Almanzora, Marble Route
The towns that are part of the so-called Marble Region, are characterized by their enclave in the Sierra de los Filabres, a relief that favors the appearance of mountainous and rugged landscapes, dotted with garden spaces and where the quarries of this precious material of construction and decoration acquire all their prominence.
The town of Macael is inextricably linked to marble, which has made it prosper economically. More than a way of life, one could speak of a hallmark of the Macaelenses. Not in vain, it is the municipality of Almeria with greater industrial density, since it produces more than 80 percent of all Spanish marble.
The Romans already used it for the construction of their sarcophagi and in the s. XIII and XIV was this stone that was used for the construction of the monumental Alhambra of Granada. Its chromatic variety and its high quality, recognized all over the world, caused that the great architects demanded it. It is present in buildings of the size of El Escorial Monastery, the Mosque of Cordoba, the Palace of Medina Azahara or the Royal Palace.
The quarries are public property, paying a very small fee for the extraction of marble. The population of Laroya, which extends along a slope, also owes its development to marble.
In this locality, Easter Sunday celebrates one of the oldest Almerian traditions, the Cuartetas. The cuartetero is in charge of reciting the quatrains composed by the neighbors and that narrates anecdotes of all type referred to the married people.
His Piedras Labrás have made her known. We are talking about Chercos, a small town of the Filabres where there are deposits dating from the second millennium BC One of the most famous is the Stone of the Moors, with rock engravings representing scenes from everyday life. The place should have been used as an altar for outdoor worship.
Cóbdar is a white town with almost parallel streets that form a narrow fan and see how its fertile fields, rich in crops, are watered with water from five fountains that flow from the marble hill of Los Calares. For its part, the Roman aqueduct of Albánchez, together with the old flour mills, are must-sees.
To close the journey to the villages of marble we can not stop talking about Líjar, a town that declared war on France in 1883 before the insults received by King Alfonso XII during his visit to the Gallic country. A century took the parties to reconcile. The petroglyphs of the Piedra de la Herradura stand out.