Visit to Alcalá de Guadaíra

Tuesday, June 25th 2019: 19:30-22.30/23:00: Entrance of the Hotel Silken Al Andalus

Prize: 15 € (for transport – payable at the registration, guide is provided by the city of Alcalá de Guadaíra, food not included)

A bit of history: Alcalá de Guadaíra and its mills:

One of the landmarks of Alcala de Guadaíra, in the southeast of Seville on the shore the River Guadaíra (ca. 17 km) are the remains of a Moorish castle at the Southwest entrance of the city. Alcalá’s Castle is the result of almost 4,500 years of human history.  The older archaeological findings are from the Bronze Age (2000 BC), when a small walled village settled down on the East edge of the Hill below the present castle. The romans funded the castle, which under the Almohads was expended to a huger fortress, which gave the town its name: (Al-Qalat: Arabic, the castle).  With its importance as entrance to Seville, it became one of the biggest fortresses of Andalusia. However, King Ferdinand III had no problems to conquer it in 1246 and use it for its Reconquista. By the end of the 13th century XIII, Alcalá became part of the inner line of the «Moorish Belt» set of fortifications, frontier area between the Kingdom of Seville and the Kingdom of Granada.

Later, Alcalá lost its strategic importance, but fortified its economic significance as bread producer and provider for the Metropole of Seville. This was possible due to the numerous mills along the river, some of which were already built during the Moorish time, which is also indicated by their Arabic names. Actually, it is very likely that mills were already present during roman time. Based on its importance for Bread production, the city of Alcalá de Guadaíra is also known as “Alcalá de los panaderos” (Alcalá of the backers) and its inhabitants as “Panaderos/Panaderas”.

The tour:

After arriving at the Hotel Oromana, a building of Regionalist style, built by the Sevillian architect Juan de Talavera by the end of the 1920s, because of the Latin-American Exposition of Seville. His architecture reminds us the typical haciendas or Andalusian cortijos (country estates with houses). This spot offers beautiful panoramic views of the River Guadaíra and the mills on its banks.

From there, we will walk down to the river banks through the greens and shadows of the “Parque Oromana” passing several mills, the history of which will be explained by a local guide. The tour along the river will end at the historic “Harinera” close to the “Feira” place.

After a short break in a local restaurant, the excursion continues with a stop at the Castillo, from which you can enjoy great views over Alcala de Guadaira and the landscape until Sevilla.

The bus will pick you up around 22:30 and bring you back to the hotel around 23:00.