The village was built upon the ruins of an old Moorish settlement. Its name is derived from Andalusian ArabicMachxar Abu Yahya, meaning "Abu Yahya's Court". It was the home of the noble Gálvez family, whose descendant Matías de Gálvez y Gallardo had been the viceroy of New Spain. His son Bernardo, who was born in the village, became Governor of Louisiana and captured Baton Rouge, Mobile and Pensacola from the British during the American Revolution. The historical centre of the village has a preservation order on it. Some Spanish and foreign artists, ceramicists, painters and writers live among the villagers.