On the slopes of Sierra Nevada, speckled with tiny whitewashed villages is the Alpujarra Almeriense. A region through which flows the River Andarax and species richness have given to this area as the vines, almond and cherry trees.
In their villages, that scratch the slopes, we can see fields climbing up the slopes of the mountain and culminating in the cold peaks of the Sierra Nevada.
Its architecture makes the Alpujarra one place. Many of these milestones, such as cultivation in terraces, urbanism and architecture have impregnated itself over Arab settlement of this district.
The names of many people tell us of presence for over seven centuries. Some granadinos caliphs, as Boabdil El Zagal or passed through their land. In 1568 a new revolt led by Aben Humeya, Moorish blood was run by the Alpujarras, the most important battle of Guarros, when the Christian troops killed 4000 Moors.
Until the introduction in this region of mining and farming industries called 'Ohanes grape', two events occurred in the nineteenth century, this region was never to have the strength of past years, but from that moment the terraces again became green and vibrantly colorful.
For the Alpujarra pure, nothing better than get into their white villages dotted over the mountains, forming a conglomerate that has maintained, over the years, its essence intact.
The historical background of Alhama de Almería date back to Roman times. But if anything characterizes this city is that it has been for centuries, the point of entry to Las Alpujarras in Almería province. The Andalusian heritage that exists in this town is related to water, either for the medicinal use, in bathrooms, or for their use in agriculture.
The prosperity from the mining exploitation of Sierra de Gador and exploitation of table grapes, caused an enlargement of the town, which saw great mansions of wealthy owners arose, such as Santiesteban, Paniagua, Los Porras, or more famous: Los Caballitos; which is named for the “oriental influence fantastic animals” that adorn the building.
The earliest traces of human presence in Ohanes are in the Neolithic. In Roman times, there was presence by proximity to the Roman road Gador-Abla-Fiñana-Guadix. The Arabs first arrived in the area, Ohanes living in continual war with the renegade Christians, Hispanic converts to Islam. A battle which finished on 01 January 1492 when the Reconquista ended in favor of the Catholic Monarchs was signed the agreement. Given the failure of these, the Moors of the Alpujarras are raised on several occasions, the most important uprising of 1568 -1570, where the Moors are led by Aben Humeya and later by Aben Abó. Finally, by order of Philip II, the Moors are banished from the Alpujarra to other places of Castile.
But it was not until two hundred years later as Ohanes population would increase to workers who travel to this town to pursue the textile industry and agriculture. An industry in which the care and development of the grape has played a key role.
Canjáyar was during the fourteenth century head of the Nazari Taha of his term Lúchar and developed some of the bloodiest battles of the War of the Alpujarras, which involved the marquis of Mondejar and Vélez. Centuries later, during the nineteenth Canjáyar was an important commercial and agricultural centre, becoming even as an administrative headquarters in 1834 by royal decree of Queen Elizabeth II.
Between 1860 and 1885 were years of great prosperity for the people, as they built the best homes and the town became a whole dominion.
At present, there is dedicated horticultural production, especially beans variety 'elda' that olive cultivation in addition, one of the main towns olive growers. Anyway vine cultivation continues, although they are introducing different grape varieties, such as seedless grapes.
Padules named after the springs that flowed south of the population, as its name means small ponds. This population of Hispanic-Roman origin, was part of the Taha of Lúchar in the fourteenth century. In May of 1569, Don Juan de Austria was installed in the municipality in order to end the uprising of the Moors, whose total surrender is signed in Fondón. After the expulsion of the Moors, Padules was repopulated with settlers from Castile, Valencia, Extremadura and the rest of Andalusia.
Located in a hollow between the foothills of Sierra Nevada and Gádor and dominated by the bell of La Lagunilla and El Puntal de los Pájaros, Almócita municipality is located. This town is divided in three places: the Barrio Bajo or the Jewish Quarter, the Espeñuelas and Secanillo virgin. Almócita locked in his town the best preserved Moorish architecture of the province.
Another aspect to highlight within the municipality is the lead mining developed during the nineteenth century. Today you can see the ruins of the mines of Pandora, the Minilla, the famous mines of Solana located on the hill of El Capitán and the quarry tile that is used to coat the roofs of the old smelters.
From the village of Beires alpujarreño some of the best views over the valley of Andarax and even over the Mediterranean Sea are obtained when a clear day dawns.
Its main source of wealth was agriculture, especially table grapes, almonds and oil. Its plain is watered by the great waters of the sources of the Pileta del Castillo and Tejera. In addition to the sources of Cufría and Alba, whose waters, other than excellent, are plentiful. As in all this part of the mountain, there were also deposits of iron, situated on top of it, they were exploited at the beginning of the century. El Rosario mines, La Palmera, San Bernardo, Virgin of Tices and some other mineral provided subsequently transported by aerial cable to the railway station and Doña María Ocaña, then moving to the docks of the city. These major mines were allowed to operate beyond the sixties.
Fondón lands have been populated since the year two thousand BC. In the so-called Cortijo de las Paces the Submission Negotiations, which were present Don Juan of Austria took place, with the Marquis of Mondejar, Captain known as Abaquí and Envoys of Aben-Aboo. After the Moorish rebellion and subsequent expulsion of these, Don Alfonso de Frías to the orders of Philip II, in 1568 Fondón repopulated with Old Christians from Castilla. This area, known formerly with the name of Llano Andarax, is composed of the municipalities of Fondón, Fuente Victoria, and Benecid (formerly Cobda and Presidio).
