Almeria Province - Chercos

CHERCOS

Human presence in Chercos can be traced back to prehistoric times, with evidence like cave drawings dating back to two millennia before Christ. The village now has around 280 inhabitants.

HISTORY

According to Oliver Asín, the name ‘Chercos’ derives from the Mozarab word yerku, which means “the oak”. This is likely because of the oak trees that would have surrounded early settlements in the area. We have to differentiate between Chercos Viejo, the former farmhouse, and Chercos, the town. The establishment of municipal offices in Las Huertas signaled the birth of today’s settlement. More>

THINGS TO SEE

Iglesia de San Lorenzo
The church, dedicated to San Lorenzo, was last restored in 2007 before the building was inaugurated by the Bishop of Almería. The interior features images of San Lorenzo and the Virgin of Fatima. Construction of the original church of Chercos Viejo began in the sixteenth century under the invocation of Santa María, in 1505. It was later burned and destroyed during the Moorish rebellion and was rebuilt in the mid nineteenth century. The first construction of the church in today’s Chercos was in 1946. Located on Calle Ermita.

THINGS TO SEE OUTSIDE THE TOWN

Chercos Viejo
Among the peaks of the Sierra de los Filabres is Chercos Viejo, an old farmhouse built with limestone. It has a peculiar charm and is one of the most characterful spots in the Almanzora Valley. Chercos Viejo is the ideal place to spend a few tranquil days away from the daily hustle and bustle of the city. Located south of Chercos, off the AL-5100.

Grabados Rupestres La Piedra Labrá
At La Piedra Labrá, there are two engraved rocks sitting on red soil, on the edge of a staggered artificial terrace formed for agricultural cultivation. One stone is nailed vertically into the ground and is more or less rectangular, measuring 60cm in height by 1m in width. The engravings are located on its flattest vertical face. The second stone sits three metres away and is a large rock about 4m high, with several flat surfaces engraved with five panels. Located between Chercos and Chercos Viejo, on Calle Callejon.

Mirador Chercos Viejo
This is a great viewpoint with panoramic views across the valley and surrounding villages. Located off the AL-5100.

Alcazaba de Chercos
The Alcazaba is a medieval fortress castle, in the Berber Islamic style. Its only remains today are some walls, which are well preserved, and can be found in Chercos Viejo.

Yacimiento Arqueologico “El Cerillo”
This archeological site comprises the remains of a Copper age fortress. It is situated on a hill on the bank of the Chercos River, in the Almanzora Valley.

NATURAL AREAS

Sierra de Alhamilla
Only 15km northeast of Almeria city is this largely barren and rugged 8,500ha mountain range, designated a protected natural area in 1989. Riven by deep gullies, particularly on its southern slopes, it rises to 1,387m at its highest point at the Colativí peak. It is a sparsely populated area, with only 50 inhabitants within its boundaries. Despite being semi-arid, the Sierra has some outstanding examples of holm oak woodland in places over 800m.

GASTRONOMY

Chercos has a grand variety of food; among the dishes on offer visitors should try potaje de albóndigas con bacalado (cod stew), puchero de calabaza (pumpkin stew), puchero de trigo (wheat stew) and migas (fried bread with pork). Sweets include hornazos (honey pastries), buñuelos (doughnuts), roscos fritos (aniseed biscuits) and bizcochos de dátiles (date sponge).

FESTIVALS

Popular festivals in Chercos are the Fiestas en Honor a la Virgen de Fatima, Fiestas de San Lorenzo and San Antón. More>

NEARBY PLACES

The neighbouring villages to Chercos are Cóbdar, Líjar and Macael.

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