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Alhaurin de la Torre History

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Malaga guide > Malaga towns > Alhaurin de la Torre > History

Alhaurin de la Torre History

If you compare the present role of Alhaurin de la Torre with its role in the past, there is a striking similarity. Just like the Alhaurin de la Torre of today, this town was once used by Phoenicians, the oldest known formal settlers in the region, as a place of recidence.

Basically, the Phoenicians who built the oldest factories in Malaga and Cartama sometime in 1,000-800 B.C., chose to settle in the environs of Alhaurin de la Torre. The settlers were deeply involved in mining, and there are even remnants of extracted copper, lead, graphite and iron in the area.

When the Romans took over, they renamed the place to Lauro then Lauro Vetus. Uncovered artifacts indicate that the Roman settlers were involved in masonry. Other archaeological finds included coins, pottery, burial grounds, and mosaics.

Some historians believe this is the same place where fugitives from the epic Battle of Munda-Betic sought refuge and beheaded supporters of Julius Caesar. The Battle of Munda is believed to be the biggest battle Julius Caesar ever fought and won.

Like most of the towns in Malaga, Alhaurin de la Torre was once under Moslem rule. The Moors came in the 10th Century and in the centuries that followed, the places in which they dwelt prospered. Aside from their homes, the Moors built farmhouses, mosques and watchtowers (Torre is a Spanish word that means 'tower').

Remnants of a farmhouse and a nearby watchtower are among the scarce vestiges of the Moorish occupation.

In the late 1480's, Christian forces reconquered the region and gave the town its present name. Majority of the Moorish structures and architecture were demolished and replaced with Christian ones. Some of these structures remain standing up to this day.

One of them is the Iglesia de San Sebastian, which was built over a mosque (as was common practice in those days) in 1505. The church was destroyed by a strong earhquake in 1680. What you'll see these days is actually the reconstructed version.

It was during these years that many of the old fruit and citrus trees were planted. Mills for processing wheat and flour were also put up. In the farmlands, water was tapped from the nearby streams and canals were built to divert them.

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