Nature

Fuente Alta

This spring is located in the area called La Fuente Alta, close to a rural house with the same name. It’s only one kilometre to the southeast of the town, and 200m to the southwest of the Bañuelo and Membrillo springs, on the same hillside.

The highest spring is known as La Pisá de San José (Saint Joseph’s Footstep), thanks to a shape resembling a footprint cut into the rocks.

It can be accessed by car, via the road that leads to the Fuente Alta rural house, or by walking from the Bañuelo spring. From there, there’s a stairway parallel to the main water channel. This leads up to a pond which collects and distributes the spring water. Along the stairway and covering the hillside, you’ll be able to see the calcium carbonate accumulations (or travertines) deposited by water over the centuries. These Cretaceous and Tertiary marlstones are used for olive groves.

It was also once used for people to hand-wash their clothes, but this is no longer the case. Locals would frequently visit this place as the spring was usually flowing, but nowadays it’s often running dry.

It doesn’t have a constant flow of water and normally dries up during the driest part of the year, from June to October.

Bañuelo

This is located to the west, on the outskirts of Salar, and on the left bank of the town’s stream, known as the Arroyo or Barranco de Salar. It can be easily accessed via the Bañuelo road. The thermal water (around 20 ºC) is rich in mineral salts and is highly valued by residents. Water flows from a small cavity dug in travertines, which are attached to a Jurassic limestone spring from the Sierra Gorda aquifer, in contact with Cretaceous impermeable materials. The Membrillo and Fuente Alta springs are very close by. Only a few metres away from the cave where the main spring can be found, there’s another spot where water bubbles up.

See more

Carolina Trasierra or de la Bajá Park

 

This park blends urban elements, including a playground and a skateboard park, with nature. Here, you can enjoy nature while sitting on a bench or taking a stroll.

Cultural/historic

The Roman Villa of Salar

Domestic architecture

The Roman Villa is especially remarkable for its flamboyantly decorated mosaics, which are true works of art, as well as the amazingly beautiful sculptures of Nymphs and Venus, which are astonishingly well preserved.

Although there’s evidence of the villa being used at the beginning of the first century, its golden era was between the second and fifth centuries. Its owner clearly wanted to showcase their wealth and built a villa with a peristylium courtyard. This was a manor house used for agricultural purposes.

The rooms excavated represent around 10% of the whole building, and were a part of the luxurious quarters for the owners of the house.

East corridor of the courtyard

Ocean scenes

The east corridor connects the triclinium and the peristylium with a beautiful marble step. The corridor’s floor is covered with a stunning figurative mosaic representing a marine thiasos. The walls were adorned with frescoes.

The mosaic also shows a nereid riding a ketos or sea monster, which is remarkably well preserved. Nereids are the princesses of the Mediterranean, and they embody fertility and the grace of the seas.

West corridor of the courtyard

Hunting scenes

Excavations of the west corridor began in 2017. As a result, an outstanding polychrome mosaic with hunting scenes was revealed. The scenes alternate landscapes and vegetation with leopards, wild boar and horsemen. This structure and the decorative elements (walls, mosaics, doorsteps and columns) in this area are very well preserved. Three rooms open onto this colonnaded space, all of which are tiled with elegant geometric mosaics.

The spectacular decoration of the living spaces of the dominus, the owner of the Roman Villa of Salar, reflects the economic power and pre-eminent social status of its inhabitants.

South corridor of the courtyard

This corridor is lower than the east corridor, and the two spaces are joined by two beautiful two-metre-long limestone steps. There’s also a geometric polychrome mosaic.

Triclinium

The triclinium is the main dining room in the Villa, where large banquets were held. It’s one of the most important rooms, symbolically speaking. It’s 9.70 m long and 6.90 wide and would have been a focal point of the house.

A polychrome mosaic with geometric and plant motifs paves the room, and the base of the walls was covered in marble using the opus sectile technique.

Unfortunately, the triclinium was the part of the Roman Villa of Salar most affected by the diggers which were used as part of a plan to build a treatment plant on the site.

Peristylium’s perimeter channel

What this quadrangular open courtyard would have looked like is still unknown since only a small area has been excavated. However, it’s likely that it had an inner garden and, probably, a large fountain in the middle. Opposite the triclinium, at the east end of the courtyard, part of a small platform was found. It might have been a semicircular exedra, or recess, with mosaics, used as a place from which to contemplate the inner garden. The opus signinum perimeter channel is also worth mentioning. It is internally attached to the walls that outline the peristylium. It collected rainwater from the surrounding corridors’ roofs and stored it in the tank that we can suppose was under the aforementioned fountain.

Vaulted room

The function of this room is still unknown. It’s an area belonging to a building adjoining the southern corridor of the owner’s residence, with a mosaic floor with geometric motifs (today almost invisible), and a spectacular, vaulted roof formed by rows of
tubi fittili, very rare on the Iberian peninsula..

 

Room 1

This may have been a quadrangular cubiculum (bedroom), and opens up to the west corridor surrounding the peristylium. It has a beautiful, well-preserved geometric polychrome mosaic.

