The history of Castellar de la Frontera is a little bit particular. We can talk about two periods: the first, full of historical anecdotes, it is located in the Old Village of Castellar de la Frontera. The second is more recent and it goes thirty years back, the date in which most of the villagers of the old village left their houses to move to the new part of the city. This way, in 1971 the New Village of Castellar was born, and with it, a new part of history.
This change meant to the neighbors of Castellar better conditions of life, as the impossibility of growing up of the old village and the orographical difficulties of the territory where it was located, hindered a proper social progress, to which the lack of hygiene of the houses was also added.
In addition of these two cores of population, next to the railway station, there is another one which is not free of historical transcendence. We refer to Almoraima.
OLD VILLAGE OF CASTELLAR
The old village of Castellar de la Frontera is located in the interior of a medieval fortress.
Due to its strategic situation in the peak of a mountain, the land of Castellar has been a place for settlement of numerous cultures. The first manifestations of human presence are some important lithic industries which show the man of Paleolithic and Neolithic past.
We can also talk about other settler’s past like the Iberian. It is believed that these one were the authors of the construction of a military Tower called “Lascutana Tower”.
During the roman colonization, this village took the Lascutana Tower that the Iberians built and created there a settlement of which purposes were observation and the defense of the roman road which went from Carteia (next to the bary) to Córdoba. There have been found remains of houses in placer nearby this settlement.
The Visigoth period was not very determining in this place, although there have been discoveries which show the village’s past in here.
However, the Muslims are the settlers who left more footprints and who are going to mark a very important period. They were the authors of the fortress erected as consequence of the invasions and rivalries against the Christians. They founded the village which is located in the interior of the fortress. Castellar is going to play a fundamental role in the wars between Castillians and Muslims.
It was under Arabic domain until 1434 B.C when Juan Arias de Saavedra conquered the village and brought it back to the Christian Crown.
From here onwards, this village has based its economy in agriculture, cattle industry and the resources the hill provided them with until 1960, when the construction of Guadarranque dam started, which allowed the population to specialize in other works.
By the end of the 60’s, the Restoration and Agrarian Development Institute built a new village, the New Village of Castellar de la Frontera, located 8 km from the village-fortress.
NEW VILLAGE OF CASTELLAR
“The new” Castellar is just the opposite to its homonym in the mountains. Unlike the original Muslim village located in the interior of the fortress, the new village is of modern composition, with wide streets and avenues, large green areas and doted with modern social areas.
In 1968, fostered by Gibraltar Development Plan, the Colonization Institute expropriated 700 Ha of soil to the business La Almoraima S.A, by then belonging to the casa Ducal of Medinaceli, with the purpose to create a village of colonization and to give the soils, divided into parcels, to the settlers that ask for them.
In 1971 the new population is finished and the neighbors who were living in the old village, moved to the recently built houses of the village with the same name. Here begins a new period in history, with the look ahead, but without forgetting the roots left in a hundred-year-old village on a mountain.
Since this date, there will be expansions and other works that will result on benefit for the neighbors. It is remarkable due to the whiteness of its houses matching the green color of its gardens. It is a modern village where the inhabitants of this new period have found the ideal place for the development and prosperity.
The first documented evidence of the village’s existence in the Almoraima area is a beacon tower built by the Muslims and which served as news transmitter. This tower was occupied by a little garrison whose mission was to defend it and to inform about any possible risk of invasion.
In 1603, the Monastery of Saint Miguel of La Almoraima was built, and it was occupied by the Order of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mercy’s monks.
In 1868, the Monastery of Saint Miguel of La Amoraima becomes a property of the Medinaceli Duke. In 1982, a halt is built next to the railway line Algeciras-Bobadilla, which was exclusively reserved for the Ducal house and their guests. With time, this halt becomes in the Almoraima station, which is also at the same time the station of the New Village of Castellar.
In 1945, the “Empresa Corchera Almoraima” is created. This is going to be the economic center of most of the inhabitants of the municipal term of Castellar. Around the courtyard of cork, several houses compounded by cabins were built. Almoraima, little by little was growing its number of inhabitants. In 1962, the owners of the cork enterprise built houses for their employers, although these were insufficient and there were still many cabin houses or huts made of poor materials. By these years, Almoraima had more than 1500 inhabitants.
With the construction of the New Castellar, a large part of the population that lived in Almoraima, moved to the village built 1km far from them. Nowadays, it has about 200 inhabitants.