Turismo de Alcalá de Guadaíra

Town and countryside in the Modern Age


From the 16th century on, Alcalá of Guadaíra undergoes an important transformation. The medieval within the walls village (Santa María's and San Miguel's neighbourhoods) spreads outside the walls, whereas former collaciones will be progressively abandoned. Why does this happen? The main cause would be the isolation the walls provided to the village, and that they also made communications and supplies from outer areas difficult. You can also add to all this several epidemic outbreaks that would end up emptying Santa María and shortly afterwards San Miguel.

Landscape from the Castle's Hill
Landscape from the Castle's Hill

The village abandonment takes place in parallel with the Castle's. Although Alcalá fortress kept on having constables appointed by the Town Council of Seville, the Castle was already partially abandoned in the 17th century, coming in from that moment on in an accelerated process of collapse.

From the 16th century on, new neighbourhoods would form today's Alcalá's core. From this time on, most of the new settlements take place at relatively lower zones, next to the communication roads with Seville, the Campiña and the rest of Los Alcores. One of the first neighbourhoods outside the walls would be the Santiago's, in the eastern side of the Castle's Hill. Other developments of this period are San Mateo and San Sebastián's zones, more distant.

Bakers Waiting for the Train
Bakers Waiting for the Train

By the end of the Modern Age, the disperse cores of Alcalá's population would join together in order to make up the historic quarter of the town, placed along the communication road with Mairena del Alcor. Around the town there was a crown of orchards that would be progressively built-up along the 19th century as a previous step to Alcalá's development at the beginning of the 20th century.

Along the 19th century, Alcalá de Guadaíra would get consolidated as an agro-town of the Sevillian outskirts, with an important role in the agricultural supply to the capital. This economic development is related to the importance of the olives and cereals farm estates placed on Alcalá's district, originated between Middle Ages and the 18th century. The transforming industry importance was also kept, focused on flour and bread production. This is the time when Alcalá's baker industry experiences its highest development, with many tahonas (bakeries) registered within the urban area. New mills by surrounding streams add up to those that existed previously by the River Guadaíra's course: Marchenilla and Gandul Mills, La Tapada and Oromana Mills, etc.

A key factor in the development of this industry and its marketing was the arrival of the train to Alcalá in 1873, which would become known as "Bakers' Train" along the 20th century.

Our Mills

Take a walk by our mills, know the baking past of our town, and the unique heritage our river saves.

The Castle Route

Accessing our town's medieval fortified complex is the starting point to know the history of Alcalá.
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Ayuntamiento de Alcalá de Guadaíra (www.ciudadalcala.org)