Dólar is located about 1,200 metres above sea level, with its houses surrounding the foot of a hill that is topped by the remains of an old medieval castle. Its name may come from the word ‘dolaria’, referring to the abundance of wood, which makes sense as the town is surrounded by many trees.
The fortress that presided over the town was built in the Nasrid period on the site of a former settlement. Two rectangular structures, made of mud walls, and other parts of the building are still standing today, as are the remains of three other towers and a pond. It is worth climbing the hill, as the views from the top are breath-taking.
The municipality falls in to the Parque Natural de Sierra Nevada, so it is the ideal place to go on long walks and hikes. You can also go horse riding and cycling and enjoy the stunning natural surroundings.
Dólar is referred to as a fortified place in various documents dating back to the 12th century. However, it seems to be even older than that, as remains dating back to the Roman period and the Visigoth era were found here at the time of the Reconquista.
Little is known about the origin of the town. During the Arab period its mineral resources were successfully mined and became the main source of income for its inhabitants. After the Reconquista, the town became part of the Marquesado de Rodrigo de Mendoza. Like other villages in the region, the population plummeted after the expulsion of the Moors and the revolt of 1568-1571. Later it was repopulated with settlers from other regions.
Excellent sausages are made here, which are often used in stews. The local Telerines – a tagliatelle dish made with tomatoes, peppers and onions accompanied by hare, garlic sausage or cod – is also fantastic. The Golosa is a typical pastry influenced by Moorish cuisine, made with almonds. The Huevos moll, an Easter speciality made with eggs, milk and cinnamon, are delicious, as are the Hijuelas, which are pastries made with flour, milk and eggs.