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History of Velefique

HISTORY OF VELEFIQUE

In the eighth century, the Berbers of Queen La Kahima found refuge here, before being Romanized and Christianized like the Spanish from the southeast. From then until the twelfth century, some Mozarabic communities lived here in peace, and many went with King Alfonso “el Batallador” to repopulate the Ebro Valley in 1125-1126.

Ibn Hazm tells that, in the late tenth century, a group of Jarichíes took refuge in Velefique, a Muslim sect persecuted in Córdoba by the rigorous Malikis, who had managed to take over the Muslim clergy of the Caliphate thanks to the protection that the Cordoba Umayyads gave them.

During the Almohad domination, Sidi Abu Ishaq Ibrahim ibn al-Havy (1158) was born in Velefique, going on to become one of the great Muslim Holy men, who built the fortress, 18 wells and 20 Mosques in other villages of the mountains. He opened a conference room in Almería, although some, envious of his popularity, denounced him to the Almohad Sultan Yusuf al Mustansir as a dangerous person and ordered that he be sent to Morocco, where he was treated with all honors.

In June 1488 the Catholic Monarchs made the conquest by capitulation of the eastern part of the Kingdom of Granada. The Catholic Monarchs did not grant Lordships in the lands or jurisdictions of Almería, Vera and Purchena. They got rid of the territories that had less importance. Thus, in 1490, they gave the lands of the Filabres to various Lords who had participated directly or indirectly in the conquest. Velefique and Senés were awarded to the Count of Ureña, Don Juan Téllez Girón, who sold Velefique to Don Alonso de Cárdenas, Count of Puebla del Maestre and Senés to Don Enrique Enríquez, who added it to his estate.

When the Moors from the Alpujarra rebelled during Christmas in 1568, the Moors from Gérgal also rose up and travelled the towns of Los Filabres gathering followers. However, the inhabitants preferred to remain at peace as they learnt that the fierce Marquis de los Vélez, Don Luis Fajardo, had organized a powerful army to suppress the rebellion. After being defeated by the Marquis de los Vélez, groups of Moorish Alpujarra reached the Sierra de Filabres and, together with the Moors from Gérgal, formed a rebellion. The Moors were expelled from Almeria in 1570 and, in 1575, Pedro López, a Cehegín resident, promised to bring 33 new settlers to Velefique to effect a gradual repopulation.

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