Welcome to Motril History Museum, a walk through this gallery will let you discover Motril’s rich past and think over the future to come.
Former aspect of Garcés Family house, headquarters of Motril History Museum.
The importance of the building is related to its long history and important location. It was built at the end of the 17th century and it was part of the defensive system of the city. The house was a property of Garces family since the post-war years and it was purchased by the City Hall of Motril in order to be renovated and be adapted for the exhibition of Motril’s local history. Diseño: TECFORMA Traducción: Mª Teresa Moya Madrona
Letâ€™s start on the
Letâ€™s start the visit at the ground floor. Some historical characters of Motril history will welcome us in the house courtyard. The characters are: Queen Ceti Fatima La Horra, mother of King Boabdil, last Nasrid king of the Arab kingdom of Granada, she had different properties around Motril; Luis Antonio Belluga y Moncada, he was born in Motril and named cardinal by Pope Clement X in Rome; and Francisco Jose de Burgos, also born in Motril, who held important public office in Spain. The entrance to the temporal exhibition room is also in the courtyard. When you finish the visit, please come back to the courtyard and visit the room called Time and Territory (Tiempo y Territorio). This room will allow you to travel through different periods and places of Motril history. BEFORE GOING UP THE STAIRS On the first and second floors the history of Motril will be displayed according to ten periods or thematic axis. These periods do not refer to centuries, every axis coincides with important moments in the history of Motril. At the entrance to every floor there will be an orientation panel which will display the itinerary through the rooms and the most important aspects dealt with by each room.
Left (from top to bottom): 1) Francisco Javier de Burgos welcomes the visitor (main courtyard). 2) Start of the interactive module Time and Territory (main courtyard). 3) First floor guide map 4) General appearance of the introduction panels.
At the beginning of each new axis there will be a red panel containing a summary of the main events that occurred during a period, which will then be explained further with different written materials, pieces and audiovisuals. Also, inside the red panel will be a time scale where the main local events will be displayed in relation to global history. This will allow us to locate the historical events in a general context as well as being a perfect educational tool.
Right (From top to bottom): 1) Prehistory: replica of the pots found in Las Campanas cave. 2) Large showcase with different types of anphoras. 3) Misshapen anphora product of an inadequate oven firing. 4) Caliphate period cooking pot found in Maraute site.
The first five historical axis of this floor cover the period from prehistory to the first peak and decadence cycle of the sugar industry.
AXIS 1 El poblamiento antiguo. De la prehistoria a la romanización
The old settlement
From Prehistory to Romanization
The three panels situated over the showcases talk about the prehistory, the Phoenician and Roman civilization and the commerce among the Mediterranean, especially during the Roman period.
Salobreña and Almuñecar were the two main settlements. The Phoenicians visited different beaches in the coast in order to trade but Salobreña was the main population centre.
Prehistory (La prehistoria en la costa granadina). There is no evidence of prehistoric communities in the area but there have been important Neolithic findings in caves and sinks. It is important to point out that during this period the landscape was really different because the Guadalfeo river delta was a large bay. Therefore, the habitats were located more towards the inside, near the hills. A map of the coast displays all the prehistoric sites found in the region.
A map of the region shows the Roman and Phoenician sites.
During the Phoenician and Roman periods (Colonización fenicia y romana) the cities of
Maritime trade and anphoras (Las ánforas, testimonio del comercio Mediterráneo). The maritime trade of this period was based in an effective system of ports (Sexi and Sel) and anchorages. Many ships crashed or sank in the area that is why many of the remains come from the sea. Motril played an important role in producing anphoras during this period, basically these anphoras were used to keep salted food produced in Sexi (Almuñecar). Eight pottery ovens
have been found in the area. This is why many anphoras, or peaces of anphoras, are displayed in the showcases. SHOWCASES
Also on display are original pieces of pottery and replicas that were found in the Las Campanas Cave (between Calahona and Castell de Ferro). All the pieces belonging to the Phoenician and Roman periods are original. The most interesting pieces are the practically-intact anphoras found in the Alboran Sea and Torrenueva. The most unique pieces are the deformed pottery displayed in the cases. Some defects occurred during the firing process, the anphoras that came out wrong out of the oven were thrown away. AUDIOVISUAL
The audiovisual shows how the pottery was made, especially the hand-made pottery produced during the Neolithic period. The small pots that are shown in the audiovisual are like the ones displayed in the first showcase, these were made by a workshop that specializes in archaeological replicas. Next to the rail that overlooks the courtyard we find a lot dedicated to the archaeological remains found in an area called Maraute, in Torrenueva. This area was inhabited during two periods, under the Roman power it was called Paterna. Later, after few centuries of neglect, under the power of the Caliphate of Cordoba, it was called Batarna. In the showcase, one of the best pieces is a reconstructed cooking pot and the pieces of another that were found in an excavation in the Arab Batarna. In the lower part of the showcase are displayed the pieces belonging to the Roman period. Among them we can observe a tegula with a cat footprint.
