Alboloduy has housed settlements dating as far back as the Neolithic and Bronze Ages. Today, its main economic activity lies in the production of grain, olives, oranges, wine, flour, olive oil and straw. The Nacimiento River runs through the town and the Barranco de los Catalanes and the Rambla de los Yesos are among its highlights. It has around 620 inhabitants.
The name Alboloduy refers to the original Arabic name, Baladun, which means country or patriarchy. As well as evidence of Neolithic and late Bronze settlements, bronze handles and ceramic remains associated with the Tartessian and Phoenician culture have been found at El Peñón de la Reina. During the Roman era, the town was known as Taracín.
During the Al-Andalus period, Yemeni soldiers from the Quda tribe settled here and agriculture was maintained as the main economic activity of this period. With the Christian conquest, the Vélez-Rubio ceded the Alboloduy taha to Boabdil. The latter, before leaving for Africa, sold it for 80,000 ducats in 1493. Like so many other towns in the region, Alboloduy was affected by the Moorish uprising of 1568. With the expulsion of 1570, the town was largely deserted until its repopulation in subsequent years.
During the nineteenth century, with the confiscation and abolition of the señoríos (manors), the señorío of Alboloduy underwent its own decline. During this century, the population grew constantly due to the wealth of the cultivation of the Ohanes grape. The beginning of the twentieth century was characterized by social tensions, unemployment and a severe drought. After the Ohanes grape became more scarce, its cultivation was replaced with that of citrus fruits. Horticulture and fruit trees are still developing significantly today.
THINGS TO SEE
Iglesia de San Juan Bautista
The Church is a Neoclassical building that was constructed between 1792 and 1806. It consists of a Latin cross plan, with the arms of the transept and a tower attached. The nave has a half-barrel vault supported on scalloped arches that extends, past the cornice, to the ground, and in the transept there is a dome supported on pendentives. It has interconnecting side chapels that open to the nave by means of semicircular arches supported by thick pillars with flat molding that marks the line of the impost. Its exterior is formed of stone and brick walls coated with lime plaster. Located in Plaza Arcediano Alberto Gomez.
Castillo El Peñón del Moro
This small stone castle is typical of the Alpujarra fortress style. It once dominated the river and communications with the inland areas of the province, and its remains can be visited today. Located on Calle Barranco.
Torre El Reloj
The tower clock was built in 1867, with the machinery coming from the Madrid watchmaker Canseco. It is a unique structure because the tower is not linked to any religious building but was instead constructed for purely civil functions. Located on Calle Piedra Rastro.
Lavadero Los Caños
The twentieth-century public laundry area corresponds to a superb chained hydraulic set, which begins with the fountain, Fuente de los Siete Caños, where women and men collected the water in jugs for use at home. After the long washing basin, the water finally passes into a large open-air pool, which regulates the irrigation on the right bank of the Nacimiento River. Located on Calle Fuente.
THINGS TO SEE OUTSIDE THE VILLAGE
Castillo El Hizán
The Medieval Castle dominates the entrance to the gorge of the Río Nacimiento and lies adjacent to two former farmhouses of the medieval taha. Interesting constructive remains of the fortress are preserved; on the upper platform there is a cistern and some fragments of the wall, which completed the natural defense of the rock in its most accessible areas. Below, a high pyramid pillar and the remains of a wall that closed an access road to the Castle are preserved. The presence at the site of Roman remains suggests a previous defensive installation. Located north west of the town.
El Peñón de la Reina
The archaeological area of El Peñón de la Reina is situated at the highest point of a steep hill, bounded on the west and south by the Nacimiento River and on the east by the Barranco del Caracol, which defines a strategic geographical framework for constituting a crossing of roads and for the particular relief that facilitates its defense. Access to the site is via the Barranco del Caracol, with one of the previous sidewalks leading to the most accessible north face of the site. After the latest archaeological investigations carried out in 1976, 1977 and 1978, the existence of different cultural complexes was verified. Inside the walled enclosure, in the most depressed area of the town, a structure dated from the Old Bronze Age has been documented, which is interpreted as a cistern or water tank. Located north east of the town, off the A-1075.
Ermita Santo Cristo
The Chapel has a rectangular plan, with a nave covered by a half-barrel vault and a square-shaped main chapel, with blind arches on the sides. An iron brace supports the walls of the main chapel. Behind the altar is Christ’s dressing room, also with a square floor plan and a dome. The façade is crowned by a simple belfry and the door has a vain with a semicircular arch. The entire exterior is whitewashed. Located south east of Alboloduy.
Local handicrafts mainly consist of straw pieces, such as baskets, produced by elderly residents as a hobby.
Gastronomically, there are many local dishes that one has to try. These include sopa de hinojo (fennel soup), olla de trigo (wheat stew), sopa de acelgas (chard soup), conejo frito (fried rabbit) and tortilla de colleja (campion omlette). For dessert, Alboloduy is well known for its soplillos (meringues), pan dormido (similar to hot cross buns) and pan de mosto (sweet grape bread).
Popular festivals in Alboloduy are San Marcos, San Isidro, Santo Cristo de la Humildad and San Roque. More>
The neighbouring villages to Alboloduy are Somontín, Purchena and Olula del Río.