Olula del Río
Olula del Río – Almanzora Valley
Olula del Río is a town located in the Almanzora valley, within the so-called region of marble, as their main economic activity is in the mining and transformation industry of this precious material. Thanks to this it has gained some economic prosperity, resulting in the image and care of people, where we can emphasizes the Church of S. Sebastián like the most important monument.
The first traces of the past found in the term corresponding to the Neolithic and Copper age, and numerous remains are located at the foot of the Sierra de Olula, emphasizing the site of the cave Humosa, but the historical reality begins with the Arabs, in which time there are enough traces in construction models, town planning, towers, and a cistern; the original village of Olula is located on the right bank of the river, in a steep place easy to defend on a rock that serves as a base, the Piedra Ver de Olula, considered a symbol of the town. H. de Jorquera said (on Lentisco): “In delightful and pleasing place to the eye and with a good fortress, in that valley of Almanzora, we can find the village of Oluia that waters of the river are fruitful, which abounds with all the maintenance being its baby silk very good, fruits and vegetables. It is inhabited by a hundred inhabitants in a parish diocese of Almería: its foundation is not recorded… “
In 1488, during the conquest of Almería by the Catholic Monarchs, are carried out the capitulations of the Almanzora River and parts of the Sierra de los Filabres and then Purchena, Urracal and Olula del Río are delivered to the estate of Luis de la Cerda, Duke of Medinaceli, remaining in his power until 1560, when they become property of the Crown, but subsequently sold to Miguel Serrano, a man who was distinguished himself by bringing peace in the revolt of the Moriscos.
When he died, the ownership passed to his son Andrés Serrano, until in the XVIII century the new owner of the manor is Don Diego Mesía and Manuel Serrano. In the time of the conquest, according to Cristina Segura, there were orchards where varied fruit trees, olive trees and vines and some cereal are cultivated. The mulberry tree was the tree that most contributed to the economy of the Filabres, for the dedication of its people to the rearing of silkworms, obtaining good returns.
When Genoese sailors sell the silk were the big winners; the cattle was scarce and somewhat larger the sheep and goats, being famous in Almería the salt mines of Adra, the lead mines of Berja and the Marble quarries of Macael.
Some of the expelled Moors who refused to leave their homes or land, says Cabrillana, who became in sadistic and refined bandits of the mountains. They found a golden opportunity in the revolt to avenge all the enduring sufferings and grouped around the Gorri or El Rami; they made their actions by the Almanzora Valley and the river of Almería, and these Moriscos complicated the lives of their inhabitants and participated in stabbings, burning of Christians, burning churches and robberies in the area of Olula- Purchena.
Christian’s offense headed by the Marqués de los Vélez, who met in Vélez Blanco on January 2, 1569 many soldiers, infants, and knights of different towns and, passing through Olula the valley of Almanzora and going beyond the wall of the Filabres reached the village of Tabernas on their way to the valley of Andarax. When Don Juan came to these villages, the Moors, taking advantage of the night, left the town. For example Tíjola was conquered on March 25, 1570, but only found in the village women and some sick men; that same tactic was used by the Moriscos of Cantoria and neighbouring towns.
With Don Juan de Austria the confrontation intensifies, and in the high Almanzora the Moors, from the hills, observed the movement of the troops without presenting battle and with smoking alerted the neighbours from Purchena, Olula, Tíjola and other towns of Almanzora. During the revolt of the Moors in Olula showed resistance to the revolutionary idea, that is easily understandable due to the Moors had long time living in harmony with the Christians and shared some traditions and methods of production. Not all Moors from Olula devoted to the agricultural activity, there was a group dedicated to the trades of trajinería (milling, transport and silk goods …).
Since the second half of the XVI century until the first third of the XX century, it is a predominantly agricultural and cattle raising town, but developing towards an industrious, dynamic and with good prospects centre of population. From the fifties the industrial explosion takes place, taking in large numbers of immigrants from the surrounding villages, having its population 1.800 people in 1939, and nowadays it has about 7.000 inhabitants.
Olula del Rio Monuments
San Sebastian Parish Church, XVIII century. Neo-classical style. Designed by Ventura Rodríguez.
Church of La Concepción, XX century. It is fully decorated with marble.
Andalusian fortress ruins. We can observe traces of houses, towers, and a tank.
Cave of Humosa.
Palaeolithic archaeological site.
Sausages (sausage, chorizo, salami). Migas. Cocido de morcilla. Rice with rabbit. Garlic omelette. Wines.
How to get there
You have to exit Almería towards: N-340 – Murcia – Ronda de Almería – A-92 – Granada. Take the exit towards: Salida 453 – Viátor – Base Militar La Legión – A-92 – Guadix – Granada. At the roundabout, take the Salida 4 and continue along: A-92. Take the exit towards: Salida 373/376 – Tabernas – Murcia – N-340a. Pass near Tabernas, Benitorafe and Macael. Follow the signs until you get Olula del Río.
Líjar 25 km
Albox 17 km
Viátor 75 km
Macael 3,5 km
Almería 84 km
Cantoria 12 km
Tabernas 49 km
Albánchez 24 km
Huércal Overa 40 km