Laujar de Andarax

Laujar de Andarax, the capital of the Alpujarra de Almería, is a village in a valley between the Sierra Nevada and the Sierra de Gador. Laujar has lots of water, because of the rainfall and the number of fountains and the Rio Andarax, which springs up there. The landscape of Laujar is full with woodland and forests, where you can have lovely walks and great views over the mountain range around you. Laujar is the only part of the province, where they can harvest the grapes for wine. Part of it lays in the Parque Natural of the Sierra Nevada and it is famous for its botanical and fauna as well as for its scenic and anthropological wealth. A short History of Laujar de Andarax In earlier days it was only called Andarax, due to the river that springs there. The last King of Almería, El Zagal, spent quiet some time there after the capitulations of Baza in Guadix. It was also the official residence of Boabdil after he was expelled from Granada and had to hand Granada back to the Catholic Monarchs. The Christians however feared another uprising of the Moors, so Boabdil was sent a year later back to Morocco. But after he had to leave a series of Moorish rebellions started. The first revolt was in 1500, which was very bad for the people of Laujar, because they hid in the mosque, which was set on fire. Lots of chosen Kings of the Moors lived in Laujar de Andarax, such as Aben Humeya, a former Christian Fernando de Válor, which rebelled in 1568 and was assassinated. His nephew and assassinator, Aben Aboo was also a leader of the rebellion and lived some time in Laujar. Two years later, Juan of Austria put the rebellion down and the Moors where pressed to convert to Christianity or leave Spain. All Moors were expelled from Granada and like many other villages, Laujar was left deserted and empty. It was repopulated with people from outside of Granada and today it is the largest village in the Natural Park of the Sierra Nevada in the province of Almería. Over centuries, Laujar de Andarax was famous for its agricultural, cattle and industrial activities, like growing cereals, wine, olives, vegetables, fruits, making wool, textiles, dyes and also for its flour and olive mills. Acitvities and things to visit in Laujar de Andarax First of all, you have the old buildings in Laujar, like the town hall, which was build in the 18th century and has lovely stone fountains on his place, which are from the 17th century and they are called Pilar de los Cuatro Caños, Fountain with 4 tubes. You find a lot of old fountains from the 17th and 18th century in Laujar, because it was famous for its natural and clear water. Then you have the Iglesia de la Encarnación, a chirch from the 16th Century, which has paintings from Alonso Cano, a painter from Granada, inside for example the immaculate conception. You should also have a look in the village, there are many baroque houses. The Moorish citadel was once a big building, covering 3 square km of Laujars area, now it is only some stones left. Near Laujar is the Nacimiento del rio Andarax, the birth of the river Andarax. This is a lovely place where you can make a pick-nick under trees. There is a bar and benches with tables and barbecue pits and you can enjoy the nature. If you like to explore nature you are in the right village. They have lots of routs through the natural park with or without guides and the fauna and flora there is stunning. Also Birdwatchers and Photographer will  love this area. Because Laujar is very famous for its wines, you find lots of lovely Bodegas there, which are worth a visit to try the different wine. Laujar Today The biggest fiesta in Laujar is the Fiesta de la Patrona la Virgen de la Salud. This is in the 2. half of September. Laujar has lots of groups, which are active as well on the cultural things, like theatre, music as sport, like soccer and tennis. They also do a lot for the Tourism to develop and improve the area. It is a great place for rural tourism and is a good stay to explore the nature of the area and the mountains around it. The best viewing point there is the Mirador de la Vega, from which you can see all the way across the Andarax vally and the Sierra de Gador.