One of Lúcar’s most interesting features is the Balsa de Cela, a natural pool used by the Romans, with waters that stay at around 23 degrees Celsius all year round. The village has around 760 inhabitants.
Lúcar’s name is thought to be of Latin origin, deriving from the word Lucus, which means sacred forest or jungle. According to the Book of Apeo and Population of 1571, the settlement was dedicated to foresting activities.
Testimonies of the existence of this villa date back as far as Roman, and even prehistoric, times. After the Christian Re-conquest at the end of the fifteenth century, the Catholic Monarchs ceded the village to the Lord of Casa de Aguilar, Alonso Fernández de Córdoba.
After the expulsion of the Moors from the Kingdom of Granada in 1570, the town was repopulated by outsiders, as stipulated in the Pragmatics of Philip II.
In the mid-nineteenth century, Madoz wrote about the existence of flax and soap cloth factories and an important mining activity in the area, now abandoned, which focused on the extraction of copper, malachite and azurite minerals. In the 1860s, part of the population was forced to emigrate.
THINGS TO SEE
Iglesia de Santa María
The church was built in the sixteenth century. The wide basilica is typically Mudejar in style, and has undergone no major alterations since its original construction. The church has semi-spherical vaults, elliptical with lanterns and separated from each other by slab arches. It was built after the Moorish rebellion in 1573 and finished off in the Baroque era. A particular highlight is the chapel of the Virgen de los Dolores, from the Renaissance period. The church is located on Calle Marín de Poveda.
Mirador de Lúcar and Mirador La Santa
The viewpoints offer amazing panoramic views over the Almanzora Valley. Mirador de Lúcar is located on Camino de la Sierra and Mirador La Santa is located on Calle Marín de Poveda.
THINGS TO SEE OUTSIDE THE VILLAGE
This is one of three water sources that exist in Lúcar, built in 1874. Today, they only serve as places to cool off and drink, but in the past they were used as laundries or drinking troughs for grazing animals. The laundry area would have been a social meeting place, used not only to wash clothes but also for bathing before running water in houses was common. The fountain can be found on the eastern outskirts of the village.
This white marble cross dates back to 1636 and replaced another pinewood cross known as the Cruz Negra (Black Cross) . Its erection was commissioned by the Ermita de Nuestra Señora Santa Bárbara. Due to its special beauty and surrounding views, it now forms the centerpiece of the stage of an amphitheater.
Sendero de las Minas del Talco (PR–A 301)
This walking route follows the old mining path along which the residents of Lúcar and Somontín accessed the mines and the mid-mountain farmhouses. The circular route runs along the Sierra de las Estancias in its northernmost part, measuring 13.16km in length. The walk is popular with a variety of visitors, granting high vantage points for hikers and points of interest for enthusiasts of industrial archaeology.
Balsa de Cela
The hot springs are located 3.5km north of Tíjola, on the border with Lúcar, 720m above sea level. The waters emerge naturally with a constant flow of 42 liters per second and a temperature that is maintained at different times of the year between 22 and 24 degrees Celsius. These waters are said to have medicinal properties for curing various diseases. The reservoir is divided in half by the boundary between the municipalities of Tíjola and Lúcar. Measuring 50x50 meters, the pool has a depth ranging from 50 centimeters to 2 meters. It has undergone several improvements and extensions, most recently in 1996. It can be found south west of Lúcar, in Barriada de Cela.
Área Recreativa de Poveda
This recreational area has been developed around one of the most interesting locations in Lúcar; Poveda. The area is accessed through the Balsa de Cela, on a compacted dirt road that ascends through the Sierra de las Estancias. It is fully equipped with picnic tables spread over terraces surrounded by pine trees and cleared spaces appropriate for lighting fires. It also has space for parking and a viewpoint, Mirador de Poveda.
The Piedra Lobera is a natural monument that rises to a height of 1,722 meters. It is a spectacular limestone formation with steep edges, which stands out notably in the landscape and constitutes a geographical landmark of great interest. Local legend tells that this was where the last known wolves that existed in these mountains were exterminated. In addition to its scenic beauty, this natural monument houses an important endemic flora that is well adapted to the harsh conditions that occur in this environment: shortage of rain, strong winds, long periods of sun, frequent frosts and stony soils. Located north west of Lúcar.
The gastronomy of Lúcar includes dishes such as ajo blanco (almond and garlic soup), sopa de ajo (garlic soup), migas (fried bread usually served with pork), olla de trigo (broth made with wheat and breadcrumbs), gurullos (pasta soup) and estofado de cordero (stewed lambs leg).
Popular festivals in Lúcar are the Fiestas de San Sebastián, Santa Inés and Semana Santa. More>