Canjáyar is found at the foot of Sierra Nevada, overlooking the Sierra de Gádor. Surrounded by orchards, which are served by a system of hundred-year-old aqueducts, it is a great place to enjoy rural tourism. It has about 1,200 inhabitants.
The exact origins of Canjáyar are unknown, however, some remains dating to the Copper Age have been studied. The first record of Canjáyar dates from the Al-Andalus period, by the geographer Al-Udri, informing us of the yuz of Qansayar, the political-administrative district of La Alpujarra. In the fourteenth century, and under the command of the Nasrid dynasty, it was part of the Taha de Lúchar. Its irrigation ditch system was noted by Madoz in the mid-nineteenth century for its originality.
Before the Moorish revolt (1568-1570), the Canjáyar Taha had 690 Moorish residents and 20 Christian. After the expulsion, it was repopulated in 1574 with 72 residents. In 1788, a national lead factory was created in Alcora. In the nineteenth century, the cultivation of the Ohanes grape began, bringing with it important economic development.
Twentieth-century economic crisis brought with it the definitive closure of the American market for the export of the Ohanes grape in 1924. Agriculture diversified crops and replaced the vine with other varieties.
THINGS TO SEE
The Museum offers an interesting collection of outdoor ceramic wall panels, distributed around six of the main streets and squares of the town, arranged in chronological and thematic patterns, which can be seen from a single uninterrupted walking route. The Museum was officially inaugurated during the celebration of the patron saint festivities of 2006, and its twenty-two artistic wall panels depict some of the most important episodes in the history of the municipality. The ceramic paintings measure more than one square meter each, and are all accompanied by historical texts and allusive drawings. The route begins on Calle Real.
Iglesia Parroquial de la Santa Cruz del Voto
The Church was built in the sixteenth century in the Romanesque style. Its tower was destroyed by the strong earthquake of 1804, although it was later rebuilt. Inside, it contains one of the most precious jewels of Canjáyar; its Patron Saint the Holy Cross. The Church has a magnificent altarpiece as well as several ornamental elements that characterize it and differentiate it from the rest of the Churches in the region, such as lunettes, stained glass windows, embossed pilasters, railings, majestic toral arches, sash arches and small semicircular arches. The altarpiece was replaced after the original was was destroyed during the Spanish Civil War. Located in Plaza de la Constitución.
Ermita de San Blas
The Chapel is situated on a hill, where the so-called “Fondón Castle” once existed, but its construction ended up destroying almost all the remains of the fortress. From this point, visitors can get magnificent views of the entire town and its natural surroundings. Located on Calle San Blas.
As well as its practical function, the laundry area was once something of a social hub for local women, as in so many Almerian villages. Considered a place where freedom of expression reached its highest levels; from local politics to love affairs, nothing was foreign to the self-sacrificing and hard-working women of past generations. Located on Calle General González.
THINGS TO SEE OUTSIDE THE VILLAGE
Real Fábrica de Plomo de Alcora
In the mid-eighteenth century, when Carlos III reigned, the General Directorate of Mines was created to organize the production of minerals, and from it the lead smelter of the Sierra de Gádor was established in the national factories of Turón (1789), Presidio (current Fuente Victoria), and Alcora (1753); the latter 5km south of Canjáyar, in the hamlet from which it takes its name. It is an organized complex starting from a path of approximately 8m wide and 60m long, around which auxiliary units such as the Chapel and the warehouse of Carlos IV are distributed.
Surrounded by wineries, this charming guesthouse features an outdoor pool and has a restaurant which specialises in grilled meat and traditional dishes. Air-conditioned rooms are simply decorated and feature a private bathroom with free toiletries. Free Wi-Fi.
The surroundings of Canjáyar are perfect for hiking, through places like the Cueva de Nieles. Other routes include Sendero GR-142, Sendero SULAYR, Barriada de Alcora, Área Recreativa “El Cristal” and Junta de los Ríos. Cycling and horse riding are also popular ways of getting around locally.
Visitors to the town must try dishes such as migas (fried breadcrumbs with pork), choto al ajillo (garlic goat), guiso de hinojos (fennel stew), potaje de trigo pelao (wheat stew), fritada de conejo (fried rabbit) and tortilla de collejas (campion omlette). Sweet treats include pan de mosto (grape bread), merengues (meringues), roscos de vino (aniseed biscuits), and pan dormido (brioche). For many centuries, the grape industry has had a fundamental role to play, specifically the Ohanes grape, which does not have seeds.
Popular festivals in Canjáyar are Fiestas de María Auxiliadora, Fiestas de Verano, Fiestas de Santa Cruz and Fiestas Patronales. More>