Surface Area: 74.2 square kilometres
What the natives are called: Mollinatos
Outstanding Sights: Castellum de Santillán archaeological site, La Ascensión convent, Nuestra Señora de la Oliva parish church
Geographical Location: in the Antequera region, 16 kilometres from that city and 60 from the provincial capital. The village is 480 metres above sea level, the average annual rainfall is 500 litres per square metre and the average temperature is 15.5º C.
A large part of Antequera’s extensive territory might be considered the opposite of the rest of the province of Málaga. The landscape seems exhausted by the rugged topography of great heights and profound depths, generated by the endless mountain chains, and gives the impression of taking a rest and unexpectedly lying down in these lands, which exhibit the least broken terrain in the entire province of Málaga.
The municipality of Mollina spreads across these plains. Its only appreciable contrast in elevation comes from the mountain range of the same name, which is of such modest height that it would go unnoticed in most Málaga villages. Mollina’s land is therefore suitable for grain fields and olive groves, and also for several decades now its vineyards have produced vintages of such acknowledged quality that they have earned the designation "Denominación de Origen" and provided a powerful economic impetus to the area.
The first humans in what is now the municipality of Mollina settled here in the Neolithic period, in some caves in the La Camorra range only six kilometres from the present village. Ceramic relics and a number of cave outline drawings attest to this. There are no later traces until the arrival of the Romans, who left a generous sample of their culture in the area.
The origins of the modern village date back to the sixteenth century, when in 1575 the Village Council of Antequera distributed the lands of the so-called Cortijo de la Ciudad (Farm of the City). Its urban plan, modified in the seventeenth century, can still be seen in the Plaza de la Constitución. The village developed at such an economic and demographic pace that in less than a century Mollina became the area with the largest number of olive trees in the Antequera region, and for a period this territory was even called "Pago de las Olivas" (the plot where olives grow), and what had been the San Cayetano parish church changed its name to Nuestra Señora de la Oliva (Our Lady of the Olive).
The locality became independent of Antequera in the first years of the nineteenth century, at a time when the economic situation was not the best for forming its own municipal government and at a time of social unrest caused by the massive participation by residents of Mollina in a secret society called the Garibaldinos. It appears that the events known as the Loja Revolution of 1861 had their genesis in Mollina, where there were a number of people killed or wounded.
Beginning in the second half of the twentieth century Mollina, like so many other villages in the province, suffered the consequences of emigration The population went from slightly more than 5,000 in the census of 1956 to 2,800 two decades later. Fortunately, the associative movement experienced surprising growth in later years, so that in a short time the municipality changed from an olive-producing to a grape-producing area, and now produces 80 percent of those wines with the designation "Denominación de Origen Málaga" (of Málaga origin).
If coming from the city of Málaga, take the A-45 (N-331) expressway to the vicinity of Antequera and there take the A-92 expressway towards Seville. A well-marked exit from this expressway leads to Mollina.
Full graphical path: http://bit.ly/siEhTg
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