Our environment is above all the nature that surrounds us and invites us to walk and reflect. Listening to the water, the birds and the wind. The village Yegen belongs to the municipality of Alpujarra de la Sierra, together with Mecina Bombarón, El Golco and Montenegro. It is possible to walk from Yegen to the neighbouring villages along beautiful footpaths.
Each village has an interesting church or small hermitage. These small hermitages can even take part in pilgrimages and processions, as is the case