|maximun high elevation||889m|
You are at the Touristic Information Point (TIP), which will allow you to get to know the sights of the local culture. We have set out a circular route of the urban landscape for you to enjoy its main heritage sites, this route will be guided with visible signs on the ground made of ceramic pieces, and they will clearly mark the directions to be made, allowing you to see the most important places. We hope the experience will be pleasant and that it will be an excuse to come back again.
This mausoleum is dated in the second century, it is the most important testimony of the roman parish of Alba (Abla nowadays), the town which has already been mentioned by the Antonine itinerary (end of the 3rd century) as a stop for the travelers in the most important way or route which joined Cástulo (Linares) together with Málaga by Acci (Guadix).
The simple building which is raised on a slate plinth and it was built with a hard concrete of the time (made of lime, sand and water), which has allowed its conservation in spite of the neglect suffered. Inside we can differentiate two levels: the lower crypt which would have held the grave and at the top is located the ritual chamber with a bench or altar. The lighting is achieved by two oculos and it might have an interior decoration with funeral scenes and landscapes.
Since the 4th Century it was used again as a dwelling and from the 6th century it became the hermitage of San Sebastian. Nevertheless because of its deterioration and with the threat of it falling down it has been recently refurbished.
Just a little bit to your right on our route we can find an interesting urban construction, typical from La Alpujarra. The shelters are also known as "porch or tinaos", that covers the streets and extends to the house on the other side, they are the most typical elements of the architecture from La Alpujarra, denoting the intimate and popular character of the planning of this town of Hispano-Moresque heritage.
It is a space for socializing which protects from the winter chill and summer heat from the street, it was used for, preparing and unloading of work animals and they were very useful for the everyday duties for workers such as needlework or simply an area just for chatting.
This dwelling from the old regime is linked to a small noble landowner; it stands out from its frontage and interior court yard. The frontage shows the typical Baroque character, visualized by a lack of ornamentation, with gaps cleanly cutting the wall, the undifferentiating of the floors, the importance of the grating made from forged iron was a symbol of social prestige and the interest of the front entrance as the most lordly and class differing element, the main gate is located in the center and it was suitable for the entrance of carriages to the back part of the house and holding the ledge of the central balcony.
The model comes from the Muslim dwellings of Granada by the presence of the arcaded courtyard with the plinth and column base made of wood as the central piece of the house regarding the organization and representation, the importance of the stairs of in corner of the courtyard, as an element of vertical communication, but also as a social use similar to the hall of the 19th bourgeois, it was used to classify the visitors, since it allows visitors to go from the public space of the ground floor to the private rooms of the top floor; or the functional differences between productive spaces of the ground floor ( wine cellar, stable, stalls, domestic service...) and the private rooms of the top floor.
However Abla´s novelty is the coffered ceiling or the octagon courtyard lights which are decorated in the centre by decorations of different colours which provide great plasticity and elegance, and that reminds us of the Nazari tradition.
The size of the Anunciación´s Church dominates above the whole urban scene. The old parish temple was erected in the mid-16th century with the structure of just one nave and the main chapel differentiated. Afterwards it was extended with the side chapels for burials in the 17th century, and in the 19th century it lost those chapels and the communication between themselves as a privative character, nowadays, the church has a structure of three naves.
It is especially highlighted by the rectangular frame of moamar beamed ceiling of the central nave, with a gabled roof, double cross pieces and square corners, while the altar shows a beautiful reinforced octagonal frame central point with rich decorative octagon stars, one of the jewels of the Mudéjar architecture from Almería. Nevertheless, during the Civil War it lost a great part of the artistic richness and afterwards it was refurbished with a pseudo-baroque decoration.
It is highlighted in the outside and next to the bell tower a raised representation of a roman temple (a facade with columns covered by a pediment), which remains could survive during the 17th century and it may be a permanent memory of the San Apollo, Isacio and Crotato, who are symbolized by the three columns.
It is the unique remains that we have from the stately house of Alonso Bazán, called Abul Hacén before he was baptised in the 1500, he was descendant of Muley Hacén, nazari king of Granada and he was compensated for his support to the Catholic Monarchs in the Abla´s territories and that he was a nobleman. His linage remained in Abla until the 19th century.
The crown alludes to his royal origin and it is supported by two lizard symbols of loyalty to the Castilla´s Monarchs. The central coat shows a band with the inscription "Christ wins" and in the top right there is an inverted half-moon, symbols of the converted that has changed to the Christian faith.
This slab of stone is used as base or support of an iron cross, because if its religious purpose it has been preserved until today and it shows an epigraphic inscription on the back side, homage from the Alba citizens (the roman Abla) to Lucio Alfero Avitiano, a well-known roman tribute. It relates to the heyday of the municipality during the 2nd and 3rd centuries.
Its simple frontage topped by a bell gable holding a bell has been a scene of two typical traditional features, Abla´s popular typical traditions, the old monument of the Holy Sepulchre (a tradition which has disappeared nowadays) and the bonfires on January 16th.
The so-called neighborhood of the castles is located in the highest point of the village, where it was located the old muslin fortification, erected to control the interior communication and the visual relation with the Abrucena´s Castillejo or Fiñana´s Alcazaba. In fact, there are only some few remains of the wall; we can see them to the left if we observe in detail, since the entire area was terraced a few decades ago.
It contrasts the lattice of labyrinthine alleys of Islamic tradition at the top area, with parallel streets to contour levels, such as calle Real (16th century) and other cross-cutting, corresponding with the new Spanish urbanism of the lower areas.
This upper part of the hill it is also used as a privileged viewpoint to both the mountain range, A-92 motorway and the Rambla del los Santos towards the west.
It is a cross made of rock which originally stood on a roman slab dedicated to the emperor Vespasiano and it was placed in the centre of the square. After it was joined to the façade of the chapel, but to build the pillar in the Decade of the 1950s, along with the drinking trough for animals, the pedestal was discarded or was reused as the basis for the current water pipe.
Both elements, the cross and the hermitage, remind us of the strong religious stamp during the Old Regimen that led to create several holy spaces scattered around the urban land.
From this mark we should walk a little until we arrive to the last stop but it is worth to walk the 900 meters that separates it from the village. It is associated with the 16th and 17th centuries, when a new intolerant politic and religious model of Christian order was installed, which confronted ideologically with the muslin population. It is the case of the tradition and service to the Santos Mártiles Apolo, Isacio and Crotato, three roman soldiers who were martyred in Abla, before renouncing the Catholic faith, during the government of the Diocleciano and the subsequent miraculous discovery of the relics, building in the place as a permanent memory for the Santos Martiles Hermitage. They were declared patrons of Abla´s in 1629 and in whose honor the festivities are celebrated in the town.
This Christian tradition and martyr joined the Varones Apostólicos Saints who evangelized the Roman Spain, as one of them, San Segundo, settled in the 1st century.