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Until the end of the 20th century Alquife produced 40% of the iron ore mined in Spain. Its mines, some of the largest in Europe, mark the area of the landscape of the Marquesado de Zenete with its reddish colour. Iron extraction in this area began in Roman times and ended with the crisis in the steel industry in northern Spain, causing the drop in profitability of the mines and their consequent closing.

The well-kept centre of Alquife with its beautiful surroundings is a monument to the town’s recent mining history. Here you can enjoy views of the abandoned mining town and its Mudejar style church. It is conveniently close to the Parque Natural de Sierra Nevada and the ski resort of Puerto de La Ragua.

The history of this town is inextricably linked to mining, which possibly dates back to the Iron Age. In 1965 six burial sites were found in the mine, whose phitoi (large funerary vessels) contained numerous pieces of trousseau, made of ceramic, copper and silver all of which are on display in Granada’s Museo Arqueológico.

The Romans were the first settlers in Alquife, whose name comes from the word ciphus (hill). The excellent iron deposits attracted them to this place. During the Arab period the mining continued. In 1489 Alquife was taken by the Catholic Monarchs. After the revolt of the Moors and their subsequent expulsion, it was repopulated with people from other parts of Spain.

The most popular local dishes include goat and pork dishes, such as Choto al Ajillo. Salmorejo, Arroz Caldoso con Conejo (rabbit), Migas de Pan, Gachas de Harina de Maíz and pepper soup are other specialities that you can enjoy in the area.


Information about the Municipality

Region: Guadix and El Marquesado
Postcode: 18518
Distance from Granada (km): 82
Number of inhabitants: 780
People: Alquifeños


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Iglesia parroquial de Nuestra Señora de la Anunciación


The construction of this church began in the 16th century and was completed in the 17th century.  In 1780 it was extended to its current layout. It is built in the shape of a Latin cross, has a single nave [...]

Nasrid fortress


These are the remains of an Arab building located on a hill near Alquife. It may have been built on the site of an earlier fortress. Its peculiarity is its use of ‘ferrura’, iron ore slag, in the decorative elements [...]

Celebration in honour of Santa Barbara


Patron of the miners. The celebration of Santa Barbara is celebrated in this date and that is related with the mining tradition of Alquife, where until a few decades ago, the biggest open air iron mine of Spain was exploited.

Celebration of “El Palo” (San Hermenegildo)


Alquife, the mining town of Granada par excellence, from whose insides they removed, until not long ago, 40% of the national production of iron, has underlined in red colour in its calendar the date of the 13th of April. It [...]


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