History of Somontín

HISTORY OF SOMONTIN

The origin of Somontín dates back to the Roman era (second century AD), although evidence suggests that the original nucleus of the village was situated south of the current enclave. The village is likely to have been a place of importance since Emperor Marco Aurelio gave it authorization to coin money. At the beginning of the Al-Andalus period, it was resettled in its current location, which provided better defense and water. By the ninth century, Hisn Somontan emerged as a safe fortress.

Following the Christian conquest, in June 1492 the Catholic Monarchs gave the villages of Somontín and Fines to Don Alonso Fernández de Córdoba. The village also played a part in the Moorish revolts, with the consequent expulsion of the Moors from the Kingdom of Granada in 1570 and the subsequent repopulation with people coming from outside the Kingdom. In 1594, Somontín received a visit from Miguel de Cervantes, Tax Collector of the Royal Treasury, for problems regarding the collection of the Royal Alcabalas of Somontín and other villages of Almanzora.

According to Madoz, in 1848 there were already talc mines – though it is likely that they first started being exploited as early as 1752. At the beginning of the nineteenth century, it was a somewhat anarchic exploitation, formed by small factories.

Today, the economy of Somontín is based on agriculture, with the cultivation of cereals, almonds, vines, olive groves and vegetables for self-consumption, and the rearing of livestock including goats and cattle.

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