AXIS 2 De Batarna a Mutrayil. Motril en la época nazarí
From Batarna to Mutrayil Motril during the Nasrid era
Follow the water that flows through the acequia, it will lead you to the beginning of the Nasrid era in Motril, the irrigation ditch was build during this period of agricultural spreading. PANELS
Motril was first inhabited in the 13th century, at the north of the irrigation ditch.
Una economía diversa en la alquería nazarí. The economy of the alqueria, a small rural village, was based on agriculture. Different crops were grown as well as plants with a high commercial value such as the sugar cane or the mulberry tree, used in the silk industry. The community was kept united thanks to the shared use of the ditch, which was always done by strict order, and the works of maintenance of the ditch. The Nasrid crown established a pact with the Genoese merchants that created a trade route that made possible the transportation of sugar, fruit and other products from the coast of Granada.
Replica of the oldest known document in which appears the Word Motril (Mutrayil).
Keen Aixa had different properties in the alqueria that she visited especially during summer. She usually stayed at el Castillejo, a defensive structure situated where the sanctuary of Virgen de la Cabeza is located today. SHOWCASES
The module where the audiovisual is projected contains two interesting documents: the first one, in the right, is an exact replica of the oldest known document containing the name of Motril (Mutrayil). It is a notarized document certifying the inheritance of a machinery used in the sugar production called aduana. The documents in the right are letters sent by Genoese merchants talking about the sugar of the coast of Granada. In the showcase, next to the seat, a collection of Arab pottery belonging to the Nasrid and Caliphate periods are exhibited. Also, there is an explanation about the most common techniques of pottery decoration.
Showcase with fragments of Caliphate and Nasrid Muslim pottery.
Replica of the Italian documents that deal with the commerce in the coast of Granada during the 14th century.
It is focused on the urban evolution of the alquerĂa of Mutrayil from its beginning to the end of 15th century. The virtual animation shows how the streets were organized and how the neighbourhoods grew. The location of the towers, baths and mosques correspond with the historical documents that have passed down to our days.
AXIS 3 La dif铆cil convivencia. De las Capitulaciones de la Costa a la expulsi贸n de los moriscos
Dificult coexistence Coast Capitulations and expulsion
In this room we are entering the time when the conquest Arab community and the Christian new settlers had to coexist. Since 1489 until the final expulsion of the Moriscos (Muslim converts to Christianity) in 1570 Motril experienced a period of transformation in society, urbanism and economics. AUDIOVISUAL
The audiovisual, located on the first module after the orientation panel, presents this period of coexistence. The protagonist is a Moorish girl who has been expelled from Motril to Castile. She recalls her life in Motril and tells us, from the point of view of those who lost, how the life of the Moorish was during those 70 years. PANELS
Una nueva jerarquía urbana: el solar de la villa y los arrabales. Once the new government was established and the Council was in charge of the city, the transformation of the alqueria began. A new urban hierarchy was created: the houses of the town and the suburbs. The town developed around the Church of La Encarnacion and Plaza de España square. The most important buildings are built here as well as the new houses of the old Christians. A wall was built to defend the center of Motril from pirate attacks separating the town in two different areas. La reordenación de los recursos y la economía. The reorganization of the resources and the economy caused the transformation of the land, its ownership and use. The land and property abandoned by the fled population was divided among 115 old Christians in 1510. The vast majority of new settlers were military men, this was a strategy intended to alleviate the deficit of coastal defence system. SHOWCASES
The module where the audiovisual is projected contains very important documents for Motril history. On the left, there is a replica of the Coast Capitulations,
From top to bottom: 1) Original letter to King Charles V which provides information about pirate attacks and asks the King to consider the construction of a wall in Motril. 2) Oldest preserved map of Plaza de España square of Motril. Late 17th century.
