The Marble Route, a journey inside Almería

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Talk about Macael talk about marble. This municipality in the province of Almeria has been the protagonist for years of marble extraction activity, forming a white region within the Almanzora Valley, being its epicenter Macael. In this one almeria region there are cities of singular beauty with Sierra de Los Filabres in background.

One of the places you need to stop is Albanchez, a municipality that sits on rugged terrain with a great wealth of marble. It is also worth mentioning Sanda city that declared war on France in 1883 in the face of the insults received by the King Alfonso XII on his visit to the Gallic country; cobdarwhere you must appreciate the beautiful springs that are next to the quarry of Los Calares; and Chercos, a small town dominated by a castle of Arab origin.
The capital of the region is Macaelwhite town that slides on the northern slope of Filabres, between the stream The Marshal and the Laroya River. In its heritage, it is necessary to highlight the Parish Church of Our Lady of the Rosary, Mudejar style; the monument to the stonemason, a sculpture built in white marble; the point of view of Virgin of the Rosaryatop a mound crowned by the Virgin of the White Rosary; and the Constitution Squaresurrounded by stately homes of beginning of the 20th century.

To understand the importance of this activity in this region of Almeria, it is necessary to see where its materials arrived. With the marble of Macael, for example, the Phoenician anthropoid sarcophagi of Cadiz, the Roman theater of Mérida, the mosaics of Itálica, the Cathedral of Seville, the Palace of Medina Azahara, the Mosque of Cordoba, the Court of the Lions of the Alhambra, the Royal Chapel of the Catholic Monarchs or the Monastery of El Escorial.
It’s in Macael where is also the Marble Interpretation Center, where you can learn details about the history, tradition, innovation, extraction processes and processing of the material, as well as estimated future steps for this industry. In addition, this center organizes guided tours of the quarries and workshops where marble is worked.

The road in search of marble

A highlight to start the route is Albanchez, a city with quarries and processing plants for this stone. At the entrance to the city there is a white marble monument and it is a walled city with remarkable architecture and layout. Then you can continue until Líjar or Cóbdar, where you can visit quarries like that of Lobera, Cerro de Huertecicas and Cañadas de la Viña, in addition to the great quarry of Los Calares, where you can see five spectacular waterfalls.

Then you have to go to flasks of water, where the archaeological sites of the 2nd millennium BC. J.-CC, like Piedra Moros and its rock engravings. Since flasks of water you have to go to the capital of the region, Macael. In this section of the route, you must stop at Andalusian Natural Stone Technology Center, the nerve center of industrial history, technology, studies and planning.
on the road to Tabernas-Olula del Rioyou have to appreciate the most surprising religious buildings in the region: the church of San Sebastian and Our Lady of the Assumption. Then you have to go to Purchena, Urrácal and Olula del Ríothe latter a city where you can visit the Ibáñez House Museum and different workshops specializing in marble craftsmanship.

guinness record mortar

For those who love nature and want to appreciate these places through a walk, they can take a walking tour along a path of just under five kilometers and low difficulty. It’s the path that connects Macael with the quarries by the old path where the blocks of marble were lowered in carts pulled by oxen, whose imprints can still be seen today engraved in the rock. Without a doubt, a spectacular walk to appreciate and experience what has been done in the past, to also see what this marble-marked landscape looks like. leadership gave to this area.

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