Mojacar

Review of Mojacar, a historic town in the Costa Almeria region.

Costa Almeria Towns - Mojacar

This spectacular Moorish fortress village stands on a towering crag overlooking a shore graced by pristine beaches and the sparkling waters of the Mediterranean. Mojacar (Mojacár) has been populated since the bronze-age around 2000 BC, traders such as Phoenicians and Carthaginians arrived to serve the growing communities.

The North African moors established themselves in Spain in the early VIII century and the province of Almería became under the authority of the Caliphate of Damascus and later ruled from Cordoba. Under this second enlightened rule, Mojacar quickly grew in size and importance. With the coronation of Mohammed 1st in Granada, Mojacar and its lands became incorporated into the Nazari sultanate, and the town found itself on the frontier with the Christian forces to the east. Watchtowers and fortresses were built or re-enforced during the XIV century, which nevertheless did little to discourage Christian incursions and fierce battles like the bloody event of 1435 where much of the population of Mojacar was put to the sword.

On June 10th, 1488, the leaders of the region agreed to submit to the Christian forces. It was at this time that the well-known meeting at Mojacar’s Moorish fountain, where a pact of free association between the local Moors, Jews and Christians was agreed to. Mojacar once again began to expand until the early XVIII century, when the census of the time recorded 10,000 people. Around the middle of the XIX century, Mojacar began another period of decline, believed to have been brought about by severe drought in the region.

Today, Mojacar in Almería remains loyal to the past with architecture, the whitewashed houses and the openness of the people, who inherited the ways of understanding and sympathy from their forbearers. Perhaps one result of this continuous mixing of cultures and religions is the ‘indalo’ or ‘Mojacar man’ a figure that resembles a man holding a rainbow between his outstretched arms. This magical totem brings protection and good luck and was always painted on the fronts of houses once the whitewash was dry to keep away the ‘evil eye’ and protect the inhabitants from storms.

The original totem is thought to be around 4,500 years old and the earliest known one appears among other prehistoric paintings in a cave in Velez Blanco. The name, indalo however, is recent and was coined by a group of artists and intellectuals who settled in Mojacar in the early sixties attracted by the magic and bewitchment of the village and the fact that the Mayor was giving away land to anyone who promised to build on it to attract people to the area, as many of the inhabitants had moved north to find work in the factories of the Barcelona region.

With its privileged location, perched on the lower slopes of the Sierra Cabrera mountains, overlooking the coastline of the Costa de Almería, Mojacar is visible from miles away; distinctive whitewashed sugar cube houses stacked one upon another separated by twisting cobbled streets, winding steps and old arches. Restaurants, bars and craft shops lay waiting to be discovered along with the hospitality of the friendly locals.

Mainstream tourists and holiday-makers are attracted by the beauty and charm of the place. The atmosphere, once considered bohemian, is now more cosmopolitan with many people bringing their culture and talents back to work and live in area.

Article provided by kind permission of The Leader Newspaper.

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Mojacar Links: Mojacar Weather - Mojacar Map - Mojacar Indalo Hotel

Mojacar Hotels: Mojacar Indalo Hotel - Oasis Mojacar

Mojacar Golf: Marina Golf Mojacar

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