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History of Láujar de Andarax


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.

All this action, framed in the revolt led by Omar Ben Hafsún (`Umar ibn Hafs ibn Ya`fār) from the year 880 to 918 throughout Andalusia, ended in 913 with the passage of Puerto de la Ragua by Abderramán III, a young man who had ascended to the caliphate in 912, to pacify the area. From that moment, the situation stabilized and, together with the importance gained by the port of Almería, lead to a period of demographic and economic growth in the Alpujarra.

After the Almohad defeat in the Battle of Las Navas de Tolosa in 1212, the third period of Taifa began, which would include the Nasrid Kingdom (1238-1492). Muhammad ibn Abd Allah ibn Said ibn Ali ibn Ahmad al-Salmani (1313), better known as Ibn al-Jatib, poet, writer, historian, philosopher and Andalusian politician, described in his Chronicles the urban layout of Láujar around the Alcazaba, the most important in the Alpujarra, as well as its renowned silk crafts that “shone more than gold”.

In 1489, “El Zagal”, Boabdil’s uncle who ruled Granada as Muhammed XIII between 1485 and 1486, during his captivity, handed over to the Catholic Monarchs the Almería territories that he controlled along with the cities of Baza, Guadix and Almería. In 1492, the Catholic Monarchs entered Granada as punishment for the refusal of the kingdom to pay its taxes. In the Capitulation of Granada it was established that Boabdil would hold the lordship of the Alpujarras and leave for Láujar de Andarax, where he would establish his residence. In 1493, he left the peninsula for Fez after selling the rights of his Lordship to the Catholic Monarchs. This is why Láujar is sometimes considered the last capital of the Kingdom of Granada, and therefore of Al-Andalus.

The first Moorish revolt of 1500 was especially dramatic for Láujar. Fernando de Válor, Aben Humeya, who had previously been elected King of the Moors, and who had revolted in the year 1568, was murdered. Two years later, the rebellion was quelled by Don Juan de Austria with the expulsion of the Moors from the Kingdom of Granada. This town, like many others, was depopulated and relied on centuries of gradual repopulation by outsiders to regain stability.

Living in Andalucia