Here we suggest a number of places within the park where you will be brought face to face with a series of historical events. In these locations it is easy to imagine how these events unfolded, to almost see them with your own eyes and to empathise with the desires and circumstances of their protagonists.
The natural park is an emblem of not only nature, but also history. Nature is the green thread with which the tapestry of its rich history is woven, as the extraordinary geographical features of these mountains and the exploitation of their natural resources have always shaped the majority of historical events in this area.
The abundance of caves and the plentiful opportunities for hunting and fishing led to the establishment of prehistoric human settlements here. Later, the mountainous nature of the area made it a frontier between the warring Christians and Muslims, where castles and towers were built, battles and skirmishes were fought and unique legal systems were created.
In the 18th century, the preponderance of woodland ensured the park became a source of raw materials for the construction of large buildings and, above all, boats, which led to the establishing of an unusual entity known as the Maritime Province of Segura de la Sierra. Owing to the fact that two great rivers, the Guadalquivir and the Segura, both had their sources in the park, millions of tree trunks were floated down along their courses throughout the centuries. Without these materials, Spanish naval power could not have reached the heights it did, and nor would buildings such as JaĆ©n cathedral and the old tobacco factory ā now part of the University of Seville ā have been built.
In the 19th century the value of the forests in these mountains was such that the majority of them were not included in the privatisation schemes of the time, and as a result were not sold off to private individuals. This marked the beginning of the exceptional importance that the principle of public ownership came to enjoy in this region.
In the 20th century, just after the end of the Spanish Civil War, the difficult terrain of these mountains aided the survival of the armed resistance that fought against Franco's dictatorship for a number of years. The Los Maquis hiking route in the southern part of the park follows some of the trails they used. During the 1950s and 1960s the lives of many of the park's residents were dramatically affected by the despotic, abusive way in which the State managed the area's resources: they were virtually expelled from their homes as a result of the creation of the Cazorla-Segura National Hunting Reserve and the Tranco reservoir.
Today, your presence in the park will make you a protagonist in a process of change that will, over time, come to be seen as historic: the use of natural resources in a balanced, participative manner. Rural tourism, when it is of a sustainable nature, helps to generate progress for the park's inhabitants while at the same time promoting optimum conservation of its exceptional natural resources. By respecting, enjoying and getting to know the park you are weaving a new, green thread of hope into the tapestry of the 21st century.