Almeria Province - Vera

VERA

Vera is another important ‘sun and beach’ town in the province of Almería that attracts a lot of tourism, especially from those who practice naturism. It is not surprising, then, that there are numerous lodgings and hotel accommodations providing exclusive services for nudists. However, the town also has a very interesting cultural offering due to its artistic and historical past. It has around 15,800 inhabitants.

 

 

HISTORY

Vera is an important melting pot of cultures that covers two millennia of history, with Carthaginian, Roman and Muslim settlements all contributing to the birth of the current town. All this has been collected in the Municipal Historical Archive (one of the most important in southern Spain).

Under Muslim rule, the population moved inland from the coast, before being reconquered in 1488 by Fernando el Católico. In 1494, the Catholic Monarchs granted it the title of noble city. In 1518, it suffered an extraordinarily violent earthquake. Three of the remaining inhabitants were commissioned by Carlos I to rebuild the city; according to legend, they fired an arrow and, in 1520, began to build the new town where it had landed.

During the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, the Moorish uprisings and Berber raids caused much cultural instability and violence, culminating in the expulsion of the Moors. In the eighteenth century, attempts to modernize Vera resulted in the establishment of the Society of Friends of the Country (the second one created in Andalusia and the fourth in Spain). The nineteenth century was also a tough time for the city due to epidemics, war against the French and absolutist repression.

THINGS TO SEE

Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de la Encarnación
This church arose as a result of the destruction of the ancient Muslim city of Vera in the earthquake of 1518. Emperor Carlos I asked for information to assess the desirability of rebuilding the city and its fortress. The resultant report stated that this reconstruction was necessary for the defence of the land, and therefore a new walled city, including a parish temple, was commissioned. Construction of the church began in 1521, under the direction of Francisco Capilla. It is located on Calle Mayor.

Ermita de Nuestra Señora de las Angustias
The construction of this neo-Gothic style church, which dates to the seventeenth century, was a publicly supported project between 1898 and 1900, in honor of the patron saint of the city. Located on Calle del Mar.

Convento de la Victoria
The convent was inhabited by the Padres Mínimo from the beginning of the seventeenth century until 1823, when it was confiscated. It has now been adapted to house the municipal auditorium and museum, and houses activities throughout the year. It is situated on Calle Juan Anglada.

Opening Times:
Monday-Friday, 11:30-13:30hrs and 18:30-20:30hrs
Saturday, 11:00-13:00hrs
Free entry
Tel: 950 39 24 57

Ayuntamiento
The Town Hall was built in the nineteenth century and houses the Museo Histórico municipal historical archive, considered one of the best in Andalusia, along with the Ethnographic and Archaeological Museum, in which visitors can see an interesting reconstruction of the Muslim settlement on Cerro del Espíritu Santo. The hall is located on Calle Mayor.

Museum Opening Times:
Tuesday-Friday, 10:00-14:00hrs and 17:00-20:00hrs
Saturday, 10:00-14:00hrs
Tel: 950 39 30 16

Museo Etnográfico de Vera
The Ethnographic Museum explains the various trades that have been practiced in the area over time, with detailed exhibitions of the tools that were used, as well as the different dependencies of the tradecrafts and a recreation of a traditional rural house from the middle of the twentieth century.

Opening Times:
Tuesday-Friday, 10:00-14:00hrs and 17:00-20:00hrs
Saturday, 10:00-14:00hrs
Free entry
Tel: 950 39 30 16

Cabaña Eneolítica
This is a replica of a prehistoric Eneolithic-Copper Age cabin, situated within the Recinto Ferial El Palmeral, a former palm tree plantation oasis dating from the twentieth century. Located on Avenida de la Palmera.

Centro de Interpretación de la Cultura del Agua (CICA)
This small fountain was installed by the first Arabs who populated Cerro del Espíritu Santo. Originally, the water was bitter, but in the nineteenth century the structure was reformed so that drinking water was directed through one of its spouts. It then became known as Fuente de los Cuatro Caños (Fountain of the Four Spouts). The most important reforms were made at the beginning of the twentieth century, at which time the laundry area was added. Now fully restored, the expanded site houses the Center of Interpretation of the Culture of Water (CICA) , and can be found on Calle la Fuente.

Plaza de Toros
The bullring is one of the most ancient and significant pieces of municipal heritage in Vera. Its style is neo-Arabic, especially apparent in the main entrance arch. It is the oldest bullring in the province of Almeria, and was restored and reopened on September 25, 1997. The ground floor is home to the Museo Taurino (bullfighting museum). Located on Calle Mojigato.

Museum Opening Times:
Monday-Sunday, 10:00-13:00hrs and 17:00-19:00hrs
Tel: 950 39 30 16

La Glorieta y la Ermita de San Ramón
This green recreation area was built as a result of the economic and demographic development of Vera in the second half of the nineteenth century. From its viewpoint, surrounded by beautiful gardens, visitors can contemplate the unbeatable views towards the sea and valley. There is a chapel, Ermita de San Ramón, which was founded in the eighteenth century and sits beside the garden. Both are located on Plaza San Ramón.

