LÁUJAR DE ANDARAX
Láujar de Andarax occupies a hillside position at 920m. With a backdrop of rocky peaks and dense pine forest, it has stunning views over the fertile plain of the Andarax River.
The town is famous for being the residence of Boabdil, the last Nasrid ruler of the Moorish Kingdom of Al-Andalus, who sought refuge in Láujar in 1492 after he was expelled from Granada following the city’s capture by the Catholic Monarchs. It has about 1,500 inhabitants.
It is known that settlements dating back to the late Neolithic, Copper and Bronze ages existed here, indicated by agaric remains found on the Cerro de la Alcazaba. During the first years of the Muslim rule, the autochthonous population, descendants of the Hispanic-Goths who had converted to Islam, did not accept the Yemen Muslim settlers, considering them foreigners and rose up in arms against the caliphate, taking advantage of the weakness of the Umayyads. They were helped by the Mozarabs (Christian Spanish-Goths), who also saw the colonists as a threat. More>
THINGS TO SEE
Iglesia de la Encarnación
This was once the site of a mosque that was burnt to the ground with 200 Mudejar refugees inside during a siege by Christian forces in 1500. The current building, designed by Diego González and constructed between 1682 and 1686, has come to be known as the Cathedral of the Alpujarra. Highlights include its interior floral motifs and its Baroque altarpiece, as well as copper canvases from the Dutch school and an image from Alonso Cano’s workshop. The temple was saved from looting during the Moorish rebellion but, due to its age, had to be repaired in the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries. Located on Calle Iglesia.
Convento de San Pascual Bailón
The Convent was built over a period of 17 years, with construction commencing in 1691 and ending in 1708, ready for the first mass on October 28 of that year. Friar Antonio Murillo-Velarde of the Franciscan Order was heavily involved in promoting the project. González, a Granada master builder, also worked on the Iglesia de la Encarnación. The building consists of approximately 3,000 m², of which 600m²; correspond to the Convent intended for monks and local residents. On March 12, 1822, the Franciscans closed the Convent and the Royal Decree of 1835 on the suppression of male Religious Orders led to their expropriation and public auction in 1848. The site was then divided into several farms which were sold and used for diverse functions: hospital, headquarters of the National Militias, school, mill, shoe factory, private homes, headquarters of the Civil Guard, etc. Currently, despite numerous private recovery initiatives, it is in a state of total ruin which makes it too dangerous to visit. Located on Calle Santo Cristo.
Ermita de Nuestra Señora de la Salud
The chapel dates from the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, and this is reflected in its blend of Mudejar and Baroque features. Located on Calle Granada.
Ermita de las Animas
The main façade of the nineteenth-century chapel is crowned by a pediment in the centre of which is a niche, which appears framed between a masonry plinth and brick raffles, and has a central door with pointed archways. Located on Calle Canalejas.
The remains of the Arab fortress are found in the upper part of the municipality. Despite its substantial dilapidation, it was declared a Site of Cultural Interest with the category of Monument under the generic Declaration of the Decree of April 22, 1949, and Law 16/1985 of Spanish Historical Heritage. It is thought to have existed as early as the tenth century, although the most accurate indications are from the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. According to other authors, its construction was ordered by Almutasim, King of the Taifa of Almería, to defend against the attacks of the King of Granada. It was the most important fortress of La Alpujarra in Nasrid times but, with the Christian conquest, it was partially demolished. During an emergency excavation carried out in 1985, ceramics were found that indicated an intense occupation from the Nasrid period. Located in Urbanización La Alcazaba.
The Town Hall is a neoclassical-populist style building completed in 1792, consisting of three stories, crowned by a bell and a clock, previously located in the church tower. Located in Plaza Mayor.
There are several fountains or water sources dating from the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, some with a clear Baroque style, distributed along the streets of the town. The most interesting are Pilar de la Calle Granada, Pilar de la Calle Santo Cristo, and especially Pilar de la Plaza Mayor de la Alpujarra, which has a large rectangular formation, topped by a small plinth and ball.
THINGS TO SEE OUTSIDE THE VILLAGE
Puente de Los Moros
An aqueduct from the Muslim era, still in use, built with rammed earth and red brick and consisting of three arches of different sizes. Although very well-conserved, and thought to be the best maintained of its kind of the province, it is completely covered with brush and the access is difficult. Located in the Barranco del Conde, approximately at the height of the camping La Molineta.
A recreational area located less than a kilometer from the town center, equipped with a picnic area and barbecues along with a bar-restaurant specialising in typical Alpujarra food. Nearby is the Andarax River bed, which passes along a dam used to collect its waters for irrigation. This is also where municipal drinking water is obtained and, next to the barbecues, the recovered structure of a water mill can be admired. In the esplanade that the restaurant occupies, in the furthest side from the access road, there is a public fountain that flows directly from the spring.
Sierra Nevada National Park
Láujar is the largest village in the protected natural park hinterland of the Sierra Nevada National Park. It makes a good base for exploring the area and the mountains of the national park, 15km north of the village. Just outside Láujar on the C-332 road to Alcora is a park visitors’ centre, with details of walks around the village. The best spot to enjoy the superb views across the Andarax valley and the Sierra de Gádor is from the Mirador de la Vega.
Láujar has a reasonable choice of hotels, with the three-star Villa Turística on the edge of the village at the Cortijo de la Villa, 950 513 027, and the two-star Hotel Almirez, on the Berja road, 950 513 514. The village’s campsite is Camping La Molineta, at Paraje del Batán.
When visiting Láujar, try local dishes such as ajillo cabañil (stewed goat), migas (fried breadcrumbs with pork), lentejas (lentils), gazpacho and ensalada de bacalao (cod salad). Sweet treats include soplillos (meringues), almendras repiñadas (caramelised almonds), pastel de queso (cheesecake), carne de membrillo (quince jelly) and pan de calatrava (flan).
Popular festivals in Láujar de Andarax are Fiestas en Honor a Nuestra Señora de la Salud, San Vicente Mártir, Romería de San Marcos and Feria Vitivinícola de La Alpujarra. More>
The tourist office of Láujar de Andarax is located in the town hall. More>