Bédar has a strong mining past which is evident in the area of El Pinar (which has now been urbanized), from which the first cableway in the province was erected in 1888. This cableway ran to the blast furnaces of Garrucha. Bédar now has around 920 inhabitants.
Although we do not know when the town was founded, the origins of Bédar date back to the Moorish period, when it was part of Vera. It became an independent village in 1765. In the nineteenth century, there was an economic revival in Bédar, and its appearance changed due to mining. After the First World War, this mining activity gradually died down until the 1930s, when it practically ended. More>
THINGS TO SEE
Iglesia de Santa María de la Cabeza
This church dates to the sixteenth century and was built by order of Bishop Antonio Carrionero (1558-1570). The church consists of three naves; the central nave is covered with armor to which a plaster vault was added when it was restored in 1682. It was initially dedicated to Santa María, since it depended on the parish of Antas, but when the church became independent from it in 1682, it was renamed Santa María de la Cabeza, with San Gregorio Naciancieno as its patron. The church is located in Plaza Santa María.
Plaza de San Antonio Bolea
This square in the heart of the town owes its name to Dr. Don Antonio Bolea (1887-1956), who was much loved in Bédar and offered his services to the residents for a long time. The most unique monument on the square is the oil press from the old municipal mill, which sits next to the fountain, Fuente Temprana.
Plaza de San Gregorio
There was once a small chapel in this square where Saint Gregorio was kept. A wooden cross stood in the square in honor of those who fell during the Civil War. When the square was renovated, the wooden cross was replaced by a new one forged in metal by the students of the school workshop in 1994. Eventually, this cross too was replaced by a monument of a miner, built in white marble from Macael, in honor of the deceased miners of Bédar. It features the shell of a turtle representing the black turtle, an autochthonous species protected since 1973 due to the danger of extinction. The square forms a fantastic viewpoint from which one can enjoy a magnificent landscape overlooking some of the neighbouring municipalities, such as Mojácar, Turre or Garrucha.
The Mining Museum opened in 2009 for the conservation and dissemination of the historical and anthropological heritage of Bédar by highlighting its mining past.
THINGS TO SEE OUTSIDE THE VILLAGE
Mezquita de Serena
The Mosque is one of Bédar’s most important historical buildings. Originally the Mosque of the Serena Nazari, it was later used as a church in 1505 and then as an oil mill. During the uprising of the Moors in 1568, many churches in the area were destroyed or damaged, so most of them had to be restored or rebuilt entirely after 1570, however, the Mosque remained as it was. It is located south west of Bédar, in the Serena area.
Ermita de la Virgen de la Cabeza
The icon of the Virgen de la Cabeza was the common property of both Bédar and Antas, since it was originally kept in a chapel right on the border between both towns. The constant disputes between the neighbouring communities inspired the solution of each town building its own chapel. The chapel was later destroyed because of the mining companies exploiting the hill on which it sat; a new one was built in the area of El Pecho, where the icon was kept throughout the year. It can be seen today north east of Bédar.
Bédar offers quite a unique and variable gastronomy with dishes such as ajo colorao (potato and cod stew), caldo pimentón (shark stew), caldo remojón (broth), trigo con hinojos (chickpea and pork stew), migas (fried bread with black pudding and pork), gurullos con perdíz o caracoles (chickpea stew with partridge or snails), olla de matanza (pork stew), caracoles en salsa (snails in sauce), ajo blanco (cold almond and garlic soup), pelotas (stew with dumplings and sausage) and talvinas (bread, chorizo and garlic pudding). Sweet treats include buñuelos de viento (choux buns), rosquillos de vino, naranaja o anís (aniseed, orange or sweet wine biscuits) and torta de chicharrones (pork scratching torts).
Popular festivals in Antas are Three Kings, Carnival, Día de la Vieja Semana Santa, Fiesta de San Gregorio, Emigrants Day, Fiestas in Honor a la Virgen de la Cabeza More>