by Saskia Mier
Tahal is of special interest to lovers of prehistoric archaeology. At sites such as Peña de los Chaparrales or Yacimiento del Cerro del Mojón, remains from the Neolithic and Argaric era have been discovered. The village itself has about 360 inhabitants.
Its foundation is attributed to the Arabs, from whose time a castle is preserved in good condition. The name Tahal is of Berber origin, meaning Barranco Húmedo (wet ravine). Many vestiges of the Neolithic past have been found, such as engravings, in the area of Peña de los Chaparrales, Peña de don Diego and Cerro del Mortero, among others, representing schematic human figures, horseshoes, nail-shaped figures, etc. The Catholic Monarchs conquered it with the name of Tahalí, giving it the title of Villa.
After the Christian conquest at the end of the fifteenth century, the Catholic Monarchs granted Don Enrique Enríquez their dominion. The majority of the manor’s population were be Moorish with the exception of a few Christians. The uprising of the Moors in 1568 brought about the death of most of the Moorish population due to fighting, hunger and disease. The rest were expelled from the Kingdom of Granada in 1570, after the Moorish Rebellions. The repopulation was difficult, with very few new settlers in 1572, but later, in 1576, numbers tripled once security measures had been taken for the inhabitants of the area with the dispatch of 20 soldiers and a corporal to the town.
In the eighteenth century, the town became the property of the Marqués de Aguilafuente until the abolition of the manors in 1835. Today, its population is dedicated to agriculture and livestock.
THINGS TO SEE
Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de la Encarnación
The church predates the sixteenth century, however, during the uprising of the Moors the temples of Tahal and Alcudia de Monteagud were burned. These churches were restored or rebuilt based on a project commissioned by the Bishop of Guadix. A strong tower was added to the church that served as a bell tower and shelter when the alarm was raised to alert of the presence of Berber ships on the coast. In the mid-nineteenth century it was in ruins, and subsequent repairs and extensions were made, including those by Bishop José María Ober. Located on Calle Iglesia.(Location)
Castillo de Tahal
The Mudejar church construction is from the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. Although it is called a “castle”, it is rather a tower from the Christian era that has been the subject of a restoration project by the Junta de Andalucía. The tower, known as Torre del Homenaje, is a free-standing rectangular building with four stone facades pierced by small, irregularly distributed windows, crowned by few pointed battlements. As annexed buildings on the northwest side, there are remains of another smaller circular tower, belonging to the walled enclosure that protected the Torre del Homenaje. Today, part of the walled enclosure is still preserved. Located on Avenida Tierno Galvan.(Location)
Centro de Interpretación Torre
The Torre de Tahal Interpretation Centre contains information relating the Torre del Homenaje and the territory it dominates; its function and historical development, and its ancient and contemporary relevance.Vistors will understand the evolution of the social distribution of space, forged in the Middle and Modern Ages. The relationship between the castles and towers of the Sierra de Filabres and Alhamilla and Campo de Tabernas is the perfect platform to encourage the visitor to get to know the region through the Ruta de Torres y Castillos (walk route). Located on Avenida Tierno Galvan.(Location)
THINGS TO SEE OUTSIDE THE VILLAGE
Ermita del Santo Cristo del Consuelo
The chapel houses the Cristo Consuelo, patron saint of this municipality. The altar is decorated with a fresco painting made in the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries. It was formerly a vault in which the Holy Christ was located. Photos are still preserved in which this structure can be seen. The last restoration was in 2002, part of which was the reinforcement of the wooden ceiling. Located on Camino de los Chopos.(Location)
Visitors to Tahal should try local dishes such migas (fried breadcrumbs with pork), sopa de ajo (garlic soup), caldo colorao (fish soup), olla de trigo (wheat stew), cocido en morcilla (black pudding and chickpea stew) and gurullos (croutons with chorizo). Sweet treats include roscos (aniseed biscuits), bollos de nata (cream buns), hojaldres (mille-feuille) and empanadillas (pastries filled with sweet pumpkin jam).
Popular festivals in Tahal are Semana Santa, Fiestas en Honor al Santo Cristo del Coonsuelo and Fiestas del Verano. More>
The tourist office is located in the town hall of Tahal. More>
The neighbouring villages to Tahal are Alcudia de Monteagud, Senés and Tabernas.