♦♦♦ High Tourist Interest. Macael is inextricably linked to the word Marble. The quarries very close to the urban area have been exploited since ancient times, constituting the most important exploitation nucleus of ornamental rocks of the national territory.
Marble is a metamorphic rock that comes from a sedimentary rock, limestone, which suffers physical changes in its internal structure due to the action of pressure and temperature. Its quality and possibility of natural shine when polished has turned it into an excellent ornamental rock. In addition, its hardness allows its use as a structural element.
During the Recent Neolithic and the Chalcolithic, the populations of the Almanzora Valley took advantage of the white marble stones that dragged the water courses to elaborate small schematic figures called “cruciform idols” or “Almerian idols” that they deposited in the collective tombs. In ancient archaeological research they were considered one of the characteristic elements of the “Culture of Almeria”.
With the Romans began to exploit the quarries of Macael on a larger scale, but it is in the Muslim era when there is greater continuity in extraction.
With the Christian repopulation of Macael, the activity of the marble sector re-emerged. Macael’s “Libro de Apeo” (1573) records that the inhabitants of that time came using the marble of the sierra without restrictions. It is considered that here lies the basis of the traditional right of the inhabitants of Macael to freely exploit marble. For a complex and long process this right ended up being managed by the city council.
The start-up of the Almanzora railway from 1895 marked the beginning of the take-off of the Macael marble industry and the possibility of distributing its products to the rest of Spain and Europe.
In 1978, after the approval of the new General Regulation for the Mining Regime, the Municipality of Macael requests to legalize the situation of the mining concessions. In 1981 the rights of the mining concessions are granted to the Municipality of Macael, agreeing to renew them for periods of 30 years, renewals that have been happening to date. Currently, Macael is the largest marble producer in Spain, which in turn holds the second place in the world.
Marble Interpretation Center + Quarries
Description: Guided tours organized from the Marble Interpretation Center run through several quarries, explaining “in situ” the extraction process, both ancient and modern. It also offers the opportunity to experiment: practicing the ancient communication system in the quarries through the use of “conches”, the process of “zipping” the marble with the use of pinchotes and almaina and approaching a spectacular marble bench.
· Company: Made in Macael, Tourist guides
· Duration: 3h approx.
· Price: consult
· Telf .: 950 128 916