Illar – Valle Medio del Andarax Region
The village is located on the right bank of the river Andarax, on the northern slope of Sierra de Gádor, over ancient materials of the Triassic period.
The relief of the town is rough and irregular, being Illar to 425 metres above sea level and 70 metres above the river are far from Almería 33 kilometres. Its predominant height is El Cerro del Coto, which dominates the town, and around the Cerro del Tonto, El Cerro los Grajos, El Cerrico Redondo, etc.
The most abundant vegetation is the semi-arid thermo mesomediterranean mastic and the oak, although this species has practically disappeared in recent centuries, introduced five decades ago the pine, which is currently affected by the fire in 1991.
In Al-Andalus’ time it had a different location from the present one, it was located on a higher place called the “lugarejo.” Jorge Lirola says that the name of Illar comes from the Arabic word al-Aliya, “the High”.
The first news we have of this town is from the time of Al-Andalus, by the geographer Idrisi, XII century, which registers it within the region of Urs al-Yaman, as one of the twenty castles that were part of this territory. During the Nasrid period it was part of the taha de Marchena as a fief of al-Nayar’s family. At this time the main activity is the agriculture with the silk production, oil and raisins, creating in turn a network of ditches and pipes for the irrigation that went down to the river.
In 1489 with the Christian conquest, the Catholic Monarchs cede the taha of Marchena for the services rendered to Don Gutierrez de Cárdenas and Chacón in 1494, like domain of Cárdenas and later Duke of Maqueda.
The War of the Alpujarras (1568-1570), and the later expulsion of the Moors, brought the depopulation. According to the Libro de Apeo y Población, had then 80 houses, 3 mills and 2 flour mills. The repopulation was carried out in 1575 with neighbours from Castilla y Levante and two French citizens.
The recovery of the population would not be until the XVIII century. But it was not until the mid-nineteenth century, with the cultivation of grapes Ohanes, when its population will reach an important development. In 1877 it had 1.226 inhabitants. Its independence like villa will come with the abolition of the feudal system in 1835.
With the arrival of the XX century the importance of the cultivation of the grapes Ohanes starts to decline and connected to the own crisis of the century and the Civil War, the economy and population of Illar will decrease considerably. From the 60’s starts the booting of the vines and replaced by the citrus and grapes apinera more demanded in the market, while, you begin to use new technologies in irrigation.
Parish Church of Santa Ana, XVI century. Mudejar style.
Small population centre without impact of new constructions.
Illar is also famous for its cuisine, with a traditional and natural character. The secret: quality of the ingredients and on a low heat. Sausages. Alpujarreñan fry.
Choto al ajo cabañil. Cocina mareá. Monkfish with potatoes. Onions with pork liver. Tabirnas colorás.
Sweets: Roscos de Semana Santa. Soplillos de huevo y almendra. Honey muffins. Donuts.
How to get there
You have to exit Almería towards Huércal de Almería, cross this and continue on Highway 340. Continue towards: Almería – E-15 – N-340 – Nijar – Murcia. At the roundabout, take the salida 1 and continue along: A-92A towards: A-92 – Benahadux – Guadix. Continue along: A-92A, follow signs to Benahadux. Then you have to exit Benahadux. Continue along: A-348. Cross Alhama de Almería and continue until you get Illar.
Distances from Illar
Alicún 6 km
Gádor 17 km
Terque 5 km
Almería 31 km
Galachar 9 km
Canjáyar 12 km
Tabernas 33 km
Albolodúy 14 km
Benahadux 20 km
Alhama de Almería 8 km
Santa Ana Church
La Fuente (The Fountain)
Fountain near the Santa Ana Church