Málaga Province - Jubrique

Traditional terracotta rooftops in Jubrique. © Michelle Chaplow
Traditional terracotta rooftops in Jubrique.

Jubrique

The village is easily approached by road, which semi bypasses the village.  Whether approaching from Estepona or the Rio Genal, why not park up by the Morisco looking monument of the Hermitage of the Castanuelo, just above the town on the main road? Looking down the immediate valley, the old Lavardero can be seen, which until the coming of electricity, was the main washing area.  A pleasant short trackway leads down to this.

As in most villages aim for the church, as this is the focal point of the village. Most guidebooks will explain that this is a typical village founded by the Berbers in 711.  However, as we shall learn, everything we see today was not founded until after 1570 and the pueblo took at least 100 years to get established after its bloody past.  The Parish Church of San Fransico de Asis dates from the end of the 16th century.  It is not the church depicted in the street murals, where the Moriscos were herded together at one point in history.  It has a rectangular single nave with a small octagon shaped tower above the entrance.  Inside are various statues all dating from the end of the 18th century.  Major extensions took place in 1826 to meet the expanding population.  Further restoration work was not made until 1970, after the damaged caused by the Civil War. 

Heading up the steep streets, there are various fountains and hermitages.  Towards the top of the pueblo Fuente Armona can be found. This used to supply the whole town’s water needs, having been sourced from a spring.  Nearby is the Hermita de la Llanada and another associated fountain.

The top end of the pueblo can be reached also by car on a circular route that goes by the Cruz del Chorrillo.  Drop down past Hotel de Montana and just under two kilometres past the village a road leads up to the right.  Having climbed up a steep hill the BBQ area and shrine can be seen.  Though in reality it is a small octagon chapel, it is the place that comes alive once a year on the Dia de la Cruz.  This is when Jubrique celebrates its saint’s day of Santa Cruz on the 3 May, with its  flotilla through the streets of the town.  A romeria (pilgrimage) heads out to this hermitage cross which ironically once again contains a Moorish influence in its structure.

History of Jubrique

Man has been interested in the mountainside since he learned to smelt iron.  The reddish mountain side of Sierra Bermeja is full of ores and the Romans had a road that ran from Casares to Cueva del Baque, which can be found on the Jubrique / Genalguacil district junction, very near the top of the mountain.  The Romans were mainly after the iron, but other ores were extracted such as lead.  This will explain why after the Moorish invasion of 711 AD, this small area of 40 square kilometres of rugged mountainsides supported four communities.  More >   

 

Directions

To reach Jubrique, either go via Algatocin on the Ronda – Gaucin road and turn right down to the Genal valley, or take the mountain road from Estepona over the Puerto de Penas Blancas.  From Algatocin, the road crosses over the Rio Genal, which is one of the few spots on this secretive river’s course that can easily be visited by car.  For much of the river’s life, it is covered over by a tunnel of trees, taking advantage of the well-watered valley.

For the more adventurous, another approach to the village can be by a dirt track from Pujerra, which sets out over the mountains and the steeply wooded slopes.  This connects with the Estepona road a few kilometres south east of the village.  Jubrique is not as isolated as the neighbouring villages of Genalguacil or Benarraba, as some through traffic does pass by the village on its way to the coast.  Even so, the village clings to the Sierra Bermeja mountain range at 558 metres above sea level, heavily reliant upon forestry and market gardening.

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