Prehistory and Ancient Age

The settlement of the Los Alcores region is very old. There are prehistoric sites that demonstrate the continuous occupation of the area since the Late Paleolithic. Later, during the Neolithic, small settlements were established to exploit the agricultural richness of the plains. Abundant remains from the beginning of the Age of Metals have also been found, such as large megalithic tombs and ceramic remains of bell-beaker pottery.

The main archaeological remains highlight the importance of the region during the Bronze Age, with settlements of huts taking advantage of the natural springs that flow on the slopes of Los Alcores. The Treasure of Mairena found by the local Andrés Morales attests to the presence of Tartessos during the first millennium. The influence of the colonizing Phoenician and Greek peoples is evidenced in the development of agriculture and the metal trade, ceramic decoration, and funerary remains.

From the 6th century BC, the Iberian civilization managed to develop the agricultural exploitation of the plains and trade with Greeks and Carthaginians. The sculpture of Silenus is a good example of contact with eastern peoples. This bust of the wine god, of Greek influence, was found at the site of las Peñuelas.

In Roman times, “villae”, farmhouses, and rural buildings were established to exploit the fertile lands of the plains, of which numerous remains are left. During the Visigothic and Muslim period, many of these “villae” remained active.

Middle Ages

In Muslim times, a watchtower was established on the plateau, which could have been part of the surveillance, defense, or communication belt in Los Alcores. The current population possibly originated from this time. The name of Mairena is also of Arab descent, as it derives from Maharana, which means water from the spring. The lands of Mairena fell under Castilian power of King Ferdinand III in the campaign of 1246, and the tower and the village of Luchena were donated to the Order of Calatrava for their participation in the siege of Seville.

In 1342, King Alfonso XI granted the lands of Mairena as a lordship to the House of Arcos, to which it belonged until the extinction of the lordships in 1836. Around the castle, whose central part was built in the mid-14th century, the population concentrated in a small village. In 1441 King Juan II granted the right to hold the Mairena fair to the lord of Arcos. Around 1470, Rodrigo Ponce de León, Marquis of Cadiz, expanded the Mairena castle by building the outer walls, the moat, and the gun ports. From this period comes the Arch, which was a gate that closed off the population that extended over a plateau, behind the castle.

The town consolidated during the Late Middle Ages as a rural enclave of the supply belt of Seville, orienting its economy towards fieldwork and the production of wheat, oil, and fruit and vegetable products to supply the capital. In the 15th century Mairena could have reached 500 inhabitants, who would be located between the current streets Real and Ancha. The central core of the Parish Church, the hermitage of San Sebastián, and the Casa Palacio, all in Mudejar style, date from this stage.

Modern Age

In the Renaissance, the town experienced significant growth due to the discovery of America and the rise of Seville, reaching 1400 inhabitants at the end of the 16th century. The production of oil and cereal was enhanced, and livestock farming was developed to make the horses of Mairena famous.

The crisis of the 17th century affected Mairena, reducing its population to 1000 inhabitants. However, the economic recovery of the second half of the century allowed the population to rise to 1800 inhabitants by 1750. In this period, the Parish Church was expanded, and important works such as the Casa Palacio de los Duques de Arcos and the fountain of the plaza were carried out. The olive grove became the economic engine of Mairena.

The 18th century saw the construction of numerous rural buildings and farmhouses as a consequence of the agrarian expansion. The first public education centers and the charity hospital were founded. The “Camarín de la Virgen de las Virtudes” was also built, a jewel of Sevillian Baroque. The Molino de Viento, a windmill located in the highest part of Mairena, is another outstanding monument of this century.