Bédar – Sierra de los Filabres
Bédar is a town that belongs to Almería, it links with the road 340, to 6 kilometres from Los Gallardos. It is located to 77 kilometres from the capital and to 68 kilometres from the international airport.
Bédar is located in the middle of the side of La Sierra de Filabres (called Sierra de Bédar), being its highest elevation 766 metres in El Cerro de Tenderas, known by the locals like Cerro de la Señora.
The history of Bédar goes back to the Middle Ages, when La Tierra de Vera was Muslim. Tapia Garrido, in his «Almería Musulmana», tells us that according to the chronicles of the Reconquest and the Moorish war and some documents from the beginning of the XVI century, Bédar, Serena and Bedari belonged to La Tierra de Vera, together with the adjacent towns to this one. Due to its age, Serena is the most important district in the municipality, with Moslem origin and independent of the Moslem Bédar; after the Reconquest and from 1575, its municipality joined to Bédar, being deserted after the expulsion of the Moslems and remerging like a neighbourhood of this one.
From the Muslim age it preserves a mosque, that after being used for many years like a mill for making olive oil it belongs nowadays to a foreigner. It is also present in Bédar its Muslim past, it has narrow and winding streets and the nature designates them: Mar (Sea), Luna (Moon), Almendro (Almond Tree), Clavel (Carnation), Parra (Grapevine), are some of their names. Its fertile lowland is the traditional Moslem, arranged in terraced balconies around of fountains and pools, and an irrigation system that allows the highest use of the water. The inhabitants speak about treasures and legends of the Muslims, stated in the so-called «Castillico de los Moros», in the district called Balsa Alta, where there had been carried out excavations recently.
According to the book written by Apeo y Población that is made 1575 for the later repopulation, Bédar y Serena are stated like Places (Lugares), where 216 Moslems lived in each of them. Bédar had a oven, two mills, an oil mil, six pottery shops with their kilns and 47 houses, information that show a small farmhouse; Serena was a similar place, and Bedari should be depopulated in the Middle Ages, although in the XVI century it is written up like a district. Apeo’s book collects the following medieval place names: La Mina de la Caparrosa, La Fuente, La Rambla, Almoicar and the irrigated districts of Vedarín, Jurriltal, Alfocar, Macilarón, etc.
During this century the parish church of Bédar was built, in 1505, with the annexe of Serena, that started to use like a temple the old mosque until the Bishop Antonio Carrionero (1558-1570), ordered to build the present church, that has three naves, the central one covered by an armour to which it was sticked a plaster vault when it was restored in 1682. Over the door appears the bishop’s coat of arms. This church, characterized by its pink colour, was built dedicated to Santa María, but from its independence in 1682 from the parish church of Antas, it is dedicated to Santa María de la Cabeza and its patron saint is San Gregorio Naciancieno.
After the repopulation of Bédar at the end of the XVI century with 27 inhabitants who came from nearby towns (Mojácar, Vera, etc.), the town will continue an economic and demographic dynamics during the XVII and XVIII centuries corresponding to the Ancien Régime. When in April, 1752 was carried out the census of Ensenada, the town had been a notable architectural and demographic growth from 134 houses and 599 inhabitants. The census collects the place names of Alfornía, Alfaix, Almocalzal, Jamontar, some of them still in use.
The XIX century will be an age with important changes for Bédar because the mining activity will have a great impact marking a prosperous age, still reflected in the ruins of the approach road, belonging to the housing development and infrastructure of them. These ones are located in the mountain range of Bédar being the third important basin with respect to the iron, followed by the towns of Filabres and Alhamilla. Apart from ferrous fields, it had lead, zinc and copper resources. From them the unique that was important was the galleon.
The lead mines were located in Pinar, that after the disappearance of them it has converted in a peculiar housing development, where many buildings were restored. A similar situation has happened in Los Pinos where the iron mines were operated. As a result of the mineral transport were carried out several technological advances, in 1888 the first air keystone was put, that went from El Pinar to the beach of Garrucha (where in 1860 it had been opened a blast furnace), 15,6 kilometres long, the most length in Europe in that age, and driven by a steam engine. Later, in 1896 inaugurated the installation of a narrow-gauge railway until Garrucha, where it had been built a jetty in the beach for the mineral.
The mining activity influenced with the First World War, the crisis of restructuring subsequent to the conflict and the one of the thirties that finished with this sector in Almería.
Nowadays, this town with an area of 46,72 km2 located in the foothills of Sierra de los Filabres, to 404 metres above sea level, belongs to the region of Los Filabres, about 87,5 kilometres from Almería. After the closure of the mines in the fifties, its main dedication is the agriculture, being a small town with 536 inhabitants, when at the end of the XIX century it had 8.000.
There are nothing left, nor even the Baños del Aneal, that were located in the farmhouse of Alfaix and that were an important centre of attention.
Church of Santa María de la Cabeza
The Square of San Gregorio y La Cruz
La Mezquita de Serena
The Hermitages of La Virgen de la Cabeza
The Castle of Los Moros
La Fuente Temprana
La Fuente de Serena
Ajo colorao. Caldo colorao. Olla de trigo. Migas. Gurullos con conejo. Trigo a la levantina. Fritada de emperador. Moragas. Choto al ajillo. Tortas de panizo.
Sweets: Bizcocho de dátiles. Torticas reales. Roscos de vino. Hormigones
How to get there
If you want to get Bédar from the capital, Almería, you have to take the motorway that links it with Comunidad de Murcia, and in Los Gallardos – district of Bédar until 1.924 –take the signposted deviation, after eight kilometres of winding rise.
Through this road we can see old remains of a splendid mining past: Minas de Plomo – El Pinar – and the old Station of the mining train – Tres Amigos – from where it was transported the extracted material until the wharf of Garrucha.
Distances from Bédar
Níjar 49 km
Vera 20 km
Antas 16 km
Serena 4 km
Aljariz 18 km
Sorbas 29 km
Almería 77 km
Mojácar 20 km
Los Gallardos 6,5 km
Bédar Fountains and Laundries
Los Pinos Laundry