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The history of Mojacar
First of all, it should be noted that many peoples have passed through Mojacar since ancient times. There are remains of villages from the Bronze Age around 2000 BC. Also the Phoenician and Carthaginian traders came to serve the growing communities. Under Greek rule, they created a settlement called Murgis-Akra, a word from which the name Moxacar was later derived after being Latinised.
Also like the rest of the Iberian Peninsula the Muslims passed through here and the name was changed to the current Mojacar. The Muslims from North Africa came to Spain in the 8th century and the province of Almeria became the authority of the Caliphate of Damascus. Although later the government passed to Cordoba.
Under this second rule, Mojacar grew rapidly in size and importance. Also with the coronation of Mohamed-Ben-Nazar, Mojacar and its lands were incorporated into the Kingdom of Granada. And so the city met the Christian forces in the east.
Throughout the 14th century the Muslims built and reinforced watchtowers and fortresses during. However they did little to deter Christian incursions and fierce battles such as the 1435 bloodbath, where much of Mojacar’s population was subjected to war. On June 10, 1488, the leaders of the region agreed to submit to the Christian forces. But the warden of Mojacar refused to attend. At that time the meeting known as the Arab of Mojacar took place. In which they agreed to a pact of free association between Muslims, Jews and Christians. On June 12, 1488 the town of Mojácar and its fortress were also handed over. That is why the Catholic Kings granted Mojacar the title of city.
Mojacar, once again began to expand until the early eighteenth century. At that time the census of the time had 10 000 inhabitants. In addition, in the mid-19th century, Mojácar began a new period of decline. The state records reveal that several severe droughts caused this fall of the city. This caused an emigration to the north of Spain, Europe and South America. Mojacar’s depopulation was reaching worrying proportions until the 1980s when tourism began to reverse the trend.
The weather of Mojacar
First of all, the mild and sunny climate that Mojacar has most of the year is its main attraction. Because the more than 3,000 hours of sunshine per year give the landscape a great luminosity. This has a decisive influence on its high ambient and sea temperature. The average temperature is around 20ºc.
In addition, its winters are mild, passing as a long spring. The summers are also milder than those of the rest of the southeast. The rainfall is quite low and is concentrated in the intermediate seasons (spring and autumn) and the water temperature is higher than the air, which makes it pleasant to swim in the sea almost all year round.
In Mojacar, the summers are hot, sultry, arid and mostly clear and the winters are long, cold, dry, windy and partly cloudy. During the course of the year, the temperature generally varies from 7 °C to 30 °C and rarely falls below 4 °C or rises above 34 °C.
The hot season lasts 3 months, from June 19 to September 18, and the maximum average daily temperature is over 27 °C.
In addition, the cool season lasts 4 months, from November 21 to March 19, and the maximum average daily temperature is less than 19 °C.
In Mojacar, the average percentage of the sky covered with clouds varies considerably over the course of the year.
This is why the clearest time of year in Mojacar starts around June 11. This lasts approximately three months. Because it ends approximately on September 3rd.
Also the cloudiest time of the year starts in September. Which lasts about nine months. Because it ends approximately on June 11.
The wettest period lasts about eight months, from mid-September to May.
On the other hand the driest time lasts about four months. It begins in mid-May and ends in September.
The best time of the year to visit Mojacar
Although it is very pleasant to come at any time of the year thanks to its extraordinary climate.
But for general tourist activities in the open air it is from the end of April to mid-July and from the end of September to mid-October.
Also for enjoying the beach or swimming pool the best time of year is from mid-June to early September
Demography and Geography of Mojacar
The city of Mojácar is located in the eastern part of the province of Almería within the region of Levante Almeriense. It has an altitude of 152 meters above sea level.Its municipal district has an area of 72 km ² and borders the municipalities of Garrucha and Vera to the north. Also by the east with the Mediterranean Sea and to the south with the municipality of Carboneras and to the west with the one of Turre.
The municipality of Mojácar had a population of 6330 inhabitants in 2017. The population is concentrated in the city of Mojácar (1586 inhabitants), 2.5 km from the sea. Although also in the new urbanizations of the coast, designated altogether as Mojácar Playa (4959 inhabitants). Which extend along a stretch of coast of more than seven kilometers.
Distribution of the population
The municipality is divided into the following population entities, according to the population nomenclature published by the INE:
El Sopalmo with a little more than 100 inhabitants surprises us as a friendly welcome. After having made the tour by the winding road that borders the sea. From Carboneras to Mojácar. giving the traveller one of the most spectacular views of the Almeria coast.
Sopalmo. that means natural shelter or cave. it is one of the mojaqueras districts that next to the water Enmedio. Aljúezar. The Moor. Black Cave. Cuartillas. the Alparatas etc. preserve the essence of authenticity contribute to the revaluation of the traditions and also put the so desired green note on the local map.
La Alcantarilla a population center with just over 100 inhabitants.
The Alparatas is another tiny population centre with just over 40 inhabitants. It keeps very well all its traditions. It is also very close to the Mediterranean Sea.
Las Cuartillas in 2,024 had 20 inhabitants.
Mojacar is a very cosmopolitan town where the international and the local coexist:
– jarapas and kilims
– jugs and teapots
– gurullos and rost beef
– espadrilles and sneakers
– markets and jumble salts.
