WELCOME TO HUERCAL-OVERA
A BRIEF HISTORY
On the border with the province of Murcia. For Menendez Pidal the origin of the place-name Huercal-Overa lies in the repopulation of two different villages at the end of the XVI century. The presence of Phoenicians and Greeks (in search of minerals), Carthaginians and Romans is known about.
On the summit of Cabezo de la Jara is Escipion Cave, named after a Roman general who is thought to have been here with his army. He died locked up in a tower after being defeated by the Carthaginian general Asdrubal. The Roman emperor Augustus included Huercal-Overa, Purchena and Velez Rubio in the Roman province of Tarraconense.
The origin of Huercal-Overa can be pinpointed to the Al-Andalus period. From these times the Arabic castle of Huercal and the castle of Santa Barbara de Overa remain.
These make up, together with other fortresses, a secure defence for this part of the Kingdom of Granada. With the Christian conquest it was annexed and donated to the town of Lorca for services rendered in the year 1488. Its population was very depleted, especially that of Overa who preferred to leave rather than renege on their faith. After the War of the Alpujarras (1568-1570) and the expulsion of the Moors, repopulation was started between the years 1572 and 1573, with Overa annexed to Huercal.
In the year 1668 it achieved total independence from Lorca under the name we know today and by means of a purchase document made to the Royal Exchequer. In the War of Independence the events that are recounted about the inhabitants of this village are heroic. Fierce battles were waged in the streets, and on some occasions the village had to be taken house by house. The XIX century is characterized by the increase of population. In 1805 it had 2,186 inhabitants, in 1834 it had 3,315 and in 1887 it had 15,631 inhabitants between the village itself and the countryside. Parallel to this demographic increase, there was an increase and expansion of the village buildings. During the XX century the different international conflicts and above all the Civil War affected the village. In the surrounding AREA there still remains an AREA of trenches. It also suffered the long postwar period and emigration. From the seventies onwards this land through which such illustrious travellers as Gerald Brenan, Virginia Wolf and Juan Goytisolo have passed, opened itself up with new hope.
The Market Square of Huércal-Overa reopens its doors transformed into the Commercial -Plaza de Asbastos, a modern building full of entrepreneurs.
Due to the great anticipation, about a thousand of residents attended the opening of the square being pleasantly surprised.
Saturday, 19 September 2015. The Market Square of Huércal-Overa yesterday reopened its doors after years of no activity on it, and does so with 26 new businesses entrepreneurs from the municipality. The ground floor is intended for food and the first several shops are aimed at different areas like fashion, design and printing, photography, crafts, and musical instruments among others.
About a thousand residents attended the opening accompanied by the team of municipal government, the provincial deputies Casquet William and Elizabeth Belmonte and municipal councilor in Garrucha Cristobal Valera.
The Councillor for Commerce and Employment Promotion, Monica Navarro, explained that “Since the Government Team Party it was clear from the beginning we had to do something in this square that for so long was the center of trade in Huércal-Overa , previously the others had invested more than a million and a half euros to leave it closed, so we got a great project that today materializes. A project in which we have worked hard for months, with nerves and excitement for many who are here today, our mayor was very clear it had to become an opportunity for entrepreneurs and a benchmark “
Navarro added that “continue along the lines that have marked entrepreneurship promotion and aid for trade, which among others have set up a municipal aid of 2,500 euros for new entrepreneurs.
An initiative with which we were pioneers in the province and has been imitated by other nearby villages. We want this business to be part of the day to day operation of Huércal-Overa, a town that grows with pioneering initiatives for the benefit of its citizens and work continues to remain a leader in this area and in the province “.
The Deputy Mayor noted that the City Council “We have taken great care in making this project a success, in fact it already is for the interest that has arisen, so we hope that your business will also be a success as it will be for the benefit of our people and our neighbors, and invited the citizens of the town and the region to come and visit this Huércal-Overa commercial, the different shops of the town, its attractions and enjoy their streets.
Mayor, Domingo Fernández, wished all those who are part of this new business, “a path full of joy and luck in this new stage,” hoping that “perseverance, effort and enthusiasm that exists in this project always keep entrepreneurs in the Market Square “.
Source: Press Office – City of Huércal-Overa
1€ FOR A SLICE OF HISTORY
Since selling our shop in Turre my husband and I have been able to become interested in our surroundings.
For 8 ½ years we would woke up and head off to our shop and never the twain would meet as they say, now all that has changed.
A few weeks ago he decided we would investigate what is on our doorstep so to speak and one Saturday (in not so great weather) we ventured to The Watchtower in Heurcal Overa.
Or to give it it’s full name “Torre de Huercal Overa”.
Admittance to this gem is just 1€ and the views are just amazing.
Even though it was a poor day here you could understand why it was built where it was. There would be no creeping up on its occupants.
The building itself dates back to 13th century and was actually built by the Arabs when the Nazari kingdom reigned over the south.
The remains themselves were part of a much bigger fortress but over time the building became dilapidation and only during the Civil War was the building put to use again as a bunker. Some machine guns were placed in many of its openings.
The tower has been privately owned for the last fifty years but in recent years the municipality gained access and so began the restoration to what we now see.
We actually were very lazy the day we visited and drove our car up to the top but I noticed one lady with her children parked near the Rambla and walked up.
With help from the archaeologists the very path has traced that was trodden by those building the tower and now stone seats have been placed at intervals for those more energetic.
There is history on our doorstep and we really don’t need to look too far to see it or be apart of it.
Directions: Take the N 340 just past the sign Camino del Salida take the turning on the right, you will see a sign for the Watchtower. Follow the road down to the Rambla, take the pathway across the Rambla and you will pass the Spanish Breakers Yard, keep going.
The road begins to climb steeply (spare a thought for the poor donkeys carrying their loads to and from the Watchtower). Continue the climb until you reach the top and then enjoy the Vista.