Almeria Province - Purchena

Purchena

Those who love cultural tourism will enjoy touring this Almerian town which many call the Pearl of the Almanzora. It was founded as a village in the 9th Century by the Arabs, who gave it the name Hisn Burxana, however the land was inhabited before by other civilizations, as shown by the abundance of archaeological sites that are to be found here. Among them is the fortified city from the Copper Age, in Los Churuletes, in the centre of which are many bell-shaped vases that can be seen today in the National Archaeology Museum.

From the time of Arab domination, as well as the characteristic framework of the narrow and steep streets, remains have been preserved of what was once their citadel, which had a water tower called the Torre del Agua, which was restored at the end of the 20th Century and which constitutes a tremendous wave of hydraulic engineering. There are also remains of an antique Nasrid watchtower, situated one kilometer away from the centre of Purchena. Many of the pieces from this era of history can be seen in the Municipal Museum of Islamic Archaeology.

Things to See

When walking around town, the Church of San Ginés will also attract particular attention, declared a Monument of Art-History. It was built in the 17th Century by a renaissance artist and contains interesting fresco paintings from the 17th Century and a beautiful mudejar-style roof.

Other interesting places are the Chapel of Virgen del Carmen, constructed on top the remains of another from the 16th Century, the Park of Juan María Bandrés, Consitution Square, the neuralgic centre of Purchena, where you can find a monument dedicated to the farmers made from yellow marble, the Plaza Larga, with its monument in memory of the Hispanic-muslim legend, the Plaza de Triana, with its shrine of Virgen del Carmen, the spring of San Ginés, and some nineteenth century houses with beautiful facades like the Casa del Fiscal.

For nature lovers, Purchena has a landscape full of beautiful and attractive forests and enclaves like the leisure zome of Silveria in Los Fibrales, the Gevas Ravine and the wooded area of Campillo in the Sierra de Las Estancias. All this forms an ideal setting for those keen on rural tourism and outdoor sports like hiking.

Going back to cultural interest, it has to be pointed out that the town has spent many years as the headquarters of the Complutense Summer Course and the University of Almería, as well as celebrating a national literary competition.

Arts & Crafts

Those interested in the typical arts and crafts in Purchena will find marble works and works of straw and lace.

Gastronomy

Those who would like the try the local delicacies and gastronomic dishes will have to try the local jams and conserves, hams and cold meats (usually pork), as well as the traditional dishes like the olla de trigo, migas, fried rabbit or pork, gachas and bean soup.

Celebrations

For those more inclined to party, the local celebrations in Purchena start with the Marisco Games of Aben Humeya, declared as being of special cultural interest. They are the build up to the San Ginés Celebrations and they are recreations of the sport and music events and races that the Moorish King brought about en 1569. The event lasts five days. Easter week is also very interesting, with the pilgrimage of the Virgin towards her shrine of the castle, and the Fiestas Mayores in August.

How To Get There

Purchena is located 90 kilometres from the city of Almería, from where you can take the 373 exit from the A-92 towards Tabernas. Once you cross Olula del Río, continue along the A-334 and then link onto the ALP-403 in order to arrive at your destination.

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