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History of Olula de Castro


The origins of Olula de Castro date to prehistoric times, evidenced by some rock engravings found at Huerto del Moro or de los Rodeos. Between the seventh and eighth centuries, Romanized and Christian Berbers arrived from Africa, known as Yarawás, under the command of Queen La Kahima, who, settled in the Sierra de los Filabres. Both Olula de Castro and Castro de Filabres could have developed as communities from the camps of the African Queen.

During the High Middle Ages, most of the local population was Mozarabic and linked to Alfonso VII el Batallador during the Conquest of Almería that took place in 1145 and left the village under Christian rule for 10 years. Later, a large part of the population emigrated to the recently conquered Valle del Ebro, and the demographic vacuum in the area was filled with Islamized Berber tribes brought by the Almohads.

After the Granada War (1482-1491), the Catholic Monarchs ceded the towns of Olula de Castro and Uleila del Campo to Pedro Hurtado de Mendoza, better known as Don Hurtado, Adelantado de Cazorla, brother of Cardinal Mendoza and son of the Marquis of Santillana. During the Moorish rebellions (1568-1570), most of the population died from hunger or disease, while others were sold as slaves or fled. With the expulsion of the Moors from the Kingdom of Granada, Olula de Castro was depopulated and its hamlet half destroyed. It was at the end of the sixteenth century that new settlers began to arrive.

At the beginning of the twentieth century, the company Hierros de Olula S.A. exploited the iron mines of Olula de Castro, promoted by the businessman Nicolás de Escoriaza y Fabro, Vizconde de Escoriaza, causing a temporary local economic boom.

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