by Saskia Mier
Abrucena offers a beautiful natural environment for its visitors. In the village centre, the streets are narrow and winding and lead to the most important building: the sixteenth-century church. It’s also worth visiting the ruins of El Castillejo, located on the banks of the river facing the village. It has about 1,200 inhabitants.
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. More>
THINGS TO SEE
In 1980, work on the Town Hall was completed. The building contains the Court, Guadalinfo Centre, Post Office and Local Police office. Located in Plaza Andalucía.
Ermita de las Ánimas
The chapel was built in 1939 when the Civil War ended. It is a small box-floor hermitage built in plastered masonry of single height and covered with gabled Arab tile, on which a small wrought-iron cross appears. On the main façade, there is a gap made up of a segmented arch that serves as a door. Inside, there is an altar with flowers and pictures in homage to the souls. Located on Calle Balsillas.
Capilla Casa de las Monjas
This small chapel was built at the end of the 1950s and measures about 3x8m, with Neo-Gothic reminiscences, false vaults, two pointed windows in the front and a curious shell-shaped roof over the altar. It is located inside a simple house-convent.
Ermita de San José
This chapel was built in plastered masonry, with a bell tower that shares its first third of wall with the hermitage, while doubling it in height. The altar is crowned by a half-orange vault. The chapel was remodeled in 1710 and the works were paid for by the priest José Gómez de la Torre. Located on Calle San Jose.
Iglesia Parroquial de la Anunciación
The church was built in the sixteenth century. Francisco Lorenzo, the same bricklayer who built Abla’s Iglesia de Anunciación, was commissioned to construct the foundations. When Lorenzo passed away, his son Diego assumed responsibility for the remainder of the construction, which had to be completed by 1570. In the following centuries, profound changes took place in its structure, including the addition of the right-hand nave, from which a piece was recently cut to form a chapel. Despite numerous recent restorations, the old age of the church’s exterior remains apparent, particularly in the robust tower, an ugly neo-Gothic spire inspired by the Cathedral of Guadix. It was rebuilt in 1828 after being burned by an exhalation in 1819.The Pretil is a small square located at the back of the church, consisting of a wall that separates the church by a garden with 2 water fountains. Many children and adults come to spend the afternoon here. The exterior part is currently being restored. Located in Plaza de la Iglesia.
THINGS TO SEE OUTSIDE THE VILLAGE
Castillo El Castillejo
El Castillejo is a settlement that was mainly occupied in the Almohad period of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. Remains were found of Muslim walls belonging to a border defense system with a solid tower. The western end is closed by a rectangular tower, the south side by a masonry tower with several lime plasters. Inside, a Roman cistern has been preserved, covered by a 30cm thick barrel vault. The original front and back have been lost. At its top, there is a wide opening, possibly for water extraction. The rest of the constructions are mud walls of medieval Arab origin and some later stone and clay structures. Located south of Abrucena, off the AL-5403.
Ermita de la Vega
The chapel was built in 1994 from cement and brick and on land donated by a neighbour on the Camino Real. On the chapel’s Patron Saint day, residents make a pilgrimage here along the Camino Real and the Paraje Escuchagranos with tractors and floats pulled by animals.
Área Recreativa La Roza (Parque Natural Sierra Nevada)
One of the most interesting forested areas in the province of Almería; a recreational area equipped with facilities for families with children.
Until the 1970s, La Jairola was the place for couples and lovers to go for a walk on Sunday afternoons. On the narrow path that runs through the area, people would enjoy the tranquility, the open air, the smells of different fruit trees and the colours, especially in spring, as well as the sounds. Over the years, next to the Saltaero mill, a small bar was set up where residents could enjoy a snack and drink. Starting in the 1970s, this green area between the orchards and the river was no longer used as a developed area for walking and, a few years later, due to the inaccessibility of the area, crops and orchards were gradually abandoned.
Sendero Encinar de Abrucena (PR-A 15)
This route runs through Abrucena, in the Nacimiento River valley, between the Sierra Nevada slope and the sunny side of the Filabres foothills. The circular route is well signposted and measures 14.5 km.
La Jairola-El Castillejo
This circular route covers 9.5 km through several of the most emblematic places in the mountains of the Abrucena municipality, within the Sierra Nevada Natural Park.
When visiting Abrucena, try dishes such as patatas sorpresa (potato salad), migas (fried breadcrumbs served with pork), fritá de conejo (fried rabbit), tortillas de habas (broadbean omlette) and a variety of locally made cured meats and ham. Sweet treats include pastel de zanahoria (carrot cake), roscos fritos (fried doughnuts), roscos de vino (aniseed biscuits) and hornazos (pastries).
Popular festivals in Abrucena are Hogueras de San Antón, La Candelaría, Semana Santa and Feria y Fiestas en Honor a San José. More>
The tourist office of Abrucena is located in calle Balsillas. More>