Room 4: From La Peñuela to Capital of the New Towns
This room contains everything related to the founding of La Carolina as the Capital of the New Towns of Sierra Morena and Andalusia in the second half of the 18th century under the reign of Charles III and his enlightened government. The aim of this project was to introduce measures of progress and modernisation in the Spanish economy and society.
On 5 July 1767, Charles III signed the Royal Charter of Population which contained the instructions for establishing new towns in Sierra Morena and Andalusia. With Pablo de Olavide at the helm, Real Carolina was founded as the capital of the new province that was being born in Spain, to be the model for the economic and social reforms advocated by the enlightened government of Aranda, Campomanes and Múzquiz. More than 8,000 foreign settlers were brought from Central Europe to these New Towns by the Bavarian Thurriegel. New settlers who were to receive lots of land, houses, seeds, tools, implements, livestock and a series of tax exemptions and subsidies until they became self-sufficient. The New Towns were an example of land management, perfectly planned colonisation and settlement, smallholdings and agrarian reform; they also benefited from the most modern applications, such as hospitals and medicines for the settlers, compulsory and free primary education for children, boys and girls, as well as other social advantages that transformed a starving population into small landowners.