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Sorbas – Almeria

Sorbas, also known as Cuenca la Chica, is an extremely impressive village. It is located on a small plateau over the Río Aguas, and its white houses are almost suspended over the ravine. It has around 2300 inhabitants.

HISTORY

Several prehistoric settlements dating from the Neolithic and Metal Ages have been found in Sorbas. Some found in the town centre at the beginning of the twentieth century have been dated as far back as the Bronze Age, around 2000 BC. These were found in the neighborhood of El Calvario, and notably included a grave containing a skeleton. The earliest supposed settlement was probably an Iberian town, which maintained commercial relations with the Phoenicians of the area.

According to writings of the eleventh century, the name is Arabic, from the meaning “sand pot”, and may relate to the Neolithic vessels found in the area. In 1089, Sorbas (‘Surba’) was cited by Abd Aallah as a Castle whose ownership was disputed between Al-Mutamid and Al-Mutarin de Almería. In the neighborhood of Las Alfarerías, you can see an Arab furnace still in operation.

After the Al-Andalus period, Sorbas was conquered by the Catholic Monarchs in 1488. The conditions of the Capitulations were harsh and coexistence between Christians and Moors became increasingly rare. During the Christmas of 1568, the Moorish uprising began and spread like wildfire throughout the Kingdom of Granada. After the contest under the Orders of Don Juan of Austria, the Moors were expelled from the kingdom. The repopulation was carried out by 50 neighbours from surrounding communities, including Jaén, Linares, Toledo and Cazorla. All were provided with the housing and land that the Moors had been forced to abandon. The municipality went on to be the capital of the Señorío of Marqués del Carpio.

THINGS TO SEE

Iglesia Parroquial de Santa María
The church was built on the site of a former mosque. Inside, it has three sixteenth-century Mudejar-style naves separated by pillars, on which half-point arches rest. The eighteenth-century Baroque chapel was designed by architect Francisco Ruiz Garrido between 1765-1768, due to the need to expand the temple. The High Altar was decorated by a majestic Baroque-Rococo altarpiece (1771) by the master Francisco Gonzálvez. Today, an exact copy is being made based on the original eighteenth-century plans. The main façade was funded by local Antonio Martinez Romera. The nineteenth-century tower has neo-baroque decoration, notably the four openings around the bells, the clockface and the four saints that flank the corners: San Pedro, San Pablo, San Roque and San José. The magnificent church is located on Plaza de la Constitución.

Casa Consistorial
The current Town Hall is composed of two buildings; the hall itself was built in 1893, and the annexed stately building known as Casa de la Cámara Agraria in the same century. Both can be found on Plaza de Constitución.

Casa del Duque de Alba
The eighteenth-century Neoclassical style Palace belonged to the Dukes of Alba and the Lords of Sorbas and Lubrín . The three-storey building stands out for its sheer size. Inside, the central courtyard is a highlight. The palace is also situated on Plaza de Constitución.

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Ermita de San Roque
This is a small church located in the Alfarerías neighbourhood. Its construction dates to the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Its architecture is extremely simple, with hardly any decoration, and it is located on Calle San Roque.

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