from 1500. The original is in the Archives of the Royal Chancery. This is the document that establishes the obligation to convert to Christianity and abandon the Muslim customs. Council, a new model of local government, was created. To the right, there is an original letter to King Charles V which provides information about pirate attacks and asks the King to consider the construction of a wall. In 1526, Charles V ordered and gave money for the constraction of a wall in Motril. The second case depicts some original documents, a transcript of the first ordinances of the irrigation ditch and a document attesting the transfer of the property that belonged to the expelled Moors to Christian hands.
Carchuna Castle was part of the defense structures built under Charles II orders.
AXIS 4 La defensa de la costa. La amenaza de enemigos, piratas y corsarios entre los siglos XV y el XVIII
The defense of the coast The threat of enemies, pirates and corsairs between 15th and 17th centuries
Motril and the entire region border with the sea. Therefore, monitoring the coastline was always a necessity, especially after the conquest of Castile. The pirate attacks ended during the reign of Charles III thanks to his defence policy.
The panels show the defence systems of the coast of Motril at different times and describe the main defence structures used throughout the centuries. The first panel (Las estructuras defensivas de la costa en 茅poca musulmana) defines the structures used during the Muslim period, it describes the distribution of towers and watchtowers. The second panel (La defensa de la costa en los siglos XVI y XVII) deals with the 16th and 17th centuries and the last one, called The Illustration defense policy (El fin a un problema hist贸rico: la pol铆tica defensiva de la ilustraci贸n) explains how in the 18th century, during the reign of Charles III, a new defense system was created based on lookout towers. Towers with two cannons and forts with battery bastions scattered throughout the Mediterranean coast finally resolved the problem of pirate attacks. Likewise, the second major
Original copy of Charles III Rules, from which he organized the different military classes appointed to defense the coast. It is located in the last showcase of the Axis.
contribution of Charles III Rules was to create new forces responsible for coastal defence. AUDIOVISUAL
Unlike the panels that show the defence at the coastline, the audiovisual explains the structures that were built to defend the city, especially the church and the wall, which suffered continuous changes throughout the 16th century before finally becoming a fortress.
The first showcase (to the left of the audiovisual) contains two pottery pieces used by the men who took charge of the defense in the tower of La Rijana (a small beach between Calahonda and Castell).
In the second showcase there is an original document called Rules of Carlos III to defend the coast and other documents containing details on the equipment that different castles and towers had. There is also curious text written by a soldier in the castle of Carchuna in which he tells how a ship The audiovisual recreates is sighted with Spanish flag a virtual image of the and when the wind veers church and wall based to the east and the ship in known historical data. is in front of the tower of In the top left corner of Calahonda (at a shooting the screen there is a map distance) it changes the displaying the state of the Spanish flag for the English church and wall in current and starts shooting. planning. Virtual simulation of the Encarnacion Church (around 1570).
AXIS 5 Cuando Motril era azúcar. Auge y caída de la ciudad en los siglos XVII–XVIII
When Motril was made of sugar
Rise and fall of the city during 17th and 18th centuries
During the 17th century Motril suffered a property restructuration and a change in the agricultural landscape due to the expansion of the sugar industry. Motril lowlands were covered by sugar canes, sugar production generates wealth and the city is transformed. However, a severe economical crisis at the end of the century led to the end of the sugar boom.
Top: Illustration of a 17th century cane sugar mill. Right: Axis 5 audiovisual is dedicated to the urban planning changes occurred during the 16th and 17th centuries.
