Laujar de Andarax
Localities in the Alpujarra Almeriense
Laujar de Andarax is a municipality that sits in a valley formed by the Sierra de Gador and Sierra Nevada. There is evidence here of settlements dating from the Copper Age and the Bronze Age. Laujar de Andarax is a result of the union of two population centres: Auxor and Hizam. From its Roman past there are only a few vestiges left, since its interest in this area was mainly mining; in particular, the extraction of lead, which was very abundant in the Sierra de Gador.
It is known not only for being the capital of the Alpujarra Almeriense but also for having been the place of residence and refuge of Boabdil, the last Nasrid king of Al-Andalus, after the fall of Granada and before he left for his exile in Morocco. In Laujar de Andarax, Morayma, wife of the monarch, the last sultana of Granada, died. Abén Humeya, leader of the Moorish movement against Philip II in the Rebellion of the Alpujarras (1568-1571), would also die.
This villa is surrounded by a very attractive natural environment for lovers of rural tourism and outdoor sports such as hiking and mountain biking. Depending on the weather and the season of the year, you can also enjoy horseback riding through impressive landscapes. The visitor can appreciate the community’s valuable historical heritage, among which are the Parish Church of the Incarnation, the Virgin of the Health Hermitage, the Town Hall, the remains of the Alcazaba and the Animas Hermitage. In Laujar de Andarax, 16 water fountains, many of them with several centuries of history, are spread throughout the municipality, along with stately homes that show a glorious past.
In the 18th century, Laujar de Andarax became a leading textile centre, with the silk and wool industries in full swing. A large number of looms, spinning wheels and a variety of machinery operated by hydraulic energy were recorded as being used in the town. After a decline in the textile industry, Laujar de Andarax became dependent on agriculture. This activity reached a most prosperous point in the cultivation of the Ohanes grape, but after this period, the buoyant economic cycle declined.
Today, its inhabitants are dedicated to traditional agricultural work. They cultivate the vine and the olive tree with strenuous determination. Hence, their oil enjoys great prestige and their wines are recognized for their excellence.