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Industrialisation of Antequera's Countryside: Country Houses along the Great Malaga Path (Industrial Heritage)

Diputación de Málaga
18. Cortijo de la serafina. Foto carlos Sánchez

Industrialisation of Antequera's Countryside: Country Houses along the Great Malaga Path (Industrial Heritage)

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General Information

- Cultural Significance of the Site: High
- Scenic Value of the Site: High
- State of Conservation: Medium
- Kind of Works: These buildings include oil mills, which appeared thanks to the development of technology used for making high quality oil for the purposes of export. They were built in rural part of Antequera close to large farmsteads in the areas with olive groves. Tall industrial chimneys form part of this area’s scenery.
- Stage of the Great Path: Stage 16, Cuevas Bajas - Alameda.
- Place: Northern and western part of Antequera.
- Period: The end of the 19th century and the first third of the 20th century.
- Author or Sponsor: The owners of these houses were part of the new upper middle-class agricultural families from Antequera in the 19th century, who were made up of a combination of old nobility and the newly wealthy merchant class who had bought old farmsteads that belonged to the church.

Location and Access Points

The agricultural maze of olive groves in the north of Antequera makes it difficult to find farmsteads, which preserve old industrial oil mills and factories with their chimneys. The best way to see some of these estates and the scenery which surrounds them is by stage 16 of the Great Málaga Path from Cuevas Bajas to Alameda, which goes through the north of Antequera, past some of the farmsteads, including Conde-San Ramón, Capilla (Chappel) and Serafina. These are the best places for getting to know olive groves in Antequera. After that, you can search for other routes with incredible landscapes and estates with olive groves.


Agricultural upper middle class in Antequera chose industrialisation in the second half of the 19th century. Modern technology was used in farming through new machinery that was meant to improve the operating profit. The major advances were achieved in oil industry, which needed to increase in quality in order to improve sales. Farming in Antequera was becoming capitalist, and depended on production and export. Therefore, traditional mills were replaced by industrial ones with stones in the shape of truncated cones in groups of three or four, but the real revolution were water presses. Steam engines improved mechanization process, which was necessary for moving water presses and truncated stones. Consequently, industrial chimneys also stand out in this area.

Technical Information

Olive groves had already existed in Antequera before their expansion in the late 19th century. Farmsteads with olive groves around the town used to be typical in the past and they had traditional elements of preindustrial mills in the 17th century: cylindrical stone wheels, a premise with beam presses and a counterbalance towers and accessory objects: a cellar with large earthenware jars, stables, lodgings, and an area for the management and the owners. Industrial mills appeared in the late 19th and early 20th century. It had mills with stones in the shape of truncated cones with water presses, containers for draining fixed in the ground, hot water boilers, metal tanks in the cellars and industrial chimneys which were necessary for a steam engine that moved the entire machinery.

Current State of the Building

After Los Remedios Cooperative had been founded in 1958, all factories in different farmsteads stopped working, well-equipped oil mills were abandoned and all the technology that existed in them was lost, although some red brick chimneys were conserved. Antequera embraces large industrial heritage related to mills and the technology which was made in the period of modernization from the end of 19th to the beginning of the 20th century, such as mills, presses, machines, cellars or storerooms and chimneys. More than fifteen chimneys were conserved, like a symbol of the arrival of the new technology back then when the industry was very important both in towns and villages.

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