La dependencia del azúcar. During this period of sugar dependence, the abundance of cultivated lands and the development of sugar mills exponentially increased sugar production. Large landowners used to live outside of Motril and the oligarchy had owner of the means of production, the Council seats, and therefore, the control of water sources. The great influence of the rich oligarchy, achieved giving the title of “City” by Philip IV to Mortil in 1657. For the best part of the century the economy was prosperous, the city grew and many noble buildings were built. However, at the end of the century due to a combination of disasters and environmental changes, the crops were lost. Motril entered the dark years (Los años oscuros), besides, a plague infected the population and killed many of the inhabitants.
The audiovisual explains the change in urban design from the Modern Age to the early 18th century. The 3D recreation shows the growth of the city and reveals the way Plaza de España square and the church of Encarnacion were at that time. It also shows the location of the main civil and religious buildings of the 16th, 17th and early 18th centuries.
From top to bottom: 1) Replica of the title of “City” granted to Motril. Located in the showcase to the left from the projection screen. 2) Reconstructed pieces used in the sugar production: “bread” or sugar shapes and bottles.
The first showcase, at the beginning of this axis, displays the reconstruction of a few pieces that were used as molds to make sugar. The panel above the showcase explains this process. In the small showcases to the both sides of the audiovisual very important documents for the History of Motril are exhibited. The document with which to Philip IV granted Motril the title of “City” in 1657 (the original is preserved in the city archives)
and the first book of Motril History, manuscript work by Tomás Aquinas y Mercado (the original is in the National Library in the rare books section). We leave the first floor with Motril plunged in misery, devastated croplands, reduced population, sickness and hunger… But the story is not over, and the History always finds new paths to get out of the crisis. Let’s discover these new paths in the second floor.
SECOND FLOOR The direction of the tour in this floor will be the opposed to the other floors. At the end of the stairs we will see the introduction panel that will lead us to the right, where we will find the exhibition.
AXIS 6 La búsqueda de nuevos caminos. Del final de una época agonizante al inicio de la edad contemporánea
Finding new ways
From the end of a crumbling era to the beginning of the Modern Age.
A new cycle in our history marked the beginning of a new period. The economic recovery took place thanks to the cultivation of cotton. From a political and ideological point of view this period will shift from Enlightenment, and its attempt to modernize the country, through the Napoleonic invasion to the restitution of absolutism with Ferdinand VII. PANELS
The title of the two large panels above both showcases is: New vocations for a weary land (Nuevas vocaciones para unas tierras cansadas) After the severe sugar crisis, people started to experiment and seek new agricultural products; finally cotton covered the lowlands and saved the socioeconomic situation.
General appearance of the entrance to the first room in the second floor. At the end of the room there is a large painting that represents a scene of the Spanish Independence War in Motril.
The Enlightenment in Motril (La Ilustración en Motril). This panel explains how the modernization designed by Charles III changed the area of Motril. On the one hand he put an end to the pirate attacks thanks to a new defence system which brought peace to Motril. On the other hand the
Documents exhibited in showcases. To the left, there is a document written in French related to the cotton commerce and to the right, there are the original statutes of Motril’s Society of Friends of the Country.
Appearance of the panel dedicated to two characters of that time: Cardenal Belluga and “la Caramba”.
Economic Societies of Friends of the Country were created both in Almuñecar and Motril. These societies were intellectual instruments of the King’s policies. The panel called The end of the old regime (El fin del antiguo régimen) reflects the effects that Napoleon’s invasion had in Motril and the following War for Independence. Although the Modern age started in Europe after the French Revolution, Spain saw a return to absolutism after the Napoleonic invasion, under Ferdinand VII. Axis 6 finishes when Elizabeth II ascended the throne and this political model was finally come to an end. PLASTIC WORK
A large picture represents a historical scene that took place during the War for Independence in Motril: the capture of the wife and daughter of the mayor of the village of Otívar (“Uncle Charity”) by the French troops to secure the surrender of the famous warrior.
Among the pieces, in the large showcases, we have some important documents, such as the statutes of the Society of Friends of Motril, a document of tax payment to the court of the Inquisition and documents that certify the existing cotton trade and relations between Motril and the Catalan textile industry. The last showcase (the one inserted into the wall) and the panel just above it, introduces to some famous characters born in Motril during this period. Two very different characters are: first, La Caramba, an artist who acquired great reputation in Madrid singing copla (popular folk song); and second, Cardinal Belluga, which had an important ecclesiastical career in Spain and Rome. Among the exhibited pieces there are objects associated with our characters, such as some scores belonging to La Caramba or a book that contains documents collected by Cardinal Belluga and his family.
