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Villages in Almeria

Sorbas

Villages in Almeria

Sorbas – Karst Natural Park in Yesos de Sorbas

Sorbas is known for its overhanging houses. It is located east of the province within the Karst Natural Park in “Yesos de Sorbas”, situated on a bend in the river, which has played a leading role in the formation of the park, a place of great beauty, crossed by the river and other tributaries which flow into it. The river flows through an extensive layer of deep rock strata. The river and rainwater together have cut many deep canyons, potholes, sinkholes and caves, such as the one at Covadura.

The name “Sorbas” comes from the Arabic and we can be fairly sure that it means “pot of sand” as mentioned in an  eleventh century text, possibly related to the Neolithic cooking pots  made at this time, a tradition which is still found today. The locality of La Alfarerias shows clear examples of this historic craft, and you can still see the remains of Arabic furnaces.

Sorbas is situated at a strategic point between Campo de Tabernas, Vera and Almanzora Valley, as well as being situated at a junction between the foothills of the Sierra de Filabres to the north, the Sierra Alhamilla to the southwest and the Sierra Cabrera to the southeast. Many old cultures have passed through this land shown by the materials and cultural exchanges. Several settlements have been discovered in the town possibly dating back as early as 2000 A.D. including a burial site with skeletons and various objects which the locals are said to believe are the work of the Moors.

The first known major settlement was that of the Iberian people who established trade relations with the Phoenicians, also residents of the area. Legend has it that one of the quadrants of the current coat of Sorbas, consisting of five red stripes, comes from the signal from a bloody hand of the Iberian leader killed by the Phoenician leader, and incorporated into the shield. Later the Romans added a crown with five square towers to the shield. After being conquered by the Catholic Queen, the other three remaining quadrants were completed: the castle, the lion and the double eagle.

The Arabic period was of great importance to the area due, in a large part, to their time spent in the county (roughly from the year 734 until 1488). Their cultural heritage has been shown both in the layout of some of its streets and in the form of agricultural production (irrigation systems, terraces …) and Arabic crafts such as pottery making.

In mid June 1488, Sorbas was given to the Catholic Monarchs in the same way as other nearby villages in the province. This was not a military conquest or an unconditional victory circle, despite its appearance, but an agreed negotiation, or a capitulation. The Moors were removed from their land and dispersed; some went to Castilla, others to the north of Africa. Some fled to the mountains and became bandits and pirates instilling great fear in the people of the villages. Alonso de Aguilar , the Joraique (in Old Castilian , Xorayque )  a Moorish bandit born in Almeria who was  the most notorious bandits and pirate of the sixteenth century in the south of the Iberian peninsula .

According to the book of “apeos” of Sorbas, recruitment was carried out with 50 neighbors who certainly did not belong to the kingdom of Granada. Their places of origin were varied: Jaén , Linares, Toledo, Cazorla and others and all were provided with housing and land in exchange for the payment of the relevant tariffs fixed by royal decree. The population decreased over time, villagers staying only one or two years because of the threat of capture by the Moors. Almost two centuries later the census revealed that Sorbas had 1825 inhabitants.

During the twentieth century, the town of Sorbas has slowly lost its inhabitants particularly between 1920 and 1930 due to emigration to America and Algeria and between 1960 and 1970 mainly by emigration to Europe and in which there was a loss of 1134 souls. According to the 1900 census the town had 7433 residents but in 1996 it was reduced to 2870.

Sorbas Monuments

Casa del Duque de Alba.

Chamber of Agriculture.

Church of Santa Maria, sixteenth century.

Casa del Marqués del Carpio.

Villaespesa Theatre, twentieth century.

Sorbas Archaeological Sites

Cueva del Tesoro.
Ceramic remains, axes and animal remains.
La Mela.
Levantine style rock paintings.
Cariatiz.
Argaric town with abundant pottery remains.
Remains of a castle.

Town planning

Terraced houses.
Cuenca girl- the town of Sorbas is also often known as Cuenca chica, because of the hanging houses.

Pottery neighborhood.
Arab Furnaces where pottery was made..

Farmhouses.
Hueli, Las Vinac, Los Perales, The Blacksmith.
Molinos.
Water mills on the rivers.

Sorbas gypsum.
Karst formations caused by erosion in the layers of limestone to form caves and galleries, interesting for anyone interested in caving.

Sorbas Gastronomy

Sorbas’s cuisine is the result of local produce. Fruit and vegetables from the abundant orchards, flour, olive oil, as well as poultry, pork, lamb, goat, rabbit, porridge; boiled wheat, fried breadcrumbs with beans, bacon, sausage, and cod; garlic colouring; aljipán; ajoblanco; gurullos (pasta not much bigger than a grain of rice served traditionally with rabbit); pepper broth vegetable soup and many other dishes.;
There is also a rich variety of desserts and pastries such as oven-baked doughnuts, doughnuts, cakes, pork rinds, and papaviejos (a type of sweet fritter) piñonates (local specialty with almonds honey cinnamon and other ingredients) and nougat.
Animal slaughter is carried out in the old style and results in fine meats like sausages, black pudding, stuffing, etc. Do not forget the great variety of delicious tapas served in bars and restaurants sales.

Directions

Exit Almería . Take Highway  towards Granada . Pass Huércal de Almería . Go straight on. Take the national road N-340 direction: Huércal de Almería – Almería – E-15 – N-340 – Nijar – Murcia. At the roundabout, take exit 1 Continue: A-92A in the direction: A-92 – Benahadux – Guadix. Pass Benahadux . At the roundabout, take exit 3 Continue along: A-92 heading to Guadix – Granada. Take the exit towards: Exit 376 – N-340a – Tabernas – Sorbas. At the roundabout, take exit 2 Continue: N-340A Direction: Sorbas – Tabernas. Pass near Sorbas Tabernas and reach Sorbas.

Distances from Sorbas

Níjar 32 km
Tahal 39 km
Turre 28 km
Lubrin 19 km
Almería 56 km
Mojácar 33 km
Tabernas 26 km
Los Gallardos 23 km
Lucainena de las Torres 12 km


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