Laujar de Andarax (Alpujarra Almeriense)

Laujar de Andarax is a town in the Alpujarras with a special charm and a turbulent history. It nestles in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada. Opposite are the mountains of the Sierra de Gádor whilst a fertile valley separates the two mountain ranges. It is a delightful setting.

Laujar de Andarax

Laujar is located near the source of the AndaraxRiver that provides water for the numerous fountains in the town. There are a number of fine buildings too and none more so than its principal church – Iglesia Parroquial de la Encarnación.
Dating from the 17th century, this Mudéjar building with a Baroque finish is quite attractive. The church is known as the ‘Cathedral of Alpujarra’. It was built on the foundations of a mosque.

I do not know if it was the original mosque that was set on fire in 1500 with the population inside – they were hiding there during the first Moorish revolt. What I do know is that the entire Moorish population was obliged to convert to Christianity or leave the kingdom.

Those Moors who converted were known as moriscos. Later, 1568-71, there was a second Alpujarras rebellion. The leader of this revolt was Abén Humeya, King of the Moriscos. However, his nephew Aben Aboo assassinated him and proclaimed himself as his uncle’s successor. He established the capital of his kingdom in Laujar.

Following many bloody battles, the moriscos were finally expelled from the Alpujarras. This town, like many others, was left deserted for many years until people from outside the Kingdom of Granada repopulated it.

Today, Laujar de Andarax is a thriving town and it is still a capital – it is the capital of the Alpujarra of Almería. It is well known for it’s wine and there are a number of bodegas locally that welcome visitors. It is one of the most accessible places in the Alpujarras being only a 40-minute drive from the coastal town of Almerimar.

Nacimiento nr Laujar

I frequently visit the Alpujarras and often go to Laujar to purchase some of its local produce – particularly honey and the delicious 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 to walk. 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 and tranquillity. Nacimiento means ‘birth’ and it is here that the Río Andarax starts its journey to the sea near Almería.

extract from “Spanish
Impressions” by Robert Bovington
ISBN 978-1-4452-2543-2 available

About Robert Bovington

Robert Bovington is an English writer of travel books. These include “Spanish Matters” and “Spanish Impressions” Robert Bovington was born in Brighton, East Sussex, the son of Leonard and Audrey Bovington. He is the first-born and has eight siblings – six brothers and two sisters. Having worked for many years in both the telecommunications industry and the teaching profession, Robert wanted to take on new challenges. He and Diane decided to relocate to Spain and, in 2003, the couple moved to Roquetas de Mar in sunny Andalucía. However, lazing on the beach was not Robert's idea of fun - he wanted to explore his new homeland. It didn't stop there! He was so impressed with Spain, its countryside, its historic cities and its culture that it inspired him to write about his experiences. Robert Bovington has been married to Diane for over thirty years. They have no children. However, Robert’s short marriage to Helene resulted in twin daughters Carole and Sheila. The author is also a grandfather and great grandfather. Robert met Diane when both belonged to the Crescent Operatic Society. Music is one of the author’s great passions. At primary school he sang in a choir in a concert of Bach and Handel. Another of his interests is football and for many years he supported Brighton & Hove Albion home and away. His favourite premiership team is Arsenal. Other interests include information technology, writing and ten-pin bowling.
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