The village and Sierra Nevada from the castle
Moclin is in an area of Granada province called el Poniente Granadino, with olive and almond plantations and cultivated land and hills. Rocky outcrops add a mysterious drama to the narrow valleys leading down from the village to the plain of La Vega.
Then: The village nestled below la Mota, the fortress built by the Nasrid Kings of Granada in the 12th century. The village grew to guard the road from the north to Granada in the south, protecting the Muslim al Andaluz kingdom from the encroaching Castilian Christians. In 1485 Moclin was ordered to be taken by Ferdinand and Isabella, but their forces were defeated by 1,000 horsemen and 1,000 infantry in the fortress. However, a year later after an assault of 3 days, a ball of fire was hurled by Castilian infantrymen and the population surrendered in July 1486.
Now: The village is a quiet, hillside village with a variety of traditional houses and narrow streets. There are 2 restaurant/bars, a lively, well-stocked village shop, a bank, pharmacy, doctor, and the Ayuntamiento (Town Hall) in the main square. A baker's van calls around the streets in the morning and at lunchtime, but otherwise you will only hear neighbours calling to each other, or the evening church bell.
On 6th October every year Moclin is the site of a pilgrimage to the shrine of El Cristo del Paño. This famous painting of Christ bearing the cross is kept in the village church, and is believed to heal aged people of their cataracts (el paņo, or the cloth, is the popular name for this condition, which "veils" one's sight). Touching the painting is also supposed to make childless women fertile, and the miracle is mentioned in Lorca's tragic play 'Barren'. 30,000 people visit the town, bars open in village houses, and stalls of all kinds appear everywhere. Every July there is a cultural festival in Moclin and surrounding villages with community events and Flamenco singing and dancing.