Did you know that Motril declared itself an independent republic in the1870’s? It probably had a population at the time of three people and two thirds of a goat, but there you go. Think about it, next time you pass through the quaint tunnel of Gorgoracha, because it was finished in 1860 – yes, it’s its 150th anniversary!
The Governor of Motril in 1803, Jaime Moreno, decided that the town needed a ‘modern’ road to connect it with the hinterland (Vélez Benaudalla), using bridges and tunnels. Bear in mind that V/Benaudalla belonged to Motril since the 17th Century until the end of the 19th, when it was segregated, taking Lagos and La Gorgoracha with it.
So what of the Independent Republic of Motril? Well, it only lasted a few days during 1873, and was produced by a similar sensation to what the citizens of Motril feel today: of being left by Granada and Madrid to rot in oblivion. The irate townsfolk stomped off to the Town Hall and demanded that all the councillors resigned – both of them, and that they should join the citizens in establishing an independent canton.
This happened in July – you know: no aircon, flies, screaming kids – who wouldn’t demand to be considered an independent Republic, together with Paco the mule driver & Antonio the cobbler? Well, three days later, the newly formed Guardia Civil had whipped up some serious respect and a shortage in bandages – it was all over. The tunnel – a marvel at the time because it permitted horse-drawn carts to pass without touching – remains.