Puebla de Don Fabrique has been described as the most beautiful village in the whole of Andalusia and it must surely be one of the most unspoiled. It is at the most northern point of the Huescar region of Granada's "Altiplano" and it border's with Andalusia's neighbouring Region of Murcia. The stunning natural landscapes and authentic rural lifestyle are truly authentic and a joy to experience, while the underlying depths of ancient history are evident and fascinating to rediscover.
Dominated by a backdrop of the breathtaking Sagra Mountain range, this beautiful village, with a population of around 2,500 inhabitants, sits at 1,164 metres above sea level. It is one of six villages that make up the area of Huescar and is approximately 185 kilometres from the City of Granada.
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A visit to Puebla de Don Fabrique is like a step back in time. Being on the brink of Andalusia, it is also interesting to see and hear the influence of Murcia in both the traditions and the accents of the local people.
The area is one of great contrasts, with distinct seasonal changes to the landscape, from a blanket of snow in winter, to a myriad of colours in spring, dry heat in summer and a blaze of leaves in autumn. This area is idyllic for walking, hiking, hill climbing, horse back riding and generally enjoying pure fresh air, along with real Andalusian hospitality and a simple life. There must be few places left in our world today with so much to offer, while within easy access from other parts of Spain.
The Surrounding Countryside & Nature
This is a land of beauty and contrasts. The mountain rocks are quite spectacular, with limestone formations sculpted by the elements and caves in the hillsides. There are many species of pine trees, as well as gall oaks and maples, which are not often found in Andalusia. As for the fauna, there are wild boar, mountain goats, squirrels, rabbits, hares, foxes and mountain cats, amongst many other species. Eagles and vultures circle the skies, along with a host of other birds of prey and smaller birds, including the familiar robin. In short, this is a nature lover's paradise and is also extremely popular with photographers, who can capture incredible scenes throughout the seasons.
There are many beautiful walks in the area, including a long 70 kilometre hike through the 'Ruta de Las Nieves' (the Snow Route). For more information on this, or other walks, it is best to contact the tourist office (Tel: 958 721 571).
Puebla de Don Fabrique is steeped in history and an abundance of ancient relics have been found there from prehistoric to medieval times. There are significant archaeological remains from the Iberian-Roman and Muslim eras, in the 13th and 14th centuries. According to historic documentation dating back to 1241, this area was once called La Bolteruela. Since this was a main regional border, there were many battles fought here between the Moors and Christians.
In 1495 the land was passed to the then count of Lerín, who was also the High Constable of Navarro. Once the Moors were ousted, the area was repopulated, mainly with people from Navarra, who brought with them their ways and customs, as well as style of architecture, much of which is still in evidence today. Then, in 1513 Don Fabrique Alvarez of Toledo took over, not without resistance from the non-Christians who had stayed in Spain after the Moors had gone. He managed to repopulate the village with people from Castilla, Murcia and Andalusia. It was these people who gave the village the name of Don Fadrique, which has not changed since. There was an increase in the number of local vineyards and the woollen industry and wood production grew throughout the 16th century.
During the 17th century the wood sector in this immense mountain forestry flourished, giving the village great importance and in the 19th century the village was segregated from the town of Huescar and was officially named a Villa (small town rather than village). New roads were built in these prosperous times. However, during the 20th century, when many small towns suffered depopulation as people were drawn to larger cities, the number of inhabitants fell from 8,640 to 2,600.
Festival of San Juan
On the Sunday after the Festival of San Juan, which is on the 24th June, there the villagers all make there way to the Hermitage of Saints Alodia and Nunilón. Everyone joins together in a communal outdoor lunch at the foot of the Sagra Mountain.
Assumption of the Virgin Mary
The village celebrate the Assumption of the Virgin Mary in the latter part of August.
In the third week of October, there is a fiesta to celebrate and remember the cattle market of times gone by.
During the Christmas season, the villages celebrate "Los Cascaborras". This is a fiesta to remember the times when the village was being repopulated, and the 'cascaborras' where the militia whose mission it was in the 15th century to teach the people to respect order in those conflictive times. They had the privilege to ask for money for carrying out their work and they would punish those who did not give money by hitting them. In the 16th century the Brotherhood of Las Animas was formed and to this day the fiesta celebrates this old tradition. The village people dress in costumes of the time for the occasion.
La Iglesia parroquial Santa María de la Quinta Angustia
The Church of Santa Maria of the 5th Anguish
This Parish Church, situated in the centre of the village was built in the 16th century in the Renaissance style. This enormous church reflects the importance of the town at the time of construction. The church has three naves and the main chapel is very interesting in its complex mix of gothic and renaissance style. Although Rodrigo of Gibaja began the project in 1538, building works were held up and later it was built under the gothic system. There is a wonderful wooden sculpture by Jose de Mora inside the church. Other interesting works from Murcia of the first half of the 18th century are worth seeing.
The Church of San Antonio Abad
This church was founded in 1568 and inside there an excellent sculpture said to come from the Salzillo workshop.
In contrast to the two churches, there is also an Arabic Mosque in the village.
Casa Señorial de los Patiño
The Patiño Stately Home
This stately home of the 16th century, with the family coat of arms on entrance door, has a galleried wooden patio, with lintels supporting the roof. Inside the house, there are interesting suits of armour on view.
There is another Casa Señorial in the village, although this was built much later than the 16th century and belonged to the Fontes family from Murcia. It also has the coat of arms on the front doorway.
Gregorio Marín Foundation Museum
In recent times, the daughter of the well known Granada artist and poet, Gregorio Marín, has set up this museum in Puebla de Don Fabrique. It is in Calle Cinto Alta and is housed within two typical village houses, which have been fully refurbished by the founder to hold the collections. The permanent exhibition is of many excellent pictures and sculptures and there is also a space for interesting temporary exhibitions. The rooms are on three floors, on the lower of which is the García Lorca room, while on the upper floors; there is a good selection of paintings, collages, sculptures, ceramics, etc.
The Tiny hamlet of Almaciles
The very last place on this northern corner of the Granada Province is the tiny hamlet of Almaciles, which is within the district of Puebla de Don Fabrique. With a population of just 325 people, this is place of historic importance in that many relics from many ages past have been discovered here, including a very large number of Roman coins.
Gastronomy in Puebla de Don Fadrique
Something the people of Puebla de Don Fabrique are very proud of is their culinary heritage, which is based very much on the style of cooking and recipes dating way back to the 16th century, when the village was repopulated by people from Navarra. Amongst many other wonderful dishes, you must try the typical 'ajo de aserradores' (basically a mixture of bread, garlic, chorizo sausage and cod), gazpacho and 'tortas fritas' (delicious fried biscuit/cake). There is also a wicked dish called 'Perdices al chocolate' (partridge in chocolate), which might be just what you need after a walk in the fine country air.
For further information, contact:
Tourist Information Office
Plaza de la Iglesia, 1
Tel: 958 721 571
Or the Town Hall:
Ayuntamiento de Puebla de Don Fabrique
Avenida Duque de Alba
Tel: 958 721 011