History and origin of Macael
THE MUSLIM TIME. The etymological origin of the term “Macael” is Arabic, perhaps related to the words of stelae or marble funerary tombs. The first population nucleus of Macael, arose during the Muslim domination, approximately in century X. Where was located in that time? The first buildings were erected precisely in the place where the town is now. Its inhabitants sought a sheltered valley, with fountains of abundant water nearby. The initial spot of the town was on both sides of the Currículum Ravine, a stretch of what is now the Barranco Street. In a place of the present district of the Castle, a weak and small fort was erected, for refuge of the inhabitants of the town.
THE RECONQUISTA DE MACAEL FOR THE CATHOLIC REYES .The campaign of reconquest by the Catholic Kings of the populations of the present province of Almería began in the middle of the year 1488 with the taking of Vera and other localities of the regions of the valley of the Almanzora, Of the Vélez and Filabres. In this first campaign the Christian army reached until Cantoria, Olula and Fines. Macael, Purchena, Tíjola, Serón and other towns of the upper Almanzora remained in possession of the Moors. Almost a year and a half later, on December 4, 1489, Baza was conquered, and Serón, Tíjola, Purchena, Macael and the rest of the region were also given over. The Capitulations granted by the Catholic Monarchs to the Moors defeated in this region, were signed on December 7 in Purchena. Of course there was no resistance on the part of the Moors of Macael, nor of the adjoining towns.
MACAEL IN THE MIDDLE OF THE EIGHTEENTH CENTURY
1). General aspects of the town.– Macael in the year1.751 belonged to the Party of Baza and the province of Granada. The province of Almería was created in the year 1,833, and the Judicial Party of Purchena a year later. It had 874 inhabitants and 213 houses. The urban helmet was divided in two districts, the one of the Church and the one of the Castle (both of equal extension). The houses of the District of the Church bordered with the Hill of Crosses. Two streams crossed the town. The mountains of the town did not produce rents, since no tax was imposed on those who exploited the quarries.
2). Agriculture and livestock.– At the end of Macael were cultivated 1,500 bushels of land; 1,445 of dry land and 55 of irrigated land. There were 872 morals, 1,324 olive trees, 740 fig trees and a hundred gnats. The number of hives was 256. Cattle were reported as follows: 218 heads of cattle; 1,148 of cabrio, 132 of lanar; 148 of bristle, 2 of horse and 153 asnal.
3). Commerce and industry.-The following establishments are outlined: three mills of “bread mill”; A “bread bake” oven; An oil mill or mill; Two “very short” spices; A tobacconist; A watering can of spirits; Two bakeries. There was also a barber shop, ironworks and carpenters. There was no inn or inn. There is no reference to any workshop or activity related to marble, which has surprised me a lot. The farmers, who were about 40, had higher incomes than the rest of the inhabitants. Some of them held positions or worked in private trades.
MACAEL IN THE NINETEENTH CENTURY.- On the occasion of the economic revival of Spain in the eighteenth century, the standard of living of the population was improved, encouraging the construction of important public buildings. These circumstances caused an increase in the demand for marble, exploiting new sectors of the Sierra. In the first third of the last century there was an attempt to “colonize” the quarries and their industry by Catalan entrepreneurs. They installed the first marble factory by hydraulic force in the town of Fines in the year 1837. But this process, we call it “alienizing” was diluted among the native population.
Although the Constitution of 1812 abolished the territorial landed system, the city of Baza refused to lose the privilege of continuing to appoint the public offices of Macael. Until the year 1,818 continued designating these positions.
In the War of Independence the French forces made presence presence several times in the town in the year 1.812. They were coming in search of the guerrillas who harassed them. According to a study by Don Luis Martinez de Moratín, Parish Priest of Macael, it seems that several villagers were shot in 1812, and that a guerrilla from a village in the province of Granada was buried here, By arms.
BRIEF REFERENCE TO THE TWENTIETH CENTURY.– The last century was the decisive time of the technical and economic improvements of Macael. Highlight the operation of the Guadix-Almendricos (Murcia) railway line, which promoted the transport of marble especially to Barcelona, and the use of the port of Aguilas. Another important social milestone was the legalization (1,903) of the “Society of Stonemasons, Marblers and Similares”. Also note that in 1923 there was an important striking of stonemasons for not accepting the employer’s salary increase. Remember that in the year 1,917 the salary per day of work was 4 pts.
