Arts & Crafts - Handicrafts in Almeria

Jarapas and ceramics from Nijar, Almeria. © Michelle Chaplow
Jarapas and ceramics from Nijar, Almeria © Michelle Chaplow

The golden age of craftsmanship in Almeria, occurred between the 7th and 15th centuries under Muslim al Andalus.

Almeria, as part of the Kingdom of Granada, provided marble from the quarries at Macael for countless buildings, in particular the Alhambra.

Handmade Jarapas
Handmade Jarapas

Macael area now holds the principal concentration of quarries and workshops in Spain, few crafts have the historical tradition and prestige that the marble from this area has. Macael is the main centre for a large variety of objects and ornaments, although the Olula del Rio, Cantoria and Vera areas are close behind.

Pottery is also an important inheritance from Muslim times. The same kilns that were being used eight centuries ago still baking pottery today at Albox, Nijar, Sobras, Alhabia and Almeria. The method of making pottery is the same now as then, and the more traditional objects such as ewers, jars, large bowls, casseroles, pitchers with spouts and plates are much in demand for purposes of decoration.

Jarapas, associated with Nijar, are light carpets made from woven left overs of cotton, and are sometimes used as blankets or hangings. Woodcarvings can also still be found and during the Easter processions splendind images can be admired.