Laujar de Andarax is a town in theAlpujarras with a special charm and a turbulent history. It nestles in thefoothills of the Sierra Nevada. Opposite arethe mountains of the Sierra de Gádor whilst a fertile valley separates the twomountain ranges. It is a delightful setting.
|Laujar de Andarax
Laujar is located near the source of the Andarax River that provides water for thenumerous fountains in the town. There are a number of fine buildings too andnone more so than its principal church – Iglesia Parroquial de la Encarnación.Dating from the 17th century, this Mudéjar building with a Baroque finish isquite attractive. The church is known as the ‘Cathedral of Alpujarra’.
It was built on the foundations of amosque. I do not know if it was the original mosque that was set on fire in1500 with the population inside – they were hiding there during the firstMoorish revolt. What I do know is that the entire Moorish population wasobliged to convert to Christianity or leave the kingdom. Those Moors whoconverted were known as moriscos. Later, 1568-71, there was a second Alpujarrasrebellion. The leader of this revolt was Abén Humeya, King of the Moriscos.However, his nephew Aben Aboo assassinated him and proclaimed himself as hisuncle’s successor. He established the capital of his kingdom in Laujar.Following many bloody battles, the moriscos were finally expelled from theAlpujarras. This town, like many others, was left deserted for many years untilpeople from outside the Kingdom of Granada repopulatedit.
Today, Laujar de Andarax is a thriving townand it is still a capital – it is the capital of the Alpujarra of Almería. Itis well known for it’s wine and there are a number of bodegas locally thatwelcome visitors. It is one of the most accessible places in the Alpujarrasbeing only a 40-minute drive from the coastal town of Almerimar.
|Nacimiento nr Laujar
I frequently visit the Alpujarras and oftengo to Laujar to purchase some of its local produce – particularly honey and thedelicious soplillos, which are chewy meringues made with almonds. However,there is another reason I visit the town. About 1 kilometre north of Laujar is’El Nacimiento’ – a delightful area of waterfalls, picnic areas and places towalk. My wife and I usually go there in Spring and Autumn on weekdays and,mostly, we have the place to ourselves. It is a haven of peace andtranquillity. Nacimiento means ‘birth’ and it is here that the Río Andaraxstarts its journey to the sea near Almería.
extract from “SpanishImpressions” by Robert Bovington
ISBN 978-1-4452-2543-2 availablefrom http://www.lulu.com
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