About the Castle

These lands were inhabited since the Iron Age and there is evidence of ancient enclaves. In its surroundings have been found remains of flint and Iberian ceramics, although more of the archaeological remains belonging to Roman times, which must have been a Oppidum, given its strategic location, passing beside the Via Augusta (which at this point it coincides with the route of the motorway E9 (N IV)). The Monclova Castle has been identified with ancient Turdetana Obúlcula, which is named several times in ancient texts as the Fabius Maximus Serviliano campaign against Viriato in 142 BC, or the mutiny of the troops against the governor Casio Longino in 48 BC, or in the Antonine Itinerary and Apolinares Glasses, which reproduce the way from Gades to Rome for Corduba, also cited by Ptolemy and Pliny.

During the Muslim period it remained a fortress given its strategic value After the Christian conquest by the Castilian troops, there was a division of Ecija, noting here one of the repopulation, until the year 1342, King Alfonso XI granted it to his Admiral of the Sea Sir Egidio Bocanegra as a reward for services rendered. Reached the sixteenth century, these lands belonged to the family of de la Vega to death in combat of the famous poet Garcilaso, related to the House of Mendoza by marriage of Leonor de la Vega, with Don Iñigo López de Mendoza, Marquess of Santillana. On September 20, 1617 is granted the title of Sir of la Monclova, Don Antonio Portocarrero and Enriquez de la Vega the title of Count of La Monclova and on May 5, 1706, the greatness of Spain. Already in the eighteenth century, these lands fall within the Marquess of Ariza and afterwards in the house of the Marquis de Valmediano, Duke of Infantado.

A plague epidemic in the late eighteenth century depopulated the castle, except for the chapel, where passengers of the Camino Real were taken care of. In 1910, Joaquin de Arteaga and Echague, XVII Duke of Infantado, rebuilt the castle beautifying it with remains of the Convent of Mercy in Lorca, Cordoba Roman columns and other artistic elements brought from Italy and Spain.


To transport the oil, an oil jar of globular shape, short neck and two opposing handles was used. In these there were stamps and registration of vessels in their handles, which contained information of traders, oil quantity and place of origin. Inside, pine resin coated to prevent leaks, had a capacity of 75 litres. These jars were packages of a single use, disposable once used. For waterborne transport they stood upright fitted together. They weighed about 30 kg. and with oil, it reached the 100 Kgs. For land transport fur skins were used until reaching the ports where pottery amphorae were located.

Placing the jars in the ship’s hold was a skill of the Roman merchants, as the base beaked vessels was intended to nail them in the sand on the beaches. Transport, aimed at all the Roman Empire, began using the waterway Genil (Singilis) and the Guadalquivir (Baetis). When the oil reached Sevilla (Hispalis), it was relocated to larger vessels with larger capacity to distribute it throughout the Roman territory, especially Rome itself. River transport was faster and cheaper than the one realized through land routes (Via Augusta).

Some Images