Albuñuelas, Lecrín Valley
The beautiful town of Albuñuelas is situated to the south of Granada, on the road between Motril and the coast and the city of Alhambra, 860 metres above sea level, On this road you can also find Suspiro del Moro of the Moor, from where, towards the coast, the Lecrín Valley opens out. This valley is an area that borders the western slope of Sierra Nevada and is a natural boundary to the south, the Sierra de Los Guájares. The area has its own microclimate, temperate warm winds and beautiful landscapes where Mediterranean crops can thrive.
In the western fringe of this valley lies Albuñuelas, on the banks of the river of the same name.
The discovery of several documents which speak of Albuñuelas as well as the remains of several stone doorways in several houses, seems to indicate that this population centre was of considerable importance in the years following the reconquest.
Despite its origins and the evidence of an early inhabitation, cited by Yorquera Henriquez in his Annals, the town is not thought to have been of great importance during the Arab occupation, or earlier.
Madoz talked, in his geographical gazetteer, of the existence of caves on the right bank of the Rio Santo, which he said had been lived in during ancient times, but did not specify an approximate date.
The age of these caves is apparent as the entrances to them are several feet above the primitive level, possibly due to erosion by the river that was progressively lowering. Madoz himself mentioned the existence of remains of fortifications in the area south of the caves, known by locals as “The Castle”, which could suggest an Arab occupation.
The rise of importance of Albuñuelas coincided with the first years after the rebellion of the Moors who used these high lands as an outpost for their uprising against the newly imposed Christian power. When the Moors were finally expelled, Albuñuelas was repopulated by people from la Mancha and grew to be of relative importance. During the 17th and 18th centuries Albuñuelas fell into a kind of historical lethargy, isolated by the unevenness of the environment and dedicated only to the exploitation of the small very fertile areas and tree felling, so typical of the Sierra de la Almijara.
In the years of the War of Independence, the area was plagued by numerous raids from both sides, taking advantage of favourable conditions for ambush and escape. During these times the burning of forests was carried out by the Spanish army, this being deemed as “appropriate” to their military requirements. The loss must have been considerable and the wealth provided by the timber decreased considerably.
It was proverbial during the time of the reconquest that the residents of Albuñuelas came to be a significant force against the Catholic Monarchs, locals entrenching themselves in their homes even after the village occupied by Christians. They had a good leader and held off the armies of D. Fernando for a long time.
Among the illustrious sons of Albuñuelas worthy of mention was D. Francisco Porras Perea who became Archbishop of Granada at the beginning the 18th century, he was priest to kings Charles II and Philip I and enjoyed great prestige in the court and built the Church of the Convent of the Missionaries of San Pedro de Alcantara in his hometown. On his death he gave to the Hospital de San Juan de Dios, his palace and the lands he owned in Albunuelas to Granada, with a stipulation that six hospital beds were always available to the inhabitants of his village.
Albuñuelas, in 1884, was affected by the famous earthquake that completely destroyed Arenas del Rey. In Albuñuelas the earthquake caused the destruction of the Barrio Alto, which was rebuilt by public subscription.
In recent times Albuñuelas has lost much of its population due to the constant migration of the young population, as the land cannot provide a sufficient living.
Tower (XVI century).
Ermita de San Antonio. (convent)
Former Archbishop’s Palace (XVII-XVIII centuries).
Barrio del Llano de la Conca. (Two old local areas)
Gastronomy in Albuñuelas
Excellent cuisine can be enjoyed in Albuñuelas, with many typical traditional foods, prepared with natural ingredients, oil from the profusion of olive trees, many kinds of home grown products, which combine to form delicious dishes, stews, casseroles, migas, tortillas pipirrana, and homemade pastries such as fritters, donuts, bagels, egg and anise ‘roscas’.
Leave Granada. At the roundabout, take exit 4 Continue along: E-902 / A-44 direction: Armilla – Motril. Pass near Armilla Dúrcal. Take the exit towards: Exit 160 – Lecrín – El Valle. Take Avenida de Europa, direction: Mondújar – Lecrín. Pass Lecrín. Take GR-110. Pass Restábal and follow signs to Albuñuelas.
Granada 44 km
Béznar 14 km
Lecrín 10 km
Dúrcal 16 km
Cozvíjar 14 km
Cónchar 14 km
Nigüelas 15 km