Velefique – Sierra de los Filabres
Velefique stands at 920 metres altitude, with the typical white houses which tell of a long history that makes it attractive area for research on its people and its history. To the north are the heights of Portillo and Senés, from which flow the rivers Manacuesa and Delgado, more or less alongside the road from Velefique to Sierro.
To the south, the rivers Velefique and Castro join to form the Galera, which flows into the ravine of Tabernas. From the tower of the church you can see the valley, which is found to the left of an old farmhouse, now called Triana, and to the right of the houses of the village. The medieval village was inside the fortress, for protection.
In the eighth century a group of Berber Christians came to the region at the request of Queen Kahima. Many times the coexistence of the Moors and arabs in the territory of Al-Andalus proved difficult, so after a raid by King Alfonso the Battler of Aragon in 1125, many of them left with him to repopulate the Ebro Valley. At the end of the tenth century a group of “jarichíes”, who had been persecuted in Cordoba took refuge in Velefique.
During the period of Al-Andalus, Velefique was a land of great men, as is the case of Abu Ishaq, a major Muslim holy man of the time. It was believed that he may have been born Abul Barakat, in 1264. He was cadi of Marbella, Estepona, Málaga and Almería. He later became great cadi of Granada. (a cadi was a high ranking Muslim judge)
Velefique was conquered in 1483 by Queen Isabella, and was given by the Catholic Monarchs in 1490 to Don Juan Tellez Giron, Conde de Ureña, He sold it to Don Alonso de Cardenas, Conde de la Puebla del Maestre.
The Moorish rebellion in 1568 did not affect the region to begin with, but a group of Moors who came from the Alpujarras with those of Gérgal was involved in the rebellion. After the war, this group of 70 Moors was arrested and enslaved by Don Juan de Austria in 1570. They were sold at public auction in Vera, Mojacar and Lorca, others, a total of 120, would be taken to Cuenca and Albacete. Repopulation of the area began later with a group of 28 Christians, from Granada.
In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries there was a slow population growth. The main activity was still agriculture and silk weaving. The Census of Ensenada in the mid eighteenth century showed that Velefique already had 363 inhabitants. This population would continue to grow during the nineteenth century, climbing to1,174 inhabitants. The twentieth century was characterized by a gradual decline until the present day population. Now Velefique has set its sights on starting a programme of rural tourism to assure a better future.
Church of Santa María,fifteenth century.
Velefique Archaeological Sites
Ruins of a Moorish castle.
Gastronomy in Velefique
Migas. Almeria garlic soup. Colorao paprika or broth (a kind of fish stew). Cooked local sausage. Gurullos (a plate consisting essentially of bread crumbs soaked, drained and fried in lard with ingredients such as garlic, sausage and bacon).
Sweets: Cream puffs. Pastries. Pies.
Exit Almería. Take Highway towards Granada. Cross Huércal de Almería. Go straight ahead 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 – A-92 – Benahadux – Guadix. Crossing Benahadux. At the roundabout, take exit 3 Continue along: A-92 heading to Guadix – Granada. Take the exit towards: N-340a – Tabernas – Sorbas. At the roundabout, take exit 2 Continue: N-340A: direction Sorbas – Tabernas. Pass by Tabernas. At the roundabout, take exit 3 Continue along: A-349. Turn left: AL-405. In 19km you will reach Velefique.
Distances from Velefique
Tahal 43 km
Uleila 41 km
Gádor 35 km
Sorbas 42 km
Macael 60 km
Almería 48 km
Tabernas 19 km
Purchena 50 km
Doña María Ocaña 54 km
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