Its municipal region lies between La Sierra Alpujata and
Sierra Blanca - behind Marbella - , its highlight being
El Juanar Valley, an area of immense natural beauty. The
village itself, surrounded by orchards, still retains its
original Arabic layout, with houses built on different levels
to accomodate the mountainside on which they stand, and
is considered to be one of the most beautiful in the province.
Relics of its past include the remains of Solis Castle and
the Mudejar-style Our Lady’s Church.
Ojen dates back to the Andalusi-Arabic period, when it was
known as Oxen or Hoxan, meaning “rugged place”.
Records tell us that in front of the village walls (now
gone) Abderraman III’s troops fought with the muladíes
- Christian converts to Islam - led by Omar Ben Hafsun in
rebellion against the dominance of the Emirate of Cordoba.
Having defeated the muladíes, Caliph Abderraman III
ordered the building of a mosque as proof of Moslem supremacy
over Christian converts. Following the village’s capture
by the Catholic Monarchs, one hundred moriscos - Moslem
converts to Christianity - and 4 Christians remained, all
of whom were devoted to agricultural tasks. However, by
the mid 16th century, the moriscos had grown tired of the
abusive taxes which they were obliged to pay, and, encouraged
by the inhabitants of Istan, set fire to the village and
its church and fled to the Alpujarra region. By the end
of the same century, the village was practically abandoned.
In 1600, it was repopulated by settlers from La Roda de
Andalucia. In 1807, it was declared an independent village
by Charles IV.