History of Chilluévar


The oldest testimonies found in the area of Chilluévar date back to the time of the Iberians, in the village of Las Almansas, and to Roman times, when it was densely occupied with rustic villas. A set of funerary inscriptions are preserved in the Provincial Museum from this time.

In the Muslim period, Chilluévar was identified with Alcoray, a town mentioned for the first time in 1256, and may be the Alcorahe cited in 1384 in a document of King Juan I.

The promotion and consolidation of the nucleus of Chilluévar began in 1231, the date on which these lands became part of the Adelantamiento de Cazorla, patrimony of the Archbishopric of Toledo. Two circumstances contributed to the flourishing of this village, on one hand the works promoted by the Cardinal of Toledo, Don Rodrigo Ximénez de Rada, in his eagerness to spread the new Christian faith in the lands conquered from the Muslims and on the other, the transfer of cattle ranchers, as Chilluévar is located on the old drovers road across rights of way owned by the Mesta (powerful sheep owners’ association), that linked Jaén and the Levante (the eastern region of the Iberian Peninsula, on the Spanish Mediterranean coast). In ‘Chilluévar la Vieja’, as the primitive site is known today, a chapel, an inn, a cemetery, and a pool were built. Ranchers, pilgrims, and merchants visited the chapel, found rest in inns and pensions, and watered the cattle.

The disappearance of La Mesta (powerful sheep owners’ association), and the transhumance meant the progressive decline and marginalisation of this primitive nucleus, but not that of the town that at the end of the eighteenth century consecrated a new parish church in the place known as ‘Chilluévar Nuevo’, a quarter of a league away from the old chapel. In 1787, the village received the title of Villa at the request of Cardinal Lorenzana, a title that, although it did not signify any kind of independence, endorsed its recognition as a population centre.

In the nineteenth century and after the confiscations (Spanish government's seizure and sale of property), large estates were created in the area. One of the new owners, Don Manuel Gómez Calderón, owner of the Duende with 100 hectares and the Lancha del Molino with 150 hectares, was the architect of the idea of building a nucleus in the place where the town currently stands.

Don Manuel Gómez Calderón, a native of Roquetas (Almería) and father of the Gómez Sigura brothers, writers and politicians, established and settled Almería immigrants from La Iruela and Cazorla. Don Gómez Calderón, undisputed benefactor of these people, handed over plots of ‘his’ village to them, where they built adobe (clay) and mud huts. Between 1840 and 1850, land was allotted to individuals, small plots, or plots of seven varas de frente (an old form of measurement) by 14 varas de fondo, plus another plot of arable land for agricultural use, its size determined proportional to the number of the settler’s children.

The beginning of the twentieth century were marked by the long process of segregation of Chilluévar from the municipality of La Iruela, which culminated on 14th December 1926, with the municipal independence of the former.


Living in Andalucia