A History before Time began

Museum of Alora

The Municipal Museum of Álora, the entity that transmits the history of the municipality, is housed in the School of Christ, a 16th-century Mudejar construction, which was possibly the chapel of the disappeared San Sebastián Hospital, built by the Catholic Monarchs. This site was the headquarters of the Priestly Order of the School of Christ, denomination that it currently receives.

The room is a rectangular plan construction, with eight perimeter pillars and four sturdy pillars in the center, which support nine empty vaults. The entire factory of the enclosure is made of brick and has very strong reinforcements, which determines the existence on the upper floor of the Decimal Cilla for grain storage.

School of Christ

The Municipal Museum of Álora (Rafael Lería Municipal Museum) is attached to the impressive Parish Church of Our Lady of the Incarnation , in the Plaza de la Virgen de los Dolores Coronada.

Álora has been for centuries one of the main villages of the Guadalhorce Region, where some of the most important cultures of the Mediterranean have left their mark. Its deep-rooted history offers a vast Artistic Heritage that conforms it, the splendid Arab Castle , authentic symbol of the city, monumental churches and winding streets loaded with tradition.

Their descendants became producers, practicing agriculture and the domestication of animals, in little enduring settlements. They incorporate polished tools, hand mills to crush the cereal, while manufacturing handmade pottery for domestic use.

An important discovery involved the production of metals. They started working the copper, made by hitting it with stones, later using the bronze, much more resistant and with which they could make utensils such as Pamela-type arrowheads, tongue daggers and punches. To make these objects the bronze was melted and placed in molds with the shape of the object to be made.

Prehistoric remains are in different fields, among which the Canca Terraces, Cerro de las Torres, Peñón del Negro, Hoyo el Conde and the Cueva de los Infantes stand out. The types of materials found are household utensils and hunting tools.

2 Million Years BC to 700 BC

They were, the good climate, the fauna, the fertile land and the ease of communications, factors that gathered Álora and the entire Guadalhorce Valley so that excellent conditions were produced in the life of the prehistoric man.

The first settlers were hunter gatherers, highlighting the primary role that the Guadalhorce River would play, as a means of providing raw material in the manufacture of flint tools, to help with their tasks. They made several types of tools, hitting the flint until obtaining a sharp edge; the knives were used to cut meat and remove the skin of animals, since they were skilled hunters, and scrapers to tan the skins and make clothes.

The testimonies of these commercial activities appear in Álora on the Cerro de las Torres and in the Peñón de la Almona, in the form of pottery made around and with different types according to their usefulness, such as amphorae, bowls, pots, glasses.

When the fall of the Phoenician culture occurred, in the province of Malaga, the territory is divided, leaving them on the coast. Meanwhile, inside, the Iberian people settled in the highest areas of the territory.

In Álora, the Iberians located their town on Cerro de las Torres, where they found excellent defensive conditions to control the way of penetration of the Guadalhorce River. Very related to this town, there is an altar located on the slopes of Cerro de las Torres, which operated between the 3rd and 1st centuries BC, responding to the demand of the area, manufacturing decorated ceramics based on concentric circles of vinous red.

Finales S. VIII BC until the end of the 13th century BC

The Phoenicians founded a large number of colonies along the shores of the Mediterranean Sea. One of the factories that implanted the Phoenician settlers, settled at the mouth of the Guadalhorce River, being the primary objective of these, the exploitation of the minerals, although shortly thereafter they began to take advantage of the agricultural resources.

These facts produced the conditions of trade between the Phoenicians and the indigenous inhabitants of the Guadalhorce Valley were very good. 

The city was part of one of the commercial routes of the province, appearing numerous vestiges of coins throughout the municipality, as a result of commercial activity.

The city would be surrounded by numerous rustic villas, agricultural exploitation centers, in which the much appreciated Mediterranean trilogy was produced; Olive, vine and wheat. Examples of this type of villas are, Fuente Chamizo, Arroyo Cureña, El Tesorillo and Olivar de la Tumba, containing the latter, an infrastructure excavated in the rock that was used to extract oil.

Very important, was also the production of ceramics, in pottery located in the places near the communication routes. Some of the remains found are; Terra Sigillata and Terra Hispánica, Roman dinnerware with the seal of the potter who made it, amphorae and jugs for oil and wine.

Roman Era
S. II BC - S. V AD

Where is Iluro, the Roman Alora? There are several hypotheses about the location of the city of Iluro in the municipality. Some researchers do not hesitate to place the city of Iluro on the Hill of Towers, when a cistern and remains of Roman ashlars used for the construction of the Castle are found. While others place it in the Roman site of Canca, due to the appearance of monumental hot springs and because this is a large place with abundant water.

The truth is that according to epigraphic inscriptions, Iluro, had a municipal statute "Municipium Iluritanum" and was governed by two Duunviros.

The castle, the most important legacy left by the Arabs in Álora, is divided into two walled enclosures; the upper one, the base of the primitive fortress, is square with six towers. The inferior one, of irregular form, adapts to the relief by means of canvases of masonry wall. Between the two enclosures there is a square tower that must have been the Tower of the Candle of the castle, at whose feet was the greater mosque.

The fortress would be the central organ on which the different sites found in the municipality would depend such as, El Sabinar, El Castillejo, Paredones and Los Cerrajones. That is why, there are numerous coins found in its surroundings, due to the great commercial activity of Al-Andalus. It is also important to highlight the use of ditches and reservoirs for irrigation and water collection in citrus orchards, while the dry land cultivation was based on large areas of land, sown with wheat and olive trees.

Muslim era
S. IX to S. XV

The most obvious news about the Muslim troops that arrived for the first time in Álora, appear in some of the military campaigns that the Cordoba Caliphs carried out against Omar Ibn Hafsun, at the end of the ninth century and the beginning of the X.

Once the military bases were settled on the Hill of Towers, they occupied a magnificent position as a natural observatory over the entire region, acquiring an important strategic value in the process of arabization, manifested in the change of the Roman name Iluro to Al-Lura.

The population of Villavieja extended to outside the walls, building in the Lower Square of the Despedía, the buildings that make up the new population of the sixteenth, seventeenth and eighteenth centuries; Butcher, Jail, Cabildo House, Hospital and new Parish Church. In this same Plaza, during the reign of Felipe II, Cervantes was as a king's collector for seven years. In 1624 Felipe IV visits Álora and signs the Malaga Segregation Act. According to the cadastre of the Marquis de la Ensenada, year 1751, Álora had 500 neighbors.

The arrival of the nineteenth century is marked by the patriotism of the War of Independence, with bullet impacts remaining in the tower of the Church, when the commemorative plaque of the Constitution of the Cortes of Cádiz is demolished. An important change for the municipality, was the construction of the Casas-Hotelitos at the station, summer residence of the Loring, Heredia and Larios families of Malaga, this meant that in 1863, the section of the road linking Malaga with Álora was completed .

From the Reconquest to the Contemporary Era
From 1484 to the 19th century

Due to the impregnability of the Castle, there were several attempts at Christian conquest, being the best known, the one carried out in 1434 by the Adelantado de Andalucía, D. Diego de Ribera, who died at the foot of the wall. The troops of the Catholic Monarchs, placed the camp in the place that today occupies the Convent of the Flowers, leaving the fortress in Christian hands in the month of June 1484. After the conquest, Queen Elizabeth ordered the construction of the Church of Santa Maria of the Incarnation on Arab Mosque.

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