Located at the foot of Monte Rosado and looking out over the northern face of the Sierra Nevada, La Peza was an old Roman hill fort, whose name comes from the term lápice (stone). There used to be a medieval fortress here, built to guard the old road leading from Guadix to Granada via the Sierra de Huétor. This municipality has more than 50 kilometres of forest trails and 6000 acres of mountains and forest, filled with pines and oaks. There are plenty of places of remarkable natural beauty, dotted with old farmhouses, fountains, mines, crags, hills and viewpoints.
La Peza has witnessed a lot of history and is in itself also an attraction. Highlights include the Iglesia Parroquial de la Anunciación, the Bañuelos árabes, the Ermita de Santa Lucía, the Ermita de San Francisco, the Ermita de San Marcos y San Sebastián, and the Fuente de Las Guijas, the Fuente de Las Perdices and the Fuente de La Encantada.
In the days of Roman rule, when the town was first inhabited, it was called Castrum. At that time it was located on the edge of a road that was used a great deal by both travellers and soldiers. Its current name dates back to the Nasrid period when it was called ‘Labassa’, referring to the stone quarries. The town was called La Peca or Peca after the Reconquista and from the 19th century it was simply called Lapeza.
In 1489 it was conquered by the Catholic Monarchs, although it has still kept much of its Arab charm. It fought against the Crown of Castile joining the side of the Moors in the rebellion of the Moors.
In 1810 an important episode of the War of Independence took place in La Peza. In an attempt to resist the French troops, the mayor Manuel Atienza, (a coalminer by profession), threw himself into the Tajo de Barruecos but later fell into the hands of the French invaders. The French built a new road via El Molinillo to replace the road linking Granada and Guadix.
La Peza was very well known for its production of coal, some of the best in the country.
Apart from the good bread, La Peza has some fantastic local dishes like the Potaje stew of San Antón (stew), Bacalao con tomate, and Macho (a rice dish).
The Carda cakes, the twisted bread rolls for the feast day of San Marcos, the Roscos de vino, the Almendrados and the Buñuelos are also all delicious.