This town is situated in a northern valley of Granada province. The town is built on a series of ravines, on which the different neighbourhoods are located. It has a lot of historically interesting buildings including numerous excavated cave dwellings, an Almohad tower and the remains of a 14th-century fortress.
It has one of the highest number of inhabited caves of all the municipalities in the northeast of Granada. The Casa de Tío Tinajas is an interesting cave with a chamber that could have been an Arab bath before being used as a dungeon.
On the last weekend in April is the feast day of the Virgen de la Cabeza, patron saint of the town. Parades of Moors and Christians walk the streets accompanied by bands in what is one of Spain’s most spectacular festivals. On the Saturday the captivity and rescue of Our Lady de la Cabeza is re-enacted, and on Sunday the pilgrimage takes place. This annual celebration brings together people from every corner of Granada.
The town of Benamaurel has been used as a human settlement since the Argaric period, illustrated by the remains of carved and polished stones, arrows and scrapers found here. There are also archaeological remains showing that it was inhabited during the Iberian, Roman and Visigoth periods. It is first mentioned in the writings of an Arab writer of the 12th century. During the 13th century a castle was built to defend the territory against the troops of Fernando III. In the 14th century it passed several times from one hand to another until it finally fell into the hands of the Christians in 1488.
A year later the Moors rebelled against the Count of Tendilla and the Crown, and were later expelled, leaving Benamaurel almost uninhabited. In 1531 an earthquake destroyed the fortress and the town. In 1628 it became independent but in 1633, due to their mounting debts, its inhabitants decided to sell their property to the Duke of Alba, Don Antonio Alvarez de Toledo. During the Napoleonic invasion locals assisted General O’Donnell and hid the powder from their factories (Benamaurel was rich in sulphur and saltpetre) from the French.
Fresh produce such as olive oil, peppers, cucumbers, tomatoes and wheat are grown here. Local specialities include game and capers, which complement the salads and sauces. Many good cured meats can be found. Typical recipes are Gurupinas (mushrooms and cod dish) or Migas con Remojón. Traditional desserts are hemp seed Crespillos, Chicharrones and fried doughnuts.
The Virgen de la Cabeza, whose feast day is celebrated on the last Sunday of April, is very popular in El Altiplano. In Benamaurel the occasion is celebrated with splendid parades of Moors and Christians. The locals put on spectacular [...]