Padules – Alto Andarax Region
Padules is a beautiful town belonging to the Alto Andarax, located to the west of the province, in a farming area, whose main wealth is the cultivation of vineyards and olive. Its urban appearance still preserves a harmony and traditional features, giving it an air of peace and tranquillity, enhanced by the Church with Mudejar style.
Padules’s population, due to the proximity of the remaining 22 towns in the region of Andarax, has been immersed in the historical processes of the region, like all other towns.
One of the violent changes in the area was the revolt of the Moors and the subsequent repopulation, which took place with old castilians. In this area most of the settlers came from Andalusia, because El Andarax was repopulated in 1574 by 810 people, who were spread across the four Tahas.
Andalusia contributed 283 inhabitants, accounting for 34.9% of the total. The current area of Castilla-La Mancha with 195 settlers, that represents the 23,9%. The third most important contribution is the one of Valencia, with 131 settlers, 16.1% of the total. These regions are followed by Murcia, Castilla-León, Extremadura and Galicia. From the Andalusian area, Jaén will provide the majority of the population, 59.7%, followed by Granada, with 21.9%, Córdoba with 11.3% and Seville with a 7%.
Another fundamental fact that the town of Padules lived, like the rest of the region and the province, was the decline of population due to the migration that was done to more prosperous areas of Spain and abroad. In the specific case of Padules and the region of Andarax, the situation was more difficult, since the fall of vine cultivation led to the departure of most of the population.
This fall in grape production had like origin a global event, the World War I that changed the international economy and greatly hindered the trade between countries.
This brought for the grape the loss of markets and restrictions on its entry into other markets, obstacles to which were added the difficulties created by lack of transport ships and even problems for cultivation, sometimes because of lack of money and others by the lack of some essential commodities, essential raw materials, fertilizer or sulphur, among others.
The result of all these factors were some years in which the grape production was generally below the level reached since the beginning of the century and campaigns that proved disastrous because of poor sales made from grapes, with prices that often does not even cover expenses.
The crisis in the export of grapes resulted in immediate deterioration of the difficult conditions of life in the region, destabilizing the relationship between resources and population and produced a significant fall in population.
Between 1910 and 1920 the population throughout the region declined from 53.554 to 45.717 people, which is a big population stage at that time, if we consider that one of the most important and prosperous towns of the province, Berja, had in 1910 with 12.345 inhabitants.
This situation caused a decline in the population of the area, which was reflected in a gradual abandon of the towns, which were then retrieved years later, by neighbours who returned on holidays or by a gradual recovery of the population census.
Despite these ups and downs, the town has preserved its unique beauty and rich lands, which provide it with enormous appeals for the agriculture.
Parish Church of Santa María la Mayor, XVI century. The original church was burned in 1568. It was rebuilt a few years later. The interior is decorated with armchairs made of chestnut logs and the font of a piece of mill.
Small city centre in La Alpujarra.
Fennel broth. Peeled wheat porridge. Chard soup. Fry the rabbit. Omelette of campions. Light red wine (homemade).
Sweets: Gurullos. Merengues (a confection of sugar and white of eggs). Soplillos (Crapes, a thin stuff). Pan dormido. Grape juice bread.
How to get there
You have to exit Almería towards Huércal de Almería, cross this one and continue on Highway 340. Continue towards Almería – E-15 – N-340 – Nijar – Murcia. At the roundabout take the salida 1 and continue along: A-92A towards: A-92 – Benahadux – Guadix. Continue along: A-92A, follow the signs until Benahadux then you have to exit Benahadux. Continue along: A-348. Cross Alhama de Almería and continue to Illar, from here follow the signs until Canjáyar. Then exit Canjáyar and continue straight on until you get Padules.
To Almería 49 km
To Canjáyar 5 km
To Alboloduy 31 km
To Ohanes 11 km
To Íllar 17 km
To Alhama de Almería 25 km
To Benecid 11 km
To Almócita 1,8 km
To Beires 3 km
To Fondón 11 km