Storia di Alpujarra
The location of The Alpujarra and its resources meant that distinct cultures emerged from these lands – those of Neolithic man and of the Moors – as well as others which originated or evolved in such close proximity, that they inevitably settled in, influenced or colonized this territory. It is sometimes said that the Neolithic Revolution and the Revolution of Islam came to The Alpujarra and to Andalusia, and it proved to be the South of the Peninsula which illuminated the whole of the Mediterranean and Europe for thousands of years.
Iberian and Tartessian civilizations: 1400-500 BC
The main center of the Tartessian State developed in the Lower Guadalquivir, extending its power outwards to the main mining areas of Linares and The Alpujarra, and to some extent putting a stop to the advance of the Celts who were invading all of Europe and most of the Iberian Peninsula.
In this era, in addition to Adra (from the Greek word ‘Abdera’), all along the coast numerous colonies were created by the cultures which populated the Mediterranean: Greeks, Phoenicians, Egyptians, Libyans, and Carthaginians.
Carthage: 500-206 BC
The Carthaginians came to Andalusia, seizing the city of Gadir – Cadiz – from the Phoenicians and monopolizing trade with Tartessos, whose civilization was practically wiped out. In 237 BC, Amilcar conquered the entire southern part of the Iberian Peninsula, and mined iron and lead in The Alpujarra.
Rome: 206 BC-AD 400
Rome, with the help of the Iberians, drove out the Carthaginians, but it then proceeded to occupy the Peninsula, breaking its promise to evacuate its troops – “Rome does not pay traitors”, unless they were Roman. From 199 BC the Iberian people rebelled against them, with Colca as their leader when they fought in the Sierra de la Contraviesa. The Iberians were defeated by the Roman invaders in AD 178. One can see the Roman culture in the building of the Vía Hercúlea – built in honor of Hercules near the sea. A large part of the infrastructure pertaining to irrigation and roads is believed to have been built in this period, on the initiative of the indigenous alpujarreño people.
Visigoths and Byzantines: AD 418-711
During this period when the Roman Empire was crumbling, Suevis and Visigoths took control of most of the Iberian Peninsula. The Emperor Justinian took advantage of civil war among the Visigoths and conquered the south-south-east of the Iberian Peninsula for almost two hundred years.
Islam: AD 711-1570
The majority of the Hispano-Roman population welcomed their saviors from the South with open arms, as they liberated them from the yoke of their Gothic oppressors. It is absurd to imagine a military invasion – 17.000 men disembarking with Tarik dominating several million Hispano-Roman citizens by force; it is better to think of a colonization by the Islamic culture, rather than a military invasion. Little by little, virtually the whole of the Peninsula converted to Islam, leading to a rich mix which became more and more ethnically diverse: Arabs, Berbers, Syrians, Persians, Turks, Hindus, Africans.
It is interesting to note that during the Caliphate of Cordoba, according to some historians, in the year AD 1000, the capital came to be the city with the largest population in the world, with more than a million inhabitants.
Castile: AD 1492-1977
With the fall of Granada in 1492, both the Mudejars and the new converts to Christianity – the latter forced to convert by successive Decrees – became known as ‘Moors’. Oppression led this group to rise up against ongoing injustices, and they proclaimed Don Fernando de Córdoba y Válor the king of the Andalusian people, under the name of Aben Humeya. With the arrival of industrialization in other parts of Spain, and the peak in tourism by those seeking the sun and the beach, a great process of migration began, near the end of the 19th century.
The end of 1975 saw the death of the last dictator on the Iberian Peninsula, a soldier from Galicia who imposed a Catholic nationalist regime by applying a pseudo-policy of restoring the ‘old values of the Spanish homeland’.
Democracy: AD 1978-NOW
Nowadays, there are elections for local councils, general elections for the Spanish Chamber of Deputies and for the Senate, autonomous elections to the Parliament of Andalusia, to the European Parliament, the list goes on… Spain is a consolidated democracy which stands alongside the rest of the countries of Europe.
Pista di Gerald Brenan
One of the most spectacular routes of the Alpujarra of Granada takes place through chestnut trees and groves of different species and diverse crops with wonderful landscapes. It is a route often walked by Gerald Brenan, a late local famous writer, when in need of inspiration. Let his memory guide you over the path, where you might see some wild ibex or an occasional small snake.
Distanza : 4,34 km
Durata : 45 min
Difficoltà : moderato
Ugijar - Camino de Yegen
This circular route is in the municipality of Ugíjar, belonging to the Province of Granada in the Community of Andalusia, and is located in the central part of the Alpujarra. The trail begins at the building of the Cultural Heritage Center of the Alpujarra, heads towards the Ugíjar river through Santa Lucia and crosses it to begin the ascent through the Barranco del Diablo .
Distanza : 20,24 km
Durata : 4.5 h
Difficoltà : moderato
Fonte di pista di Salute
In the short distance that this trail has, you will be surprised by the diversity of places you will find. On the ascent, you cross uncultivated lands and then descend, under the shade of old chestnut trees. While walking through this colorful path, you will see different farmhouses, some old and others more recent, that merge with the Sierra. Half way through one finds the Source of Health, that give name to this path. Finally, you will pass through a beautiful oak grove until you reach the road that joins Yegen with Valor, the end point of this walk.
Distanza : 13,68 km
Durata : 3 h
Difficoltà : facile