|maximun high elevation||752m|
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.
We will start our route in the dwelling of the representative stately house of Alcolea in the Modern Age, the marquises of Iniza. Being the oldest and the main house in the Church Square, it is the most curious one of Real street.number13. Both belonged to Rodriguez-Chacón, a family which settled in Iniza, half way between Paterna and Bayarcal. After increasing their economic power, the family was in charge of the defence of the coast, which would allow them to obtain the marquis title of Iniza in 1730.
This social and economic rise is reflected in their house, with a three level house. It represented the structure of a house of a family which were economically comfortable in their town, some areas were devoted to storage and on the ground floor lived the animals, on the first floor living area and the third floor for the storage of the food, in this case the later has been prepared for a living area. The baroque frontage shows a symmetric and classicist organization of the whole, but we centre on the facade as an element of prestige, highlighting the use of the steel bars and the classical central balcony on the first floor.
Alcolea is the land of fountains and water, which comes constantly form Sierra Nevada and Gádor, and this small square welcomes us with interesting features. The so-called Nueva Fountain is the oldest of six of them that one day the village had. Although it is located in the main street, the old Camino Real de La Alpujarra, it doesn´t have any kind of decoration.
Its structure continues the illustrated criteria of differentiating the human and animal use. Providing a lower basin for this purpose, following the great neoclassic fountains of Fondón and Berja of the end of the 18th century.
Nevertheless, a more original one is on the Church Square at the corner of Real Street, property of a rich heiress who as the 11st marquis had married in 1896, whose wealth had decreased, therefore the house is known as La Casa de la Marquesa. The main frontage, is closed today, which was overlooking Real Street and it was changed to the current one in the 20th century. The inside is around an opened courtyard with a wooden gallery, similar to other examples in Fondon and Laujar.
However the artistic and cultural symbol of Alcolea is San Sebastian´s Church. It’s stunning and emphatic outside and the size tells us the long and complex building history. The old Mudejar church from the middle of the 16th century, much higher, had only one nave.
It was demolished during the Moorish rebellion in 1568, then it was rebuilt adding side naves and a new sanctuary in the 18th century by the architect from Granada Juan José Fernández Bravo who participated a lot in the area ( the churches of Fondón and Huécija for instance). Nowadays, it shows a three naves, latin cross layout. Together with an octagonal bell tower and a major painted altarpiece (trompe l'oeil) which disappeared during the Spanish Civil War.
During the middle of 19th century the tower which was in ruins was refurbished, and covered by the current design of bulbous dome. And nowadays the citizens of the village are delighted by the reconstruction of the altarpiece, which is at the moment in wood.
To get to the wash site we should continue a small distance and after you have visited it you will have to come back to this point, in order to continue the marked route following the tiles on the floor. In fact, a little further from the church we can find a wash site which still preserves the original charm and a beautiful rural environment.
The return to the urban centre will be done through a different route which leads us to the most traditional Alcolea, a heritage of the Hispano-Moresque urban planning, rough and sinuous with adarves without exits, streets which are very small and narrow (such as the amazing Calle Estrechura) or a "tinao"(shed) in the Mesón street, typical element along the popular architecture style from the Alpujarra.
Continuing through the Mesón Street we arrive to this fountain, walking pass firstly by the family-plane tree, which shadow dominates the whole widening since 1888.
A nearby sign informs us about the refurbishment of the building in 2003, just where the original wash site was located.
Surrounded by olives trees, the Paseo de la Hermita will be a short and pleasant walk.
The landscape recalls the construction of the Acequia Nueva in the middle of the 18th century, which joined the watering system. The huge project allowed increasing the watered surface over the village, until Los Llanillos and Las Balsillas, in which the agricultural expansion reached importance for the owners of the biggest pieces of land, mills and oil presses of the area: the marquise of Iniza the second and Martín Pablo de Moya.
Under the mediation of the Virgen of the Carmen, believers prayed before leaving asking for a short time in the purgatory of their relatives and acquaintances. On the edge of the old road, the Animas Hermitage also recalls the permanent memories of the martyrs of the Moorish rebellion.
It is a simple building, but it is one of the best preserved along the Alpujarra, without the unlucky restorations that have damaged other ones.
Following the leafy road, an interesting building is this baroque hermitage, built in 1709.
It highlighted the graffito decoration of mudejar tradition along the whole frontage, curious symbolic elements. Inside it is a great nave covered by a barrel vault and galleries on its feet, major chapel different from a simple side room in the sanctuary; everything was typical of the religious architecture from Granada of that time. It is interesting the decoration with frescos representing the Holy Apostles.
The hermitage was dedicated at first by the marquises of Iniza to the Virgen del Mar, symbolic protector of the coast against pirates. Next to the door we will find the gap for the underground tank to supply water to the pilgrim and the hermit who looked after the temple.
The old site of a threshing floor, from here we can observe the surrounding environment of the village, together with a general view of the Alpujarra of Granada, between the mountain ranges of the Contraviesa (to the South, its highest point in the Cerrajón de Murtas) and Sierra Nevada (to the North, with the Mulhacén and the Pico de la Alcazaba).
To the North we can also recognize the castle and the church of Iniza, deserted zones today which belong to Paterna, a far memory from the muslin world and the Iniza marquises.
To finish the route we are in fact right at the beginning again in the Information Touristic point. We hope you come back.