by Saskia Mier
Los Molaresoffers tranquil, rural surroundings that give visitors the chance to relax and enjoy a natural environment filled with fields of corn and sunflowers. It also has many country cycle paths, with the most recommended being the one that connects the town with Utrera. Los Molares has about 3,400 inhabitants.
Los Molares dates to the Neolithic period, around 4000-3500 BC, highlighting from this era a megalithic necropolis and dolmens: Dolmen de Cañada Real and Dolmen El Palomar. During the Chalcolithic period, another settlement stood here, El Amarguillo II, discovered by Manuel M.ª Ruiz Delgado, and partially excavated by Rosario Cabrero García between 1986 and 1987.
The Turdetano settlement should also be highlighted, as well as the abundance of Roman villas, dependent on the nearby city of Salpensa. In 2006, an excavation directed by Ezequiel Góme zMurga revealed the existence of a pottery complex for construction material in the vicinity of the current urban perimeter.
The medieval Christian settlement began at the beginning of the fourteenth century, when King Fernando IV granted it to Lope Gutiérrez de Toledo, as a reward for his efforts during a campaign of the Re-conquest, specifically on the site of Algeciras (1309). Lope Gutiérrez de Toledo built the castle and his son took over the town in 1336.
In 1430 Los Molares passed to the Ribera family, later known as Duques de Alcalá, and subsequently added to the Casa de Medinaceli. At the end of the fifteenth century, a trade fair started in the town, specialising in all kinds of fabrics. The fair was considered to be the second most important on the Iberian peninsula after that of Medina del Campo. In the middle of the seventeenth century the fair declined as a result of plague epidemics. In 1876, due to the impossibility of continuing to govern itself, the municipality joined the nearby town of Utrera until 1919.
THINGS TO SEE
Iglesia Parroquial de Santa Marta
The Mudejar church was renovated in the eighteenth century and mid-twentieth century. Inside, there is a sculpture of Santa Clara, from the mid-seventeenth century, and the exterior tower is adorned with Renaissance motifs and has four bells. Located on Calle Duque de Alcalá.
The castle is of mediaeval origin, built before 1336. At first this castle was a single tower that served to see enemies in the distance. In 1310 it was given as a reward for his services to the Mayor of Seville, D. Lope de Haro "El Chico", by King Fernando IV in Emplazado, giving him permission to build a castle. Another important owner the castle had from the year 1573 was the poet Baltasar del Alcázar. It has undergone several restorations; the most transcendental was by Utrera native Enrique de la Cuadra, around 1892. In the following years the castle was inherited, sold, divided into parts and even auctioned. At present, some parts of the castle have been modified, restored and sold off to inhabitants of the town. Apart from private housing, it also holds the Municipal Library, Peña Flamenca, Pensioners' Home, Casa de la Secretaría (where we can find Social Services, the Youth Department and the Information Centre), Post Office, Adult-Education School, Law Courts, Guadalinfo Centre, Culture Hall and Restaurant "El Castillo". Since 2005, the Medieval Market has been held here, with each part of the castle being decorated to receive the villagers and visitors. Located on Calle Duque de Alcalá.
THINGS TO SEE OUTSIDE THE VILLAGE
Fuente de la Higuera
The water foutain dates from the sixteenth century. Its importance goes beyond its use as a watering hole for cattle, and its beneficial uses for human consumption has been highlighted since ancient times. It is said that the best water came from this fountain, with many royals and people of importance takin gthe water on their travels or even coming here specifically to take water back to their homes. Located next to the football pitch, on the SE-4202.
Torre del Bao
The area uncovered diverse archaeological remains during many excavations taking place here. Among the civilisations for which samples have been found are the Iberians, the Romans and the Moors. From the Middle Ages there are still the remains of a defensive tower- hence the name. It is declared an Asset of Cultural Interest. Located east of Los Molares, off the A-360.
Dólmenes de Cañada Real y El Palomar
A prehistoric necropolis with more than 5,500 years of antiquity, it vastly surpasses other megalithic groups inthe province.The dolmen of Cañada Real (Cañada Real I) was discovered in 1968 and excavated by the distinguished professor D. Juan de Mata Carriazo. In the summer of 1980, after some land clearance, just 100 metres north-west of the Cañada Real dolmen, the El Palomar dolmen appeared. It was excavated by the Archaeological Museum of Seville. This monument is in worse condition than the previous one. Both are facing east. Located north of Los Molares.
Aperi-urban park leisure area with approximately five hectares of eucalyptus extension and many characteristic species of Mediterranean scrubland such as rosemary, tamarisk and thyme. At the entrance there is an Andalucian regional arch-style construction and several annexes with covered tiles and whitewashed walls. Located 1.5 kilometres north of Los Molares.
Dishes to try when visiting Los Molares include potaje de garbanzos (chickpea stew), sopa de tomate (tomato soup), conejo de campo (wild rabbit) and cured meats such as jamón, chorizo, lomo, etc. The town also produces excellent bread and crackers made in traditional wood ovens. Sweet treats include buñuelos (dumplings), torrijas (eggy bread), gachas (similar to semolina), bizcocho (spongecake) and pestiños (sweet honey pastries).
Traditional crafts still produced in the town are leatherwork, ceramics and furniture making.
Cabalgata Reyes Magos
Three Kings procession celebrated on the evening of 5 January.
Fiesta de la Candelaria
Celebrated on2 February.
Día de Andalucía
Celebrated on 28 February.
Celebrated at the end of February.
Romería de Nuestra Señora de Fátima
Celebrated the Sunday before 13 May.
Feria de Santa Marta
Celebrated on29 July.
The famous mediaeval market is usually celebrated at the end of September or around the beginning of October.