Montejícar is located on the banks of the Río Guadahortuna in the foothills of the Sierra de Lucena, the natural boundary of the province of Granada and Jaen. It is an interesting town with its 16th century Iglesia Parroquial de San Andrés, and the ruins of its medieval castle.
Montejícar is surrounded by a sea of olive groves. Much of the population lives from agriculture, especially from olives and olive oil production.
The name Montejícar comes from the Arabic word Shicar which later turned into Hisn Monte Saquer, a mix of the Latin Mons Sacer (holy mountain) and the Arab word for the Castle of Monte Sagrado.
A fascinating Roman archaeological site has been discovered in the municipality where remains of Iberian, Roman, Caliphate, Almohad and Nazari pottery have been excavated.
During the Muslim period it played a key role in defending the entire territory of the Kingdom of Granada and became an important military settlement. A 9th-century castle once stood here, of which few traces remain today including a quadrangular tower and part of a wall and a gate.
The Catholic Monarchs conquered the town in 1486. Twelve years later it became one of the seven towns forced to supply Granada with food, together with Montefrío Íllora, Moclín, Colomera, Iznalloz and Guadahortuna. After the expulsion of the Moors it was almost entirely depopulated. Repopulation began during the reign of Carlos I and consequently it enjoyed a significant economic boom.
Thanks to the continental climate of the area Migas, Gachas Pucheros are popular, as is game. If your visit coincides with a local festival, you can also try delicacies such as Choto and Guiso de tarbinas. Delicious cakes are also made for some local celebrations.
During these celebrations there are performances of a sacramental play. It is the Moors and Christians, a play divided in three parts that makes reference to the Christian conquest of this region.