HISTORY OF ÍLLAR
The first recorded evidence of this town dates from the Al-Andalus period, documented by the twelfth century geographer Idrisi, which inscribes it within the Urs al-Yaman region as one of the twenty castles in the territory. At the time of Al-Andalus, the town was located in a higher area than its present situation, called lugarejo. The author, Jorge Lirola, says that Íllar comes from the Arabic word al-Aliya, meaning “the high”. During the Nasrid period, it was part of the Taha de Marchena as a fief of the al-Nayar family. At this time, the main activity was agriculture, with silk, oil and raisins in production, which in turn prompted the creation of a network of pipes and irrigation channels that ran down to the river.
With the Christian conquest in 1489, the Catholic Monarchs ceded the Taha de Marchena for the services rendered to Don Gutierre de Cárdenas y Chacón in 1494, as Lordship of Cárdenas and later, Duchy of Maqueda. The Moorish Rebellion (1568-1570), and the subsequent expulsion of the Moors, brought with it mass depopulation. The area was repopulated in 1575 with neighbours from Castilla and Levante and two French citizens.
The full recovery of a numbered population would not take place until the eighteenth century, however, it wasn’t until the middle of the nineteenth century, with the cultivation of the Ohanes grape, that the population of Íllar resumed its former level. Its independence as a town came with the abolition of the manors in 1835.
With the arrival of the twentieth century, the importance of the cultivation of the Ohanes grape began to decline and, together with the crisis of the century and the Civil War, the economy and population of Íllar decreased considerably. Starting in the 1960s, vineyards were replaced by citrus trees and the most requested Apinera grape on the market.