Benamaurel is situated in a valley to the north of Baza and Granada province, and has many cave dwellings that may have been inhabited since the Arab Andalusian period.
This town of just over 2,500 inhabitants, it has as its patron the Virgen de la Cabeza, whose images have been used in the festivals of both Moors and Christians.
The church is dedicated to La Virgen de la Asunción (Our Lady of the Assumption,) and there is a curious place inside called la ‘Casa del tio Tinajas,’ (the house of uncle Tinajas) a troglodyte cave, as stated in records, which may be old Arab dungeons.
The area in which the municipality of Benamaurel lies has served as a human settlement since the period Argaric period (carved and polished stones, arrows and scrapers have been found locally). There are also archaeological remains which indicate that it was inhabited during the Iberian, Roman and Visigoth eras being first mentioned in the writings of a twelfth-century Arab historian. During the thirteenth century a castle was built to defend the territory against harassment by the forces of Ferdinand III, in the fourteenth century the land changed hands several times in successive conquests, until finally falling into the hands of Christians in the year 1488.
A year later came the Moorish revolt against the Count of Tendilla and the Crown, later the Moors were defeated and expelled, leaving Benamaurel nearly deserted. In 1531, an earthquake devastated the fortress and the town which came to be dependent on Baza which was nearby. Benamaurel became independent in 1628, but because of mounting debts its inhabitants decided in council to sell their properties to the Duke of Alba, Don Antonio Alvarez de Toledo, in 1633. During the Napoleonic invasion the inhabitants helped General O’Donnell who had been surrounded in a spot close by, and denied the use of their gunpowder factories (Benamaurel was rich in sulfur and salt) to the French.
The Iglesia Parroquial de la Anunciacion Parish (Church of the Annunciation, (built XVI century) originally an ancient mosque in the Gothic-Mudejar style. It was to be totally destroyed by fire in 1837.
Torre de Castril, a Muslim Arab period watchtower on the road leading to Castril.
Remains of the medieval fortress in the area of Las Hafas.
Benamaurel’s cuisine is based on the products provided from the many fertile orchards (olive oil, wheat, tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers), the right ingredients for a healthy diet, rich in flavor, with many typical local dishes, casseroles, gurupina, Migas with breadcrumbs. Also worthy of mention is the extraordinary quality of local homemade sausages, handmade and dried in caves.
Capers are also locally produced, grown in the wild and used for salads, pipirrana, or in sauces.
The list of desserts is extensive and the menu can definitely make your mouth water: crespillos of hemp seeds or beans, pork rind cakes, and at Easter, borrachuelos and fried donuts.
From Granada take exit towards Baza. A-92. Continue along: A-92. Take the exit towards: Exit 295 – Baza – Murcia. Take A-92N. Take the exit towards: Exit 339 – Baza (Centro) – Benamaurel – Caniles – Huércal Overa. Turn left: A-4200, direction: GR-NE-5 – Benamaurel. Pass Baico. Enter Benamaurel.
Distances from Benamaurel
Gor 41 km
Orce 33 km
Baza 16 km
Zújar 24 km
Serón 46 km
Granada 123 km
Pozo Alcon 41 km
Cullar Baza 13 km
Cortes de Baza 9.5 km