History - Castellar

History of Castellar

The first occupation of Castellar is thought to date somewhere between the Final Copper and Bronze Ages. An important archaeological site which has illuminated this history is the Iberian Sanctuary of Cueva de la Lobera and the surrounding Altos del Sotillo, where figurines known as “mingos” have been found, bronze votive offerings deposited in the two sanctuaries. These vary in form, from male and female devotees and priests to abstractions that are only subtly recognisable as human figures.

The former Roman presence is also notable, evidenced by the various roads that cross the district and the range of archaeological finds unearthed on sites such as ​​El Campillo, a suspected Roman city comprising several houses, streets, columns of a likely public building, capitals and a necropolis. Additional finds from the second to fourth centuries AD have been made in and around the Guadalimar River, such as the tombs of the Fulvios, ceramics and cists from a cemetery. Also of note are the very deep caves, seven tombs from the Argaric period, accompanied by human remains, pottery and axes. Villas such as Cortijo de la Parrilla and El Dorado also date from the Roman period. La Espinosa, or Consolación, was a town that existed from the Roman invasion and continued until the eighteenth century; it later disappeared when the farmers who had rented the land emigrated to Sierra Morena to benefit from the proclamation of Carlos III that offered land as property. Some remains of the tower from the end of the seventeenth century survive, surrounded by graves and an underground water tank.

Castellar was one of the first towns conquered by Fernando III from the Nasrids in 1226, although it suffered frequent incursions until the end of the Castilian re-conquest, which is evidenced by defensive remains. During the Middle and Modern Ages it was linked to the Casa de los Benavides who bequeathed the town a stately palace, the former Iglesia Colegiata de Santiago. Some conflicts arose between the towns of Castelllar, Navas de San Juan and Santisteban del Puerto that ended in 1978 with the “Escritura de Concordia”.

Castellar’s name appears documented for the first time in the poetry of the Muslim chronicler Darray al-Qastall at the beginning of the thirteenth century. The chronicle of Fernando III mentions a place conquered from the Muslims in 1225, which was called “El Castillo”; according to Don Juan de Dios González, this would have been the original name of Castellar, alluding to the Castle of Pallarés. Between the fifteenth and nineteenth centuries, the name was Castellar del Condado, due to its belonging to it. Around 1807, it acquired the name of Castellar de Santisteban until it was changed to the current name of Castellar in a plenary session on October 6, 1981.


Living in Andalucia