in 1720 and became one of the most important and progressive ministers of King Carlos III. He founded the Archivo General de Indias in Seville. He was given the title of Marques de Sonora by the crown. His brother Matias became the first Viceroy of New Spain (Mexico and Central America). Another brother, Miguel, became the governor of Malaga.
The son of Matias was Bernardo de Galvez, and he became the most famous member of the family. He had important government jobs in the Spanish Louisiana Territory. When the United States had its War of Independence against the British, Bernardo had a very prominent role in helping the Americans. He conquered the cities of Mobile and Pensacola, where he showed extreme bravery. The city of Galveston in Texas was named after him and he has appeared on US stamps and honored in Mobile and Galveston.
Another member of the family was Maria Rosa de Galvez, who was an author of dramas and pioneered the rights of women in the late 18th century. The museum also houses the paintings of the American Robert Harvey and the Spanish Rafael Carmona, both painters having lived in Macharaviaya.
Dr. Jose Galvez, who lived between 1856 and 1952, was a famous gynecologist in Malaga, who served as mayor for three years. He became the president of the Doctors' College and founded the Clinica Galvez, which is beside the Cathedral. The clinic is a private clinic and is one of the more famous clinics in Malaga.
Beside the city hall is a viewing platform with very good views of the town, and one can see the sea from there.
Close to Macharaviaya is another white town called Benaque, which belongs to the municipality of Macahraviaya. It has a beautiful fountain in one of its little plazas. Benaque has the Church of La Virgen del Rosario, built in 1488. It is famous for its frescoes painted on the walls of the church. There is also the Salvador Rueda Museum, which is installed in his former house. Rueda lived between 1857 and 1933, and was born in Benaque. He became a famous journalist and one of Spain's most famous poets. The house preserves his old furniture and is quite interesting.
The place to eat in Macharaviaya is the Alquivir Meson Rural (Tel: 952-400-066), across from the church. The table setting and plates are elegant. Many of its specialties are grilled over charcoal. The soup is served in a very big clay pot. The restaurant is very good and inexpensive, and it is a typical venta.
This white town is a pleasure to visit.
Galvez Museum Hours:
Saturday and Sunday only, 1100 to 1500H.