There are excursions less than an hour away by car where you can discover deserted beaches with crystal clear water. The Mini Hollywood or western towns in the desert of Tabernas. Also the entrance of the fishing boats to the port of Garrucha, the villages of the Almeria east, the crafts of Nijar, the karst caves of Sorbas … And of course, the Natural Park of Cabo de Gata…
Mojacar Playa is where most of the population is concentrated, because more than 5,000 people live here. In addition there are 17 kilometers of coast to enjoy the show
First of all, Mojacar is a calm and peaceful town. However, when the holidays come around, everything changes. In which we can see its past, its culture and the art of its people. Of special mention are the carnival festivities (February), those of San Agustin (August) and those of Moors and Christians (June), the latter festivities of historical recreation of great beauty and color.
In the month of February just before Lent is the celebration of this pagan festival. In which the groups elaborate their most ingenious costumes. They also go out into the streets to sing in the form of a chirigota the most relevant events that took place in the village that year. This ends with the Burial of the Sardine.
The Burial of the Sardine
When the Carnival ends and as a preamble to Lent. This festival, which symbolizes the passage from the carnal to the spiritual. After a fictitious mass, we move on to the burning of the sardine (made of papier-mâché).
The day of Andalusia
As in the whole of Andalusia, February 28th is celebrated as the day of the Autonomous Community. With musical performances by the different municipal schools and official events.
The Day of the Old Woman
It’s a Thursday during Lent. This is a day of eating in the country, according to an archaic custom, always with friends and family. The children’s joy comes when their “old woman” (a small doll that looks like an old woman, made on a wooden cross, with a cloth head filled with sweets, and decorated with tissue paper) is nailed to the ground and broken with stones, to be eaten later at the banquet of sweets.
The Holy Week
Holy Week in Mojacar has a mystery because of the mixture between the divine and the pagan. The divinity through the steps, whose images are carried by the costaleros through the streets of the town. But also the pagan through the holiday atmosphere that due to the good weather people use to enjoy the town.
The Pilgrimage of San Isidro
The Sunday closest to the 15th of May. Taking advantage of the arrival of the good weather. The pilgrimage is made from Mojacar to Sopalmo, together with the music band. In which we can see beautiful floats. After the merendola, the music and dance conclude this pilgrimage.
Festival of Moors and Christians
Every year the weekend closest to June 10th is this holiday. It recalls the heroic epics between Arabs and Christians in the Middle Ages. It is the most important festival of Mojacar. The village squares are disguised in Moorish kabyles and Christian barracks. They begin on a Friday with the opening of the medieval market. The landing, the trabucada, the medieval tournament on horseback… As a finishing touch, Sunday afternoon is the grand parade that begins in the highest streets and dies at the foot of the village.
June 22 is a night when children and adults enjoy the old town, which on this occasion is decorated with heart-shaped balloons. There are also photocall, mimes, parades, jazz, soul, boleros or piano performances in the squares.
The Magic Night of San Juan
The night of June 23rd on the beaches of Mojacar. In which, bonfires, sardines, music and fireworks until dawn, are some of the activities in the most magical night of the year.
The little ones enjoy a children’s bonfire, gymkana and gifts by the sea. Where the tradition says that at midnight you have to take a bath and make a wish to the fire that purifies everything.
The Festivals of Sopalmo
At the beginning of August, as in many other towns. In honour of Christ the King this peaceful annexe celebrates his feast. The events include the coronation of the Queen and her Ladies and the traditional ribbon race.
Night of the Candles
The Night of the Perseids or Starshower, Mojacar’s historic centre hosts its famous “Night of the Sails”. A magical night in which the artificial lighting is turned off and the town is illuminated with candles.
Festivals of San Agustín
At the end of August, specifically on August 28th. For several days these traditional festivals are held in honour of the patron saint, which always coincides with a weekend.
The Virgin of the Rosary
On October 7th. Among the different activities the most outstanding would be the traditional corrida de cintas de casadas a caballo (marriage ceremony on horseback). The music band picks up the ribbons at the Public Fountain and accompanies them to the place where the event takes place.
Christmas in Mojacar
It is the most traditional festival of Mojacar with its Exhibition of the Bethlehem, recitals of popular carols. Also the night of the 31st of December is the celebration of the new year under the church clock.
Some curiosities from Mojacar
Walt Disney Almeria
First of all the most famous urban legend, says Walt Disney would not have been born in Chicago, but in Mojacar. Furthermore, there is even an official investigation into this possible hehco.
According to the legend, Walt Disney was the illegitimate son of a doctor and a laundress. That is why the alleged mother would have emigrated to the United States, where she would have given her child up for adoption to the Elias and Flora Disney couple.
According to this, Walter Disney’s real name would have been José Guirao Zamora. Supposedly, in the 1940s, some Disney envoys were in Mojacar, checking the local parish archives, but found no evidence.
For its part, the United States Government has been collaborating with the Spanish authorities. Because they tried to verify a document. Which was in a safe inside the premises of the Walt Disney Company in Los Angeles. But the company has prevented the investigation, assuring that it would be at international level to resolve the dispute.
The “Indalo”, present everywhere, is the symbol of the province of Almeria and especially of Mojacar. It is a prehistoric drawing that appeared in the Cueva de Los Letreros. We can see it on the doors of the houses because it protects from all possible evils.
Also, again Hollywood. In John Milius’ 1982 film, Conan the Barbarian. The famous actor Arnold Schwarzenegger was made up in one of the scenes with multiple Indalos as part of a ritual tattoo. Also much of the film was shot in Almeria like many others.
Curious facts about the beaches
First of all, depending on the seasonal changes, tides and winds, some beaches may have a little slope or gradient in the access to the sea.
Also the swimming season starts on June 15th and ends on September 15th. Also during this period the lifeguard service works from 11.30h to 19.00h,. However, outside this season and timetable there is no lifeguard and rescue service.
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