Purchena is known by many as the “Pearl of the Almanzora” for its fascinating cultural tourism. It has around 1,600 inhabitants.
Copper Age settlements known as Churuletes and various Roman villas have been found in the Onegas area. Purchena was the capital of the Almanzora River during the Al-Andalus period and was founded, according to the chronicles, by the last Emir of Córdoba, Abdalah, towards the year 900 AD with the name Hins Burxana. The town acquired its greatest importance during this Al-Andalus period as it was the centre of the displacement of the rebel, Husun Summuntan (Somontín). Its importance was such that, in 985 AD, it was visited by Almanzor. More>
THINGS TO SEE
Alcazaba de Purchena
Construction of the Alcazaba began in 888 AD, by the Marines of the Estado Federativo de Pechina, and the site reached its maximum splendor in the Nasrid era. The last Muslim warden of the castle, Ibrahim Abenedir, proudly defended the city, without selling it to the Kings, as many of his contemporaries had done. There are hardly any remains of the Alcazaba where Aben Humeya took refuge with his troops. Today, there are only some remnants of homes, a cistern, a bathroom, the wall and a tower, known as Torre del Agua, which is a magnificent work of hydraulic engineering with a drinking water reservoir inside. Originally, this tower was more than 13m high, but today only half of the structure is preserved, despite the restoration made in 1997. There are also remains of funerary constructions from the Bronze Age, which have almost disappeared. Located on Calle Castillo Alto.
Antigua Estacíon de Ferrocarril
The railway stations, such as the old Purchena Railway Station, have progressively acquired historical, sociological and aesthetic importance that surpasses their simple technical function. They are, like the railway itself, one of the characteristic elements of the industrial and urban development of the Almanzora Valley. This station is located in Polígono Industrial La Estación De Purchena.
Iglesia de San Ginés
The church was built on the site of the former mosque, and to replace the Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de la Encarnación, which may have been located on the hill of the Castle. Its construction was initiated around 1550 by the architect Juan de Orea, and it was not finished until immediately after the Moorish rebellion. His style is Renaissance with notable influences from the Mudejar of Granada. It consists of three naves separated by two arcades that are supported by oval section stone columns. The church has three chapels dating from the eighteenth century, one dedicated to the Virgen del Carmen, another to Dolores and another to the Rosario. It has a recently rebuilt main altarpiece, recovering the Sagrario dating from 1792, that was lost during the Spanish Civil War. In 1983, the church was declared a historical-artistic monument by the Junta de Andalucía, and published in the BOE on May 27. This prompted its restoration, which began in 1989 and was concluded in 1991. Located on Calle General Rade.
Centro de Interpretación Valle de Almanzora Tiempo
The Interpretation Centre Valle de Almanzora Tiempo, as its name suggests, follows the theme of time, as well as offering tourist information about the area. The Interpretation Centre invites visitors to take a tour of the traces of time through fortifications, castles, towers, churches, homes, etc., discovering the precious heritage legacy that the Almanzora Valley preserves today. The centre is located on Rambla de Almeria.
Centro Cultural El Lavadero
The Cultural Centre El Lavadero is a built around the repurposed old public laundry area, renovated by the Town Hall and the Almanzora Integra Crafts House, with archaeological remains as a great attraction for archeology lovers. Located on Calle Granada.
Fuente de San Ginés
The fountain of San Ginés was built in 1887 and restored in 1999. It has two pipes, located on a Macael white marble front, under which four marble pitchers are placed. Its waters come from a nearby spring.
For nature lovers, Purchena has a landscape full of beautiful forests and enclaves like the leisure zone of Silveria in the Sierra Los Fibrales, the Gevas Ravine and the wooded area of Campillo in the Sierra de Las Estancias. All this forms an ideal setting for those keen on rural tourism and outdoor sports like hiking.
Those interested in the typical arts and crafts in Purchena will find marble works and products made in straw and lace.
Those who would like the try the local delicacies should sample the local jams and conserves, hams and cold meats (usually pork) and traditional dishes like the olla de trigo (wheat stew), migas (fried bread), conejo frito (fried rabbit) and arroz con bacalao y habichuelas (rice with cod and beans). Sweet treats include hornazos (sweet honey pastries), buñelos (doughnuts) and roscos fritos (aniseed doughnut rings coated in sugar).
Popular festivals in Purchena are Fiestas de San Marcos, Fiesta de Santa Lucía, Juegos Moriscos and Semana Santa. More>