AXIS 7 La era industrial del azĂşcar. Un nuevo esplendor en el siglo de las revoluciones
The industrial era of sugar production Glory during a century of revolutions
Axis 7 presents a period dedicated to the sugar industry. To the left there are three backlit panels that introduce leading characters of Motril. Please, after visiting axis 7 continue the visit to the right.
Appearance of the backlit panels located in the entrance of Axis 7 that contain biographical notes of distinguished citizens of Motril (19th century).
The first one is dedicated to Francisco Javier de Burgos. His main contribution to history was his work on the senior management of the state. He was responsible for the current division of the provinces of Spain. The second character is Díaz Moreu Admiral, he fought in the war of Cuba and was the one to bring King Amadeus of Savoy from Italy. In the last panel one of the main characters is Ramon de la Sagra, he was not born in Motril but made a great contribution to its history because he was the one who brought the technology for industrial production of sugar from Cuba. PANELS
The two panels called The Steam Revolution and A New Sugar Industry (La revolución del vapor y La nueva industria azucarera en Motril) display the development of the sugar industry on the coast of Granada, how the industrialization got started and how it grew until finally entering a new period of crisis. In few years the coast of Granada developed to the point of having twelve sugar factories. Wealth flowed again and the city grew as the population increased during the sugar boom. After watching the audiovisual we may continue the visit to the dividing zone where there is one more panel next to the backlit panels and a showcase. The panel narrates the curious story of the Independent Republic of Motril (República Independiente de Motril) which lasted three days and was proclaimed during the outbreak of the Cantonalist movement. These facts are framed in the difficult and changing political situation that Spain suffered during the second half of the 19th century. Some documents from the council prove the story. AUDIOVISUAL
The audiovisual brings usr back to the urban transformation of Motril, this time marked by the installation of sugar mills and the peripheral growth related to the growth of working-class neighbourhoods.
From top to bottom: 1) Showcase depicting documents related to sugar factories and the main production families.. 2) Showcase depicting various political newspapers and documents (first half of 19th century).
The first case (located to the right), includes documents about sugar refineries and to the families related to the sugar industry. Both, objects and the panel depict the bourgeoisie lifestyle of that time. The second case (located at the end of AXIS 7) contains documents reflecting the relations between the press and local politics in the second half of the nineteenth century. The panel on the showcase contains a list of newspapers that appeared and disappeared in those years. In the upper corner of the cabinet we can seesome books and a photo of Eduardo Cazorla Trujillo, who founded the Technical Institute of Motril, and his first students. The psychology books are works written in German and translated by him.
AXIS 8 De la crisis social del azúcar a la guerra civil
From the sugar social crisis to the civil war The second high peak of the sugar industry will end between the late 19th and early 20th centuries. This axis analyzes the causes of industrial production of sugar being declined. During this period the coast communications were modernized. PANELES
A first panel entitled, Sugar, the farewell (Azúcar, El último adiós) shows how the sugar industry declined through the years. One of the reasons of for the decrease in sugar production, in Spain and throughout Europe, was a new way to produce sugar out of sugar beet, which was cheaper. Sugar prices dropped and the owners began to pay less to the cane growers until many people were forced to live in poverty and starvation. The Sugar General Society of Spain created a sugar monopoly, by acquiring and closing most of the cane sugar factories. In Motril only the Pilar factory remained because they cooperated with other small sugar factories that grinded the canes of the owners who were, at the same time, the landlords. Motril sugar production still had some recoveries before the Civil War, especially with the introduction of new varieties of cane, but it was never again like the “white gold” days of Motril. A second panel entitled The Century of Communications (El siglo de las comunicaciones) focuses on the development of important public works to improve communications. These works partially helped to offset the unemployment caused by the demise of the sugar industry. The port of Motril and an air cable (meant for goods transportation) connecting Durcal and the port were also built during the first three decades of the 20th century. Also, the drains were started, roads were made and a bridge was constructed over the Guadalfeo river.