Fuente Victoria is located between the towns of Laujar of Andarax and Fondón. By its flatlands runs the Andarax River in its upper course and mountain ranges of the Sierra de Gador and Nevada. Despite its size concentrated, Fuente Victoria can boast among its homes and buildings, monuments such as the Casa Grande, Casa de Fernando Hita and the fountain of Maestro el Barco Square.
The beautiful town of Laujar de Andarax, is considered the capital of the Alpujarra. Nestled in the valley formed by Sierra Nevada and Sierra de Gádor and beside the river Andarax Nacimiento; Laujar highlight its fountain and manor house and its Mudejar church and baroque hall.
It was established as a central wine region, in the town of Laujar after the fall of King Boabdil of Granada, the last Moorish king of Al-Andalus.
For centuries Laujar of Andarax has been famous for its agriculture, its livestock and industrial activities. Almeria land of famous writer Francisco Villaespesa, Laujar currently stands by its burgeoning wine industry.
Paterna del Río, divided into four quarters clearly marked, is the fruit of Muslim settlements: The Placeta, Barrio Alto, Barrio de Enmedio, Fuente del Castano and Barrio de los Castillos. During the rebellion of the Alpujarras, in February 1569, took place in Guarros, victory for the Marquis of Mondejar against about 4,000 rebel Moors. After the defeat, Aben-Humeya fled to Paterna, and cornered by the royal troops, headed for the mountains, leaving behind his wife, mother and sisters, who were captured immediately. After the war, Paterna was repopulated with 100 people, mostly Galicians, who increased the population again.
In the landscape of the Alpujarra whitewashed houses, terraced fields, incredible landscapes and peoples of the purest Arab flavor alternate with narrow, steep streets.
One of the municipalities whose topography is characterized by its winding ways, is the municipality of Alboloduy. Located on the right bank of the river Nacimiento, it separates the two most important massifs of the town, forming one of the most beautiful sites in the area.
Among the architecture of the town is the parish church of San Juan Bautista.
Alcolea is a town located on the banks of the river its name, the second most important tributary of the Rio Grande de Adra by its left; It image appears surrounded by olive trees that are staggered down the slopes. Although its origins are uncertain, the oldest traces correspond to the Neolithic period. However, the current Alcolea goes back to the period of Al-Andalus at least in its configuration, nomenclature and location. Its name comes from Arabic meaning "little castle" or "scaffolding", and could be due to a defensive tower that once had to preside over the city and which today only remains.
The first cultural reference Alicún is the hot spring, according Idrisi (Muslim geographer and chronicler of the XII century); in the Muslim period salutary spring baths are installed below the Baths of Alhama, called Al-Hammam Vexitan, meaning Huécija baths, which the historian Alemany discovered in Alicún. Throughout the Middle Ages the village was registered as a neighbourhood of Huécija, the statement of grant of Taha de Marchena Don Gutierre de Cárdenas (Duke of Maqueda) by Ferdinand and it was in the sixteenth century when Alicún considered the town as one of the ten locations that form the Lordship of Marchena with capital in Huécija. Currently Alicún exists as a quiet and pleasant village, retained after five centuries of Muslim rule, and we still appreciate the forms of the chimneys and Oriental lanterns, its exquisite taste and simplicity.
Bentarique was originally inhabited by descendants of the legendary Tariq, hence its name. Although their locality and its importance comes from the Arab period and is believed to inhabit other people before them. In his physiognomy are many traditional bourgeois houses, standing out among them the magnificent neoclassical whole of the Plaza de San José.
In Huécija it is very likely that the first cultural settlement in the village is of Roman origin as this is very close to Cerro de Marchena, where is located the remains of a Roman villa.
The ten places that made up the Taha de Marchena now a manor were: Zodun (Alsodux) Alhabiati (Alhabia), Terque, Bentarico (Bentarique) Ylar (Illar), Alhama, Estancihun (Instinción) Rágol, Alicún (possibly a Huécija neighbourhood) and (Guezixa) Huécija which remained as the capital, and was elevated to the category of town with Terque, after Marchena’s disappearance.
The first cultural Terque settlement goes back to prehistoric caves, and an ancient village which is found in the area that occupies Millares, heirs of the Neolithic culture. But before Terque was Marchena, a hill also popularly known as Cerro del Libro, of strategic importance and location witness to successive cultures throughout the centuries.
Terque was given the category of Villa with Huécija; It is people were nobles and constructed a new style, which still survive, as the houses of the Santiesteban, the Paniagua and Porras.
The last of the villages of the Alpujarras Almeria is Bayárcal, a town close to Puerto de la Ragua and located between the rivers Bayárcal and Paterna. Bayárcal is the highest altitude village in the province Almería. Its monuments include the parish church of San Francisco Javier, a building that was destroyed during the rebellion of the Moors of the Alpujarras and rebuilt at the end of the century by the Archbishop of Granada. In times of the Moors it was an integral farmhouse of the Taha de Andarax.
Close municipalities that make up the Almeria Alpujarra Alhabia, Alsodux, Illar, Instinción, Santa Cruz and Rágol.