In the decade of the twenties Macael reached high levels of progress. In this period the Olula-Macael-Tahal highway was inaugurated. Electric power was also installed, which modernized factories and workshops. The population of Macael reached 3,000 inhabitants in the year 1930.
The composition of labor was as follows: 268 stonemasons, 33 Marmists; 20 chiselers, 8 truck drivers and 195 day laborers. The production of marble reached 4,000 tons. In the year 1.965 the electrification of the quarries began.
In the last third of the century the mechanization and rationalization of the extraction processes of the marble of the quarries took place. Consequently, the work of stonemasons and other professionals have been humanized. On the other hand, the defined professional profiles of the mason have been blurred for the sake of productivity; That is to say, that their “artisanal role” is in the phase of extinction.
- Iglesia Parroquial Santa María del Rosario
- Mirador de la Virgen del Rosario
- Monumento al cantero
Iglesia Parroquial Santa María del Rosario
In 1609 was inaugurated the Parish Church Santa Maria of the Rosary, in Mudéjar style. The then Bishop of Almeria, D. Fray Juan de Portocarrero, ordered the construction of this tower and the episcopal shield.
The tower, of majestic aspect and in good condition of conservation, is crowned by the bell tower. To the exterior it presents a cover to four waters with Arab tile and to the interior a wood paneling in the first and second body.
Its decoration is made of alternating bricks with masonry drawers, semicircular arches and geometric drawings accused by the brick out of its walls.
From its origins to our days the church has undergone numerous modifications in its structure, so the interior space is diaphanous and wide, presenting a single nave, drawing attention to its side facades, unusual in the churches of the region and this is due to The last restoration carried out in 1992 in which the main door was blinded, to place in its place the High Altar.
The Altar Mayor presents a marmoreal decoration of varied shades, where the most outstanding is the temple that projects inside the shrine, beautifully made and carved by the craftsmen “Children of José Sabiote Navarro”.
The most outstanding of the Church, besides its tower, are the carvings of the Reclining Christ; The child that sustains the Virgin of the Rosary, both of the seventeenth century, saved from the massive burning of Santos carried out in the Civil War and the valuable oil of the Purísima Concepción from the school of Juan de Juanes.
Mirador de la Virgen del Rosario
It is located at the top of a small mound crowned by the Virgin of the Rosary; Sculpture by D. José Sabiote Fernández, in the purest and white marble of Macael. There, from his impassive height watches and cares for the Macaelenses.
The access road and the esplanade where the sacred image is located were performed altruistically with devotion by the citizens of the town.
The rise of slate and wooden railing, sepentea the mountain between rosemary and thyme. From time to time benches that help the walker to enjoy the scenery, adorned with numerous sculptures.
Monumento al Cantero
Ascending by the street García Lorca and after leaving the square Almería, with its airy and original source, we find the Monument to the stonemason. Sculpture commemorated on a “mass” of white marble, which proudly expresses the bust of a worker who starts each day to beat the noble and strong.
If we walk through the village we find some typical places and with great historical interest. Do not forget that Miguel de Cervantes passed by here in 1594, or that this was the home of the Scissors, famous marble carvers that stood out in the seventeenth century. Of these must be the ancient columns called Cruz de Mayo and Cruz de los Mozos that remain enhiestas in two streets of the town.
The Cross of the Mozos, located in the street Jarrie, consists of a slender column crowned by a cross constructed later. At its base the following inscription reads: “This cross was made by the mocos des tudm maeilaro”.
Gastronomy represents the culture of a people. It is influenced by the climate, the economy, the natural resources of the place, the seasons of the year and religious festivities.
In the cold winter days, when the rain makes its appearance, it is customary to cook crumbs of flour or bread, accompanied with paprika broth, peppers and fried dry tomatoes, fish and slices, all washed down with a good wine from the earth . They also consume the pucheros, cooked in their different forms: wheat, pumpkin and fennel, that prepare the body for a hard day of work.
At Christmas the typical pastries are made, the greasy cakes and butter, the bread of oil, sighs and butter.
With the arrival of spring and coinciding with Easter, condiments are adapted to the prohibition of meat and vegetable products that come out of the valley. Prepare the dishes of Lent with cod meatballs and as dessert the fried roscos and the fritters with anise.
On the hot summer days are gazpachos and salads of time. In addition they are characteristic the fries of rabbit or chicken and the porridge with fish stock, taking advantage of the season of greater splendor of the vegetables.
We can not forget the famous hornazos of San Marcos, bread loaf of oil adorned with an egg and that according to the tradition it is necessary to break it in the head of the most confused.