Second half of 19th century household items
The showcase displays, among otherthings, a document on the railway project, with a railway being promised, but never actually built. Some newspapers and pamphlets talk about the political instability of the time. In the lower part there are more pieces related to cultural life and entertainment like some theater brochures from Calderon Theatre and from Vi単as Coliseum. The panel above the showcase explains how the social life and festivities were of both popular and upper classes. The showcase located between two panels houses a coffee roaster, a wine press and a grinder from the mid-nineteenth century. The cash register comes from to the beginning of the 20th century.
One of the first modern cash registers that were brought to Motril, the branch is called National.
Axis 8 Showcase contains different documents and projects (20th century). At the bottom stands out a hygrometer and some materials related to the theater of this time.
AXIS 9 Tres años de guerra y una vida de recuerdos. La Guerra Civil y los años de postguerra en Motril
Three years of war and a life full of memories
The Spanish Civil War and the post-war years
This zone is dedicated to the Civil War in Motril and the years after the war. PANELS
At the beginning of this axis we have, as always, the introductory panel. The contents are further developed in other horizontal panels located above the showcases. The first has two different parts with the following titles: War under Republican Rule (La guerra bajo el dominio republicano) and From the Entry of Franco’s Troops until the end of the War (De la entrada de las tropas franquistas al final de la guerra). The first one summarizes the events that took place in the early months of war since the military uprising in July 1936 to February 1937, during these months Motril was under republican rule. The second part of the panel, deals with the period of war following the entry of troops into Motril, which triggered the escape of a part of the population. Finally, the panel to the right talks about The Hard Years after the War (Los duros años de la posguerra), years of hunger, a lack of resources, food rationing, black market and censorship.
From left to right: 1) Audiovisual film about Motrilâ€™s Civil War testimonies and memories. 2) War and post-war documents and objects.
The most interesting part of this axis is the audiovisual. It has been made thanks to the testimony of people from Motril who lived during the war and postwar years and shared their memories in this unique document of historical memory.
The first showcase contains the messages that both factions left during the first year of war. In the showcase located in the middle there is some military equipment used during the war. The topic of the third case is the post-war period and it contains documents about new cooperatives, new projects and objects of the Falange, who influenced the everyday life of people at that time.
AXIS 10 Un cambio de rumbo: Motril hacia el futuro. El abandono del modelo agrícola tradicional y los nuevos caminos del siglo XXI
A change of direction: the future of Motril
The abandonment of traditional agricultural practices and the new ways of 21st century
The last space in the museum is located next to the magnificent brick arches of the old building which illuminates the entire space; the light of this room also represent that we are in the present walking towards the future. The 50s, a period of time witnesed by the majority of current population of the city, brought to Motril a period of overcoming the post-war depression and an economic diversification. At the end we will speculate on what history has taught us, the audiovisual asks questions about the future we must build together.
NODO was a state-controlled series of cinema newsreels produced in Spain during the 50s, 60s and 70s, these small documentaries were projected in theatres before the films were showing and contained propaganda of the progress made in the country under the dictatorship. The audiovisual includes all the NODO scenes filmed in Granada’s coast and focuses primarily on the beginning of tourism in the Costa Tropical. PANELS
A change in society (El cambio de una sociedad) is the only panel of this axis and explains the steps leading to the city’s transformation from an economy which was mainly based in agriculture into a city of services located at the top of the region. The 70s led to a major urban transformation. Traditional houses were destroyed and the noble buildings were replaced by urban typologies
that dominate during that time: large blocks of flats. The new use of property led to the partial occupation of the lowlands and the reduction of valuable natural resources. To close the visit, a photography mural shows some images of the most significant events occurred from the 50s to the 90s. AUDIOVISUAL
Finally, the audiovisual, located before the end of the room, raises several hypotheses about the future. Some economic experts and specialists in the coast dynamics discuss how Motril will evolve depending on the paths that the society follows. In a close-up position we find the last showcase of the museum containing household items (second half of the 20th century). In the middle of the room there is a photography mural that depicts Motrilâ€™s evolution starting from the 60s up to the 90s.