Mojácar has its roots, which are still palpable, in a rich and varied cultural legacy which will forever mark the physical appearance of its people and the character of its inhabitants.
At the beginning of the 8th century, the South-east peninsular was one of the areas subject to the invasion of the Arab armies and the start of the big Muslim era.
Although remains proving that Prehistoric man lived on the present site of Mojácar have been uncovered, we also know that between the 6th and 7th centuries AD and until the mid-13th century, the village was first Visigoth and then a Muslim settlement, and was located in what is known today as “Mojácar la Vieja” with its pyramid-shaped hillock, the Monte Sacrum, next to the river Aguas, a river which supplied one of the most impressive surviving cisterns dating from the Kingdom of Granada.
The site began to be abandoned at the end of the 13th century, and the village of Mojácar on its current site began to take shape. It is possible that the ancient village was destroyed by an earthquake, or because its inhabitants, harassed by Christians, sought a more protected enclave.
In 1488 the mayors of the entire area gathered to surrender to the Catholic Monarchs, with the exception of the Mayor of Mojácar. Captain Garcilaso de la Vega was therefore sent to the fountain to speak to Alabez (warden of Mojácar at that time), who explained his reasons for not surrendering:
“I am as Spanish as you when my race has been living in Spain for more than 600 years, and you tell us to go. I have never raised arms against the Christians. I therefore believe it´s fair that you treat us like brothers, not like enemies, and that you allow us to continue working our land” He added: “Before handing myself over like a coward, I will die like a Spaniard”
From this historical fact comes the Mojácar Moors & Christians Fiesta.