Room 2

Attached to room 1 to the south and also connected with the west corridor. This room is paved with a black and white mosaic with different decorative motifs, such as mirrored peltas, Salomon’s knots, secant circles, solar motifs and chequerboard patterns. It’s also surrounded by a decorative border made up of small coloured marble pieces of rudimentary sectile. This was added at a later date.

Room with tripartite entrance

Attached to room 1 to the south and also connected with the west corridor. This room is paved with a black and white mosaic with different decorative motifs, such as mirrored peltas, Salomon’s knots, secant circles, solar motifs and chequerboard patterns. It’s also surrounded by a decorative border made up of small coloured marble pieces of rudimentary sectile. This was added at a later date.

 

Layout

A villa was a Roman agricultural and farming estate. The one in Salar dates back to between the first and fifth centuries. Its golden era was between the third and fifth centuries. The excavated rooms represent around 10% of the whole building, and were a part of the luxurious quarters for the owners of the house.

Female sculptures (Nymphs and Goddess Venus)

The three half-naked female sculptures found up until now deserve a special mention. Two of them are nymphs and the third, which is excellently well preserved, is a modest representation of the goddess Venus.

 

 

See more

Nasrid Tower

Gabino’s Tower

Church of Santa Ana

Ethnographic House-Museum

Attractions in town

Marín’s Cross

The Church Fountain

It’s thought that the fountain in the church square was built in 1795, after the construction of the church and the stairs on both sides of the square. It’s been refurbished on several occasions. The current plaque shows the date of the last refurbishment: ‘Site rebuilt in 1881’.

Water stills flows from it today, coming from the Fuente de la Noguera (Walnut Tree spring). Overflowing water fell into a stone trough which was used until the 1970s.

This fountain retains its plaque, the copper spouts and the basins that collect water. These basins are worn due to the constant scraping of jugs and buckets, and part of its decoration has faded.

Plaza de Doña Pura

This square is located at the back of the Church of Santa Ana.

Purificación Rivas Castro was born in Granada. She worked as a teacher in our town for twenty-six years.

In 1913, she signed a manifest defending religious education in schools. In 1929, she received a special prize of 200 pesetas as part of an educational project awarded to groups of teachers in Spain.

At the beginning of 1936, the town was taken by Franco’s troops. Doña Pura, her sisters and her father-in-law were too scared to leave the house. Under these dangerous circumstances, they were accused of encouraging and helping a soldier, who was acquainted with her father-in-law, to join the Republican side. It was later discovered that a different resident actually helped him. Doña Purificación decided to testify. Accompanied by the local judge, she appeared before the military commander, who refused to listen to her. It turned out that authorities had already made a decision on the family’s fate. They still decided to stay at home.

On the 26th December 1936, a truck full of prisoners stopped at their house. Doña Pura knew that everything was lost, so she jumped from the second floor and died instantly.

 

People of renown

Hernán Pérez del Pulgar

Hernán Pérez del Pulgar was a close relative of Alonso de Cárdenas, Master of Santiago, and of Gutiérrez de Cárdenas, Commander Major of León. His first war was against Portugal, and he distinguished himself in such a way that he was named “continuo” of the royal household. By 1481, he was earning a yearly salary of 40,000 maravedis.

He arrived in Alhama on the 26th of August 1482 when Luis Osorio, his uncle and bishop of Jaén, was warden and captain of the city. Named bookkeeper by King Ferdinand, he was in charge of guarding the square, a key strategic point in the territory of Granada since its conquest in March.

On the 13th of May 1486, King Ferdinand laid siege to Loja. Thirteen days later, Pulgar, who had already joined the Royal Army, led a group of fifteen squires and sixty soldiers to conquer the fortress of Salar, to the east of Loja. He fooled the enemy garrison,

and forced them into open combat. He won, but the retreat was so chaotic that both Christians and Muslims ended up inside the fortress. This took place on the 30th of May, one day after Loja’s surrender. Pulgar was granted one of the best neighbourhoods in the city, as well as the tenancy of Salar, which he guarded using his own means.

From then on, Hernán Pérez del Pulgar took part in some of the most important military campaigns in the war.

Pérez del Pulgar’s family grew in wealth in Salar, where the two hundred and sixty fanegas of irrigated land he had been granted were close to the three hundred and forty fanegas of unirrigated land that he had been given for the reasons mentioned above, and his status as a neighbour of the city. He continued buying neighbouring properties until he owned most of the territory. Salar was the heart of his estate.

On the 26th of September 1526, when Charles V visited Granada, he awarded Hernán Pérez del Pulgar and his wife the right to pass the estate and other assets to their son.

He died in Loja on the 12th of August 1531. His body was taken to Granada and a funeral was held in the Cathedral. His son unsuccessfully tried to purchase Salar’s jurisdiction in 1559. One of his descendants eventually succeeded in 1683 and was named marquess of Salar a decade later.

× ¿Cómo puedo ayudarte?