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History

Huelva and its environs is a Mecca for those interested in Christopher Columbus, with a number of significant tourist attractions relating to the famous explorer. Cristóbal Colón (as he is known in Spain), is thought by most to have been born in Genoa, Italy around 1451.

The first local traces of the Iberian people date from the sixth and seventeenth centuries B.C. The Roman era was characterized by the proliferation of these villas through the whole area. Their occupation lasted from the first century to the fifth. In the Al-Andalus period, Vélez Blanco began to grow in importance due to its strategic position, with the name Velad al-Abyadh./p>

The town’s current location dates from the late fifteenth century and is due to the abandonment of the old city located on a hill to the south called Castellón. Although no specific Upper Paleolithic sites have been found, the settlement of this area has been known since this time. From the Neolithic period there is the Cerro de Los López site, with the existence of cabins, pottery and tools.

The town’s origin comes from a set of farmhouses in the Los Vélez manor. It obtained its municipal independence from Vélez Rubio in 1895. There is not much agreement on the meaning of its name. According to the Arabists, its name means “kiss of Allah”, whilst more recent research has associated its toponym with an Arab verb meaning “to drink”, or “drink from the highest source”.

In the eighth century, the Berbers of Queen La Kahima found refuge here, before being Romanized and Christianized like the Spanish from the southeast. From then until the twelfth century, some Mozarabic communities lived here in peace, and many went with King Alfonso “el Batallador” to repopulate the Ebro Valley in 1125-1126.

In surveys carried out in 1982 in El Castillejo, Neolithic ceramic remains were found. It is therefore presumed that a stable settlement existed on this plot between 7000 BC and 700 AC. The municipal term of Abrucena is situated in the old Bastetana region, which included the current provinces of Almería, Granada, Murcia and parts of Jaén and Albacete.

The origins of Olula de Castro date to prehistoric times, evidenced by some rock engravings found at Huerto del Moro or de los Rodeos. Between the seventh and eighth centuries, Romanized and Christian Berbers arrived from Africa, known as Yarawás, under the command of Queen La Kahima, who, settled in the Sierra de los Filabres.

It is believed that the village’s name comes from Thabernax, named for the Greek legions, because it was the place where the troops were supplied in many inns or sales. Prehistoric settlements have been found, such as the town of Terrera Ventura (2850-1950 B.C), a Neolithic agro-pastoral and livestock settlement.

Láujar de Andarax occupies a hillside position at 920m. With a backdrop of rocky peaks and dense pine forest, it has stunning views over the fertile plain of the Andarax River. The town is famous for being the residence of Boabdil, the last Nasrid ruler of the Moorish Kingdom of Al-Andalus, who sought refuge in Láujar in 1492 after he was expelled from Granada following the city’s capture by the Catholic Monarchs.

The first evidence of human presence in the area dates back to the Neolithic era, in the so-called Culture of the Caves, where the Nieles and Almecena caves particularly stand out. Ceramic and imprint remains from the fifth millennium BC have been discovered. The Argar Culture and the progressive Iberian, Phoenician and Carthaginian hordes gave way to Roman domination.

The name of Paterna seems to originate in Paternum or Paternus, although the remains of Iberian swords found in the Gaviarra mines cast doubt on this assumption. The dramatic and challenging landscape of La Alpujarra meant that its Arab occupation took some centuries, but the Mozarabic population was very important in the times of the Caliphate. In 913, the young Caliph Abd al-Rahman III had to cross Sierra Sulaira.

The name Instinción is believed to be of Latin origin, dating from the time of Augustus, in Romanized Hispania. However, is has also been argued that Instinción was the name of a Muslim Princess from the Nasrid family. The town was a Muslim farmhouse during the Middle Ages, sitting in a privileged enclave next to fertile and strategic land on the Alpujarra road.

The first recorded evidence of this town dates from the Al-Andalus period, documented by the twelfth century geographer Idrisi, which inscribes it within the Urs al-Yaman region as one of the twenty castles in the territory. At the time of Al-Andalus, the town was located in a higher area than its present situation, called lugarejo. The author, Jorge Lirola, says that Íllar comes from the Arabic word al-Aliya, meaning “the high”.

The first cultural settlement of Terque is likely to have been prehistoric, evidenced by the millenary cave town found by the occupants of the Millares, heirs of the Neolithic culture. However, Terque was formerly known as Marchena.

Santa Cruz de Marchena originated in the Al-Andalus period. It was known as Haratalgima, which translates as “mosque district”, due to the location of the high mosque. Together with Bolodu, it made up the Area of Alboloduy. With the Christian conquest, it was one of the first mosques to turn to the Christian faith with the name of Santa Cruz (Holy Cross).

The history of Castro de Filabres dates to the Roman era, although there are some vestiges of prehistoric times, particularly from the Copper Age. Remains of polished stone instruments with axes, known as “Lightning Stones” , have also been found, made with a material called diorite. The foundation of the town is framed between legend and reality.

Benitagla was founded by the descendants of the Berber Tribes that settled in the Sierra de los Filabres between the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries in the Nasrid period. The earliest data of Benitagla stretches back to July 1488. On June 23, 1492, the Catholic Monarchs give the towns of Albox, Arboleas, Albanchez and Benitagla to Don Pedro Manrique de Lara, Duke of Nájera.

The origins of the village lie in the times of Roman domination, an era when baths were the main focus. The twelfth century Muslim geographer and chronicler, Idrisi, links the town to Roman hot springs at a health spring, known as the Poznilla fountain.

The origins of Dalías date to the Al-Andalus period. The current population corresponds to the old Muslim town of Ambrox, although other data indicates that the primitive population was located 2km from the current situation, in El Campo, where there are remains of tombs, aqueducts, houses and streets. Its name comes from the Arabic word dalaya, which means vineyard.

Although the origins of Alcolea are uncertain, the oldest vestiges discovered locally correspond to the Neolithic period, which were found at the beginning of the twentieth century in Barranco de los Caballos. These are thought to be the remains of animals.