AREA: 9,90 km² ALTITUDE ABOVE SEA LEVEL: 579 metres AVERAGE ANNUAL RAINFALL: 670 l/m²
AVERAGE ANNUAL TEMPERATURE: 17 ºC POPULATION CENSUS 1994: 234
History and Landscape
Salares, situated at the foot of the Almijara sierra, is one of the towns which appears on the coast of the Axarquía region. Its lands extend in a narrow strip from the top of the sierra at 1.658 metres altitude until the bottom of the Rubite river, on the limits with the Arenas municipality, at 480 metres. This difference of level in a distance of barely over 7 kilometres can give us an idea of the abruptness of the landscape, which mainly corresponds to the Salares river hollow forming a small precinct of great showiness, especially in the area to the north of the town.
The rockiness which predominates in the sierra, contrasts with the green of the towns surroundings, where the abundance of springs from the Sierra allows the maintenance of irrigated areas. In the dry farming lands, the predominating crop is the vine.
The special characteristics of the area: abundant water, good climate and a refuge which is easily defended, was the reason why the Phoenicians and Greeks entered the lands to exploit its area, but it was during the Roman rule when the signs of history are clearer. The Romans named the primitive settlement of Salares "Salaria Bastitanorum", as there seemed to be a salt site nearby which was exploited by the Baza people. From the Roman era is the bridge over the Salares river, which is still perfectly conserved.
As with so many towns of the region, it would be the Arabs who marked the most outstanding features of the present town. They built a small fort in the town centre, of which one of its turrets remains, near the church and the house called del torreón.
After the Christian conquest, the Moors began to complain because of the behaviour of the new administrators, and the protests ended with the Moorish uprising which extended over practically all of the region. The Salares inhabitants joined the revolt and were defeated in the battle of the Peñon de Frigiliana.
The earthquake in 1884 didnt cause any deaths but caused much damage to the houses.
Places to Visit
Apart from the splendid mountainous landscape which surrounds it and the beauty of the town as an urban complex with Arabic structure, the most interesting feature is the local church, above all for its Mudejar style minaret - the remains of the ancient mosque - which was declared a Historic-Artistic National Monument in 1979.
The towers body is adorned with interwoven bricks which form a pattern of rhombuses which is very showy for the visitor. On the top half, there is a second body, placed later, for the bells.
Other places of interest are the Moorish ovens, the Arabic bridge, and the already mentioned Sierra de Almijara.
The wine, made in the traditional way with grape stomping. There is also an oil factory.
The town doesn't have any specific gastronomy other than that from the local Axarquia region, although it is advised to try the previously mentioned wine. Nevertheless, one should try the fennel stews and wine rusks.
Festivities and traditions
San Antón is the most traditional festivity on the 17th of January. It is typical to adorn the horses which accompany the procession of the saint, and as a last touch, for the riders to parade the streets galloping. The summer festivities are over 40 years old, and are celebrated on the 26th of July in honour of Santa Ana. They consist of popular dances, a procession and fireworks.
On Easter Sunday, there is a procession with an image of the baby Jesus, who looks like hes about 2 years old yet curiously represents Jesus resuscitated. They adorn it with coloured ribbons and flowers and place it on a throne carried by youngsters. On another throne is the Virgin, dressed in white, and carried by older men.
On coming out of the church, the men follow the baby Jesus throne and the women follow the Virgin, each one following a different route, until they meet and a revelry is formed with rockets, gun shots and singing.