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  URBAN ITINERARY OF HUÉSCAR
 

 

(Pink dotted line on the map)

Huéscar is a town shrunken in on itself, and which over the centuries has developed its own local character. Huéscar has been greatly influenced by its history, its geographical location in Andalusia- Murcia, its Navarrese and Aragonese customs and traditions, its relationship to the house of Alba until the disappearance of the Lordship in the 19th Century, and the ecclesiastic presence of the archbishopric of Toledo until 1954.

Upon entering the village you discover hidden nooks and crannies full of tradition. Houses whose coats of arms conspire with the isolation to conjure up times of past splendour. Long streets which start on the edges of paths and the Camino Real (Royal way) from Granada to Valencia, and small winding back streets all betray Huéscar’s Arab past.

Huéscar also enjoys a rich cave-house heritage and its well magnificently well-.preserved cave-houses, spread out from the other side of the river. Today they are the object of many ambitious restoration projects, in a concerted bid to develop a sustainable and environmentally friendly rural tourism.

The route we propose here starts out in the southern corner of the Plaza Mayor, a meeting -point since olden times. It goes down towards the tree-lined Paseo de Santo Cristo, where you can find the Casa de los Penalva (Penalva House) with its beautiful modern style exterior. Arriving at the Arco de Santo Cristo (The Arch of our Holy Christ), which was the gateway to the medieval village, and where the remains of the la Torre del Homenaje (the Tower of Homage) are all that are left of the old Alcazaba (Arab Fortress). Moving on the route enters the old Jewish quarter, winding along the Calle de las Tiendas (Street of Shops), el Callejón de Santa Ana (once home to a nunnery), la Calle Ceballos, and la Calle Nueva (an old exterior ditch of the city wall), before it returns to the northern corner of the Plaza Mayor.

The route continues along Calle Comercio and Calle Campanas streets, until it reaches la Casa Parroquial (Parish house), easily recognisable due to its coat of arms on the outside wall. From here you head along the backstreet Callejón de la Morería to the Calle Alhóndiga, site of the Iglesia de Santiago (St.James’s Church). The church has a particularly gothic style, and was built on top of an old mosque. The route now crosses the Placeta de Maza (Mallet Square), an old crossroads where animals were rested, and site of la Casa de los Maza, a notable 16th Century stately home complete with coat of arms.

Moving on the route goes along the never-ending Calle de Santiago, topped off with a small square which has a monument built of stone from a mill in homage to the olive oil industry of Huéscar. This area is known as Humilladero (place of humiliation), the place where the Moors gave themselves up, and nowadays the point of departure for the processions of the patron saints Alodía and Nunilón on their return every year to the hermitage situated at the foot of the Sagra, an emblematic mountain dominating the area at a height of more than 2381metres.

The route goes back in the direction of the Calle Mayor to the Placeta Santo Domingo, which houses an old Dominican convent, later turned into a theatre. Continuing along the streets of Santo Domingo, Abades, Warte y Ángel, the route ends back on the Calle Mayor, where you find the Casa de los Peralta (The Peralta Family House), Mariana Pineda’s family home. Here you can also find the monumental collegiate church of Santa María, a mixture of architectural styles which reflect its different phases of construction. The beauty of its vaults, its sombre unfinished tower, and the decoration on the main door, give it a magnificence which makes it the most architecturally valued Collegiate church in Huéscar.

Moving on, the route goes along the edge of la Placeta y la Ermita de la Aurora (Square and Hermitage of Aurora), and goes along Calle Morote, a shopping area and the main exit out of the busy city centre. From Calle Damas you reach Calle San Francisco, whose name comes from its old convent, a noteworthy centre of philosophical and theological studies in the 17th Century, and of which there are still some remains. It turns onto the Avenida de Andalucía, and after crossing the Maestro García Lacal and San Vicente de Paúl streets, comes out onto Los Sifones, a stretch of street with steps and railings that marks the old entrance to the town in the 18th Century. It goes back in the direction of Calle Morote to the Ermita de la Soledad (old hermitage of San Sebastián).

The last and long stretch of the route travels through the municipal service areas ( Sports Pavilion, Library, Schools etc.). Go around Santa Adela square, which houses the lively Abastos Market, where you can find the renowned cold meats and excellent mountain lamb of the region. Going up Pocotrigo street you get to Granada avenue and the Rodríguez Penalva Municipal Park, a large Romanesque-style garden with lovely secluded areas, and more than the occasional squirrel. The end of the route along Calle Ingeniero Vicente González and Calle San Cristóbal, comes out once more at Plaza Mayor, where it’s well worth opaying a visit to the local bars, to take in the good-natured hubbub and try tasty secas, typical Huéscar hempseed cakes, washed down with the full-bodied local wine, or vino de la tierra.


 
Financiado por la Consejería de Turismo y Deporte de la Junta de Andalucía, y la Cofinanciación de la Unión Europea.

 
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::Mancomunidad de Municipios de la Comarca de Huéscar::