Almeria Province - Los Gallardos

LOS GALLARDOS

Los Gallardos is neatly situated in a valley, 8km from the sea and 5km from the mountains. It is 73km from Almeria city and has around 2,800 inhabitants.

HISTORY

The town finds its origin in the beginning of the mining operations of the Sierra Almagrera in the early nineteenth century. The origin of the name is thought to have come from a nineteenth-century family, however, it has also been suggested that it originates from a Captain Gallardo, who may have settled in the first house in the area and given rise to the town. More>

THINGS TO SEE

Iglesia Parroquial de San Jose
In 1900, this church was created without the temple existing yet. In 1925, Los Gallardos became an independent municipality of Bédar and an attempt was immediately made to build the church formally. Due to the great deterioration of the roof and the walls, restoration works were undertaken in 2007 and 2008. The church is located on Plaza San Jose.

THINGS TO SEE OUTSIDE THE VILLAGE

Baños de Alfaix
The Baths of Alfaix was a spa run by Francisco Crespo Mañas and his family between approximately 1924 and 1950. The spa waters came from a nearby source known as Fuente del Aneal, which consisted of two springs, one hot and one cold. These waters were thought to have healing properties for wounds or diseases such as rheumatism. The Baths of Alfaix became a very important holiday resort to which holidaymakers arrived from nearby towns such as Vera but often as far as Madrid. The balneary consisted of a wide street with rental houses on both sides, as well as a grocer in the small square where holidaymakers met on hot summer nights. There was a total of four small pools, each in a single room, and finally a larger separate one. It also had a sizeable garden containing numerous fruit trees. The spa was partially destroyed by a flood and later rebuilt, but a second flood destroyed it completely and the waters of the spring disappeared. Today there are only a few small ruins of what was once a thriving health and tourism hub. These can be found south of Los Gallardos, off the A-7.

Ermita de Alfaix
The construction of this chapel, which honours San Miguel, was carried out through the collaboration of neighbours, each of them contributing what they could, whether money or labour. They carried the stones all the way from the river to the chapel to undertake the building work. It is located 4km from the town.

GASTRONOMY

Visitors can sample various cold meats, as well as potaje de hinojos (fennel stew), potaje de trigo pelado (wheat stew), potaje de acelgas (chard stew), migas (fried bread with chorizo), fritada de conejo (fried rabbit), tortilla de collejas (herb omelette) and habas con bacalao (broad beans with cod). Sweet treats include gurullos (sweet semola), merengues (meringues) and soplillos (similar to macarons).

HANDICRAFTS

Local crafts produced in Los Gallardos consist of shoes and bags made from esparto, as well as plates and other utensils made from clay, although ceramics are becoming less common.

FESTIVALS

Popular festivals are the three king´s procession, Carnival, Holy Week, Día de la Vieja, Fiesta de San Isidro, Fiesta en Honor a Nuestra Señora La Virgen del Carmen. More>

NEARBY PLACES

The neighbouring villages to Los Gallardos are Vera, Sorbas and Bédar.

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