Rágol – Valle Medio del Andarax Region
Rágol is a municipality located in the middle of the river Andarax. Its only population centre is located to 423 metres on the right bank, near east and the foothills of the Sierra de Gador.
The municipal area stretches along the south side of Sierra Nevada, to the summit of Montenegro (1.710 m) and the south side of Sierra de Gador. This rugged territory is crossed by several gullies and dry riverbeds, such as the one of Zaíro and Guadix.
The population is connected by the local road Lanjarón-Almería. The old Camino Real de las Fundiciones runs through the township, having been recently paved, which is also a traffic hazard, in view of the speed the vehicles can reach on a road so twisty and narrow, a significant loss of heritage value and a very important ecotourism resource.
With their crops at the top of the people on the margins of the river, Rágol has the most enigmatic place name of the area, which it is still to be clarified, although there was Muslim cultural settlement over eight centuries.
It is possibly chosen for its proximity to the river, its fertile lands and strategic bastion towards Alta Alpujarra. During the IX century was carried out in the region a colonizing activity of about 20 defensive castles in a conflict zone due to the autonomous nature of its people, unwilling to convert to Islam, could well be the first settlement in Rágol. Later in the XIV century, being constituted the Kingdom of Granada, Rágol will belong to the Taha de Marchena, new administrative unit in which the Nasrid sultans divided the territory of la Alpujarra, which consisted of 10 farms, governed from Marchena, where was the core strength and lived the governor, traditionally the Al-Nayar family or Infantes de Almería.
After the surrender of Baza and the capitulations of Almería in 1490, Rágol stop being Muslim to start its Modern History under the aegis of a new political and religious power, when it was giving the Taha de Marchena to Don Gutierre de Cárdenas y Chacón, like domain, by the Catholic Monarchs in 1494, in reward for his help during the Reconquest; and thereafter, with his son, is establishing the Duchy of Maqueda, giving the region its name. Throughout the XVI century, Rágol will be witness of an era of intense political, social and economic changes, conditioned by the successive rebellions of the Moriscos (including the Moors from Ragol), until their final burst in 1568, with their final defeat and expulsion in 1570.
The following centuries, XVII and XVIII, will be of transition and recovery of the demographic and economic crisis that led to the expulsion of the Moors, and later the repopulation by old Christians in 1574. The XIX century began with a liberal environment, which will mark one of the most momentous events for Rágol, its new regime of independence at legal and administrative level, consequently the abolition of the feudal system in 1835.
Also, the new grape growing of Ohanes, which is widespread in this century, will be important for the people, having a greater amount of wealth and significant population growth, and new constructions of bourgeois character, especially in the lower area of the town.
This situation continues in the first decades of the XX century for its further disruption, as a result of a drought and social problems that link to Civil War and a tough post-war period. Nowadays, drought and depopulation are the main problems of the town and the region, which are being overtaken by new county policies and helps of the European Union to undertake various alternative crops to mitigate the agricultural problems of the moment.
In the cold winter days when the rain makes its appearance, it is customary to cook flour or crumbs of bread, accompanied by pepper soup, fried peppers and dried tomatoes, fish and tajadas, all with a good wine. The stews are also eaten, cooked in its different forms: corn, squash and fennel, which prepare the body for a hard day’s work.
On hot summer days are refreshing the gazpachos (cold soups) and seasonal salads. We can also taste the fried dishes of rabbit with chicken and porridge with fish stock, using the most splendid season vegetables. Throughout the year there are tasted the sausages, chorizo, spicy pork sausage, blanquillo…. and pork products that are made before Christmas, in the famous slaughters that often gather around the ritual, family and friends travelling to holidays and work in a hard tradition difficult to lose.
At Christmas the typical confectionery of the dates is made, the tortas de chicharrones and lard cakes, pan de aceite, suspiros and buns.
With the arrival of spring, coinciding with Easter, herbs adjust to the ban on meat and plant products that outcrop in the valley.
They prepare the dishes for Lent with cod balls and for desserts the fried cakes and fritters served with anise.
We cannot forget the famous hornazos of San Marcos, bread roll with oil and garnished with egg and according to tradition must be broken at the head of the most clueless.
How to get there
You have to exit Almería towards Huércal de Almería, cross it 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 the signs to Benahadux and then exit it Continue along: A-348. Cross Alhama de Almería and continue until pass near Illar. Follow signs to Instinción, exit it and follow signs until you get Rágol.
Distances from Rágol
Illar 4,5 km
Alicún 11 km
Beires 15 km
Almería 36 km
Pozuelo 15 km
Terque 9,5 km
Canjáyar 7,5 km
Alboloduy 18 km
Bentarique 7 km
Pilar Juego Pelota (Fountain)
Fuente de la Plaza (Fountain)
El Pilarico (Fountain)
Pilar de la Iglesia (Fountain)
Andalucía Square Fountain
Caz de Molino
Torre del Reloj – Siglo XX (Clock Tower)