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Villages in Almeria

Las Tres Villas

Villages in Almeria

Las Tres Villas – Ocaña – Doña María – Escúllar

Las Tres Villas is a municipality resulting from the voluntary union of Ocaña, Dona María and Escúllar in 1976 under the name of Las Tres Villas, with the capital, or nucleus, being Doña Maria Ocaña. Its territory is situated  the foothills of the Sierra Nevada, close to the Nacimiento river valley, and therefore is within the Sierra Nevada Natural Park , a natural paradise , with its rich landscape, flora, fauna and anthropology.

The municipality of Las Tres Villas comprises an approximate area of 85 km2, running more or less north-south, being approximately 16 km long and about 5 km wide. The area covered includes the Sierras Filabres and the Sierra Nevada, stretching from the provincial border with Granada in the Sierra de los Filabres, through the Rio Nacimiento, up from the port of Atayuela and Santillana in Sierra Nevada.

As for its history, Ocaña, María and Escull already formed a single municipality in the years 1810, 1811 and 1812. The economic possibilities forced a separation in later years, before a merger, in 1820, with the villages of Doña María and Ocaña, taking the name Maria de Ocaña, in order to improve municipal services. In the seventies there was a further merger of the three towns, the last being September 16, 1976 when the Council of Ministers approved the voluntary amalgamation of the municipalities of Doña Maria Ocana and Escull into one with the name of  Las Tres Villas.

Going back further in time, with Abla being of some importance in Roman times, having a paved Roman road, the area was centred on the Venta of Dona Maria. In 1571, in the Book of Census and Population n Abla is shown in addition to two other towns, El Adelfas and La Venta of Doña María. Ocaña Escull and appears to have been only a scattered area of small houses in the mid eighteenth century. whereas Abla, and the Venta of Doña María are shown as a large farmhouse with nine  houses owned by landowner Juan Manuel Mendoza, a resident of Abla. At this time Las Tres Villas gained some independence, but Abla remained dependent for the payment of taxes on straw, utensils, and for the population census. Like so many other municipalities, the population decline throughout the twentieth century has been obvious. From 1900 until today has gone from about 3127 to the 772. Although it currently has self-sufficient agriculture only, in recent years it has seen a resurgence of olive growing.

The urban morphology of Ocaña and Dona Maria is an elongated north-south area along which runs a secondary road, more or less parallel to National Highway 324, built on flat land which has allowed the development of many larger, traditionally styled white houses, surrounded by large gardens, many having been converted to olive groves. The topology of Escull is different, being located in the foothills of the Sierra de los Filabres, causing it adopt a more crowded urban area adapted to the slopes of the local terrain, appearing as groups of houses, also in traditional style, along a twisting road with narrow, winding streets.

Regarding communications, the National Highway 324 connects the nuclei of Ocaña and Maria, and with the populations located mainly in the tectonic valley of Río Nacimiento. Escull can be accessed via a road from Abla, coming to a crossroads from which you go straight to the centre. (There is another third class road that connects Escull with Dona Maria and Ocaña.) In addition to these routes, there is also a railway that follows a path parallel to the Rio Nacimiento, but further north, with an old railway station, which today is obsolete. To all this must be added  the A92 motorway which will soon be open,  running parallel to the CN 324, which will have a definite influence on the town by making access easier and quicker.

As for the town’s economy, this has always been focused on farming, the main crops being grapes, cereals, fruit and especially olive groves, there is also a packaging and trading activity in oil in Ocaña. Historically, the town based its economy in the movement and transport of goods from one place to another. In fact, Ocaña has previously been known as a transit point, and people have always been making trips back and forth transporting various products. The main feature of the area has been the inability to provide a stable and sustainable economy, which has seen a gradual decline in population in the area, with little investment in the municipality itself. This has led to a current state in which we find a clearly aging population, which does not bode well for the future the municipality.

Monuments

Parish churches, eighteenth century.

Town planning

The three small towns are unique and have no impact on new construction.

Las Tres Villas Gastronomy

Colorao garlic. Colorao broth. Wheat stew. Migas.( meat with breadcrumbs) Gurullos with rabbit. Turkey pies. Local wheat dishes. Moragas. Choto garlic. Millet cakes. Stuffed roast turkey.

Sweets: Cake dates. Royal cakes, with fruit. Roscos of wine. Jesus Fingers (thin sweet cakes).

Directions

Exit Almería towards Almeria Huércal ,  continue on highway 340. Continue heading to Almeria – E-15 – N-340 – Nijar – Murcia. At the roundabout, take exit 1 Continue: A-92A in the direction: A-92 – Benahadux – Guadix. Continue along: A-92A, follow signs to Benahadux.  At the roundabout, take exit 3 Continue along: A-92 heading to Guadix – Granada . Take exit direction: Exit 341 – Abla. Once in Abla , follow signs to Escullos.

Distances from Las Tres Villas

Almería 71km
Fiñana 15km
Abla 10km
Abrucena 12km
Ocaña 16km
Gérgal 34km
Ohanes 29km


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