Las Merchanas, from emergency to resurgence

Made known by D. Manuel Gómez Moreno at the beginning of the 20th century, the Castro is declared a monument belonging to the National Artistic Treasure by Decree of June 3, 1931. Since then, little or nothing had been done for its promotion. Visits by Fr. Morán, excavations by Mr. Maluquer, and little else.

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In 1981 the Amigos de Lumbrales Association was born which, among other objectives, considers the knowledge and recovery of Las Merchanas as a priority.

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To do this, they begin to write articles in the press, protest marches are held, round tables and informative talks are organized and contacts begin with the owner family to find out their availability for the possible transfer or sale of the castro.

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The farm where the Castro is located was bought in 1910 by Mr. Manuel García Bringas for cattle exploitation. Numismatics enthusiasts and hunters cause extensive damage to the enclosure without the owners being able to avoid such abuses. They feel annoyed with the Administration and travel agencies, because on scheduled excursions they jump from Yecla to Saldeana, leaving Las Merchanas in oblivion. They collect information on government aid or subsidies. The answer is that they are not possible as it is private property. Some member of the Artistic Commission proposed that they make the repair on their own and then charge for the visit, a proposal that they find unworthy.

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Finally, they resolve to favor the acquisition of the Castro by the City Council. First, giving it away in free usufruct for 30 years and, finally, the 21 members of the owner family decide to sell it for the enormous amount of 1 Euro! This price includes, in addition to the approximately 55,000 square meters of the walled enclosure, a wide perimeter to encompass the area of ​​driven stones up to the 83,535 square meters sold.

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On March 24, 2005, the García Comerón family received the check for € 1 as payment for the sale made; "A currency that is well adorned will remain forever in the power of the family, from generation to generation", in the words of the representative of the family, Mr. Manuel García Francia.

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The City Council and the entire town of Lumbrales become the owner of the Castro with the express obligation to separate what was acquired from the rest of the estate. Once the ownership change has been achieved, the Heritage Foundation intervenes in the Castro, rehabilitating part of the walls. During the intervention, engravings and a door are discovered, in the South sector, that nobody expected.

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From that moment on, Las Merchanas began to come to life. New access road, parking, river crossing; construction of two viewpoints, in addition to the reconstruction of an old mill. The visits follow one another and, finally, Las Merchanas is once again the benchmark that everyone –Association, owners, Administration- had wanted.

EDUARDO MARTÍN G.

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"We are those who give", recording of the monument in tribute to the family that owns the Castro
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Boar of Las Merchanas

Not far from the main gate of "Las Merchanas" and in the area of ​​kneeling stones in front of the wall, a Boar appeared without legs or pedestal and with a broken snout. It is 130 centimeters long.

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For years it was placed on the Carretera de la Estación in the vicinity of the families that owned the Castro.

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Currently, after its time in the town, placed on the base where an iron replica can now be seen, it is found again in the Castro de las Merchanas, at the north door, already with its original legs, which appeared shortly after in the vicinity. from the Castro.