Casa Orozco
The home of the Orozco Family, from the mid-nineteenth century, was built by Mr. Ramón Orozco Geréz. A native of Vera, he accrued one of the greatest fortunes in Almeria in the nineteenth century, thanks to the exploitation of the region’s mines and subsequent smelting on Garrucha beach. The house is located on Calle del Mar.

Centro de Interpretación Paleontológica (Museo de Fósiles Marinos)
The star exhibit of the Marina del Levante Paleontological Interpretation Center is a collection of fossilized whale ribs and vertebrae that were found on Mount Hacho de Vera. An ancestor of the Balenoptera genus, the creature is the largest known to have existed on Earth; whilst its dimensions would have been comparable to some Dinosaurs, it would substantially surpass any of them in weight. The exhibit also consists of more than a hundred other fossils, from huge Oysters (Crassostrea) and Echinoderms (Clypeaster) , to tiny Brizoos (Retepora) , in addition to Ammonites, Trilobites etc. Posters and audiovisuals explain the different groups of animals and plants in simple terms, as well as the process of Evolution of Life on Earth. The museum is located on Plaza de la Glorieta.

Opening Times:
Monday-Friday, 10:00-14:00hrs and 18:00-20:00hrs.
In August, the centre is closed in the afternoon.
Tel: 950 39 30 16

Jardín Botánico
The Botanical Garden presents collections of various thermos-Mediterranean plants, and is divided into sections where visitors can find species ranging from the Arto Series and Cornical Series to the Serie Albardinal. There is a large number of endemic species, as well as exotic species from numerous geographies. Located on Avenida de la Glorieta.

Capilla de San Agustín
This church was formerly the chapel of the Royal Hospital of San Agustín, commissioned by Emperor Carlos V at the beginning of the sixteenth century. Located on Plaza de Hospital.

Rambla del Algarrobo
This is a peri-urban park offering an unbeatable panoramic view of the city. It features an artificial lake and a large sample of native species of Levantine flora. It is surrounded the Museo de Escultura Contemporánea al Aire Libre, an open-air museum of marble sculptures that was commissioned as part of the Mediterranean Games hosted in Almería in 2005. The complex is located on Calle La Rambla.

THINGS TO SEE OUTSIDE THE VILLAGE

Mirador y Ermita del Espíritu Santo
This is the location of the Hispanic-Muslim city of Bayra, founded by the Arabs and re-conquered by the Catholic Monarchs in 1488, until a great earthquake destroyed it on November 9, 1518. At its summit is a viewpoint with stunning views of the coast and the image of the Sacred Heart of Jesus dating from 1949. The remains of its castle and wall particularly stand out. A cistern, transformed into a chapel during the Modern Age, has been adapted as the Interpretation Center of the Medieval City of Bayra. The ruins were declared an Archaeological Zone of Cultural Interest in 2004 by the Junta de Andalucía (BIC) . Located in Paraje del Espíritu Santo, off the N-340.

Espacio Museístico al Aire Libre
Vera was a key crossroads during the Roman Empire, with many of the roads and highways surviving until today, such as the N-340 that follows the original route, in some sections, of the old Via Augusta, with a branch that formed the current CN-340. An information panel explains the history of these roads, complementing the Roman road replica. Located in Paraje del Espíritu Santo.

Ermita de la Virgen de las Huertas
This chapel is a simple building in the local architectural tradition, built in honor of the Patroness of Lorca. Every year, a popular pilgrimage takes place in its surroundings to remember the help that this city gave to the people of Veracruz, when Vera was besieged by the Moorish King Aben Humeya in 1569. Located on Camino Cabuzana.

BEACHES

Vera has a beautiful promenade and three fine-sand beaches with crystal waters. The first is Playazo, the most popular among the nudist crowd. The other two are Las Marinas and Puerto Rey. The town also has an aqua park.

GOLF

Golfers interested in desert courses might like to visit the Valle del Este Golf Course, Europe’s 2nd ever desert course, which offers an exciting and beautiful 18 holes.

HANDICRAFTS

Arts and crafts in the town include pottery, straw-work, marble, glass, forging, embroidery and basket weaving.

GASTRONOMY

The local gastronomy does not fail to impress, with dishes such as gurullos con conejo (gurullo pasta with rabbit), caldo pimentón (fish stew), olla de trigo (wheat stew) and ajo colorao (garlic soup). Sweet treats consist of tortas de pellizcos, torticas reales (raspberry and blueberry tarts) and deditos de Jesús (Jesus fingers).

FESTIVALS

The traditional celebrations of the town are a must-see for any visitor. During Easter week there are grand carnivals and processions, and there are celebrations for the Día de la Vieja, along with the pilgrimage of the Virgen de las Huertas. More>

NEARBY PLACES

The neighbouring villages to Vera are Antas, Cuevas del Almanzora and Los Gallardos.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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