Our route begins at San Francisco Park. We will cross it completely until reaching San Juan Park where we will be able to see the mills of San Juan and Benarosa.
If we have gone up to the Benarosa mill we should move back and get out of San Juan Park to get to the fairground, and so reaching the Cercadillos track that will take us to the Aceña Mill.
If we go ahead by the same track that joins up with the Marchenilla one, we will find our last stop, Marchenilla's Castle.
|What do I need to know?|
|Parking||Parking of the Rotonda del Pan, San Francisco Street|
|Bus Stop||Line C urban buses. Tren de los Panaderos Ave.|
|Nearest Café||La Centenaria C/ Ntra. Sra. del Águila (C/La Mina)|
|Description of the route on foot||Tren de los Panaderos Ave., San Francisco Park.|
San Francisco (Saint Francis') Park is in the right bank of the river. It has been reconstructed recently. It is a good option to end the route and rest peacefully in a natural space of great beauty.
It was formerly one orchard of Saint Francis Monastery, placed where nowadays San Francisco's tower of flats is located.
There was also the mill of the same name that was of the brook type and was built in 1605. It was a small mill that had only one socket or pail that was used for the supply of the monastery. At present, and although it has been reformed recently, the remains of that orchard are still located at the sour orange trees that are still left and that were very well valued in confectioneries.
San Francisco Park has a great variety of trees species from different parts of the world as Pines, Judas trees, Jacarandas, Palm trees, Mexican Palos Verdes, Peruvian Pepper, Acacias, Bougainvilleas... making up authentic botanical gardens.
The park of San Juan is, as San Francisco's, at the right bank of the river. From this point we will have some spectacular views of the surroundings of the Guadaíra sprinkled by mills as the ones of San Juan or Benarosa.
In the park of San Juan we will find San Juan Mill and Benarosa Mill.
The San Juan Mill is a river mill, that is, it is the power of the river water the one that makes the mill machinery move. Its name is due to its former belonging to the Military Order of Saint John from Tocina, being the Mill granted to them after the conquest of Alcalá as a payment for its participation in helping the Christian Conquer.
The present-day building is the result from the transformations of the original medieval mill between the 17th and 20th centuries, so there is little left from the original.
Looking from outside a hip roof is preserved, as well as a large grinding room. An important dam makes possible that the river water is directed towards its three pipes that reach the millstones.
Benarosa's Mill is also a river mill. Its origin dates back from at least the Almohad Period, since it was already mentioned when Seville was distributed in 1252. In 1999 it was restored by the Alcalá's Town Council.
It is made up by a tower and two buildings of rectangular floor-plan with gabled roof, attached to the tower and set perpendicularly between them. The building connected to the weir has in its basement channels or pipes for water aimed to other hydraulic wheels, whereas at the ground floor the millstones to grind wheat were placed.
This mill is in the right bank of the river Guadaíra. Its name (aceña, watermill) is a generic one and there is no other historic reference that indicated us where does the name come from. It has an interesting architecture than although resembling that of the mills of the Guadaíra banks, is a bit special.
Regarding its architecture, it is made in brick; it has a tower with battlements of two bodies and a building completely covered by a barrel vault. The first body of the tower is made up by a square space closed by a dome. In the second body we put highlight its battlemented terrace roof.
In the building we can find four pairs of millstones and outside we can see the 30 metres long and 5 metres wide weir, with a dam, in addition to a dock.
It is believed that the older part of the mill, that can still be recognized, could have been built in the Late Middle Ages, giving Mudejar features to the mill that are still preserved.
The Monastery of Santa María de las Cuevas was the owner of this mill during the whole Middle Ages.
A glazed tile on the façade indicates us the place where water reached the highest point in 1783, in one of the worst floods of the river.
Marchenilla's Castle is located in the district of Alcalá, on a little hill, close of the road between Seville and Morón. The building construction was carried out along several periods and around it some archaeological remains have been found; they indicate us that there has been continuity in the occupation of the territory throughout History.
The castle is placed on one strategic defensive point on the road between Morón and Seville. As we said before, the building set was made along different periods. The oldest part corresponds to the present-day residence zone. It has trapezoidal floor-plan and is attached to the tower of keep, which had a double use, military and representative of the feudal fortresses. In its inside it has two chambers covered by pendentive domes. The lower part is decorated with glazed tiles of geometric designs and plaster mouldings from the Late Gothic period.
When the Velasco family became the castle's owner in the second half of the 15th century, a second enclosure with cylindrical towers in the vertexes is added.
There is evidence that makes us suppose that the building was heavily affected by the Lisbon earthquake in the 18th century, so the private part of the castle were left in bad condition; this is the cause of the re-construction of the buildings used as house, granary and chapel.
Visiting hours are: Saturday from 10:00 to 14:00 and 16:00 to 18:00 h