Chirivel is the fourth town of the comarca of Los Velez in the north of the province of Almeria. It is located to the south of the Sierra de Maria. The old N-432 crosses the village from east to west and the A-92N motorway bypasses the village just to the north. Junction km 89 and km 94 are the west and east entrances respectively. It has a population of around 500.
Almonds are one of the main crops cultivated in the area, with the almond trees blossoming in April.
The town has several outlying hamlets including El Contador, Aspilla, El Cantal and Rambla del Jali.
The early history of the area stems from the location being near an important Roman road. In the middle ages, this area south of the Sierra de María and Sierra de Marmon was forested and known as the Campo de Chirivel (Chirivel Plateau). During the thirteenth century, the region was on the eastern border of the Nasrid Emirate of Granada alongside the Christian Kingdom of Murcia. It was only lightly farmed, and as a potentially dangerous frontier location, the area was gradually depopulated. More>
THINGS TO SEE IN THE VILLAGE
Parish Church of San Isidoro
The Parish Church of San Isidoro was built at the end of the nineteenth century. An earlier plan by Ortiz de Villajos in 1865 was never executed. It has a structure of three naves and tower on the north side matching its bell-tower on the other. Inside, there is a painting that is attributed to Luis Tristan, who was a student of El Greco. The last refurbishment took place in 2011. On August 30, 2012, the icon of Virgin of the Rosary, the patron saint of Chirivel, returned to the church after 50 years in exile in a neighbour’s house where it was repaired following damage in the church.
Casa del Minero
The Miner's house is a modernist art Deco house built in 1906 by a wealthy mine owner from Cartagena. It is located in front of the Parish Church of San Isidoro. The facade has several balconies and decorative elements. Its most impressive interior decoration is concentrated on the walls, ceilings, doors and wrought iron staircase. The house is now closed to the public.
Eighteenth-century Arab oven
A bread-baking oven is called a ‘tahona’ in Spanish. The tahona in Chirivel is one of the oldest buildings in the town, its construction dating to before that of the Parish Church. These ovens were always communal. Locals would bring bread dough, and for a nominal price it would be baked.
Today, the baker offers rich and varied pastries of Arab origin such as handmade almond rolls or "sighs".
Book Hotels in Chirivel
THINGS TO SEE OUTSIDE THE VILLAGE
Natural Park of the Sierra Maria-Los Vélez
The Natural Park of the Sierra Maria-Los Vélez is to the north of the village. There are many wild animals and birds that live in the park, attracted by the abundance of vegetation. More>
Old Sabina Tree
The old Sabina tree is an ancient Juniperus thurifera (Spanish Juniper), and is unique in the province of Almeria for its size and age – which has been estimated between 600 and 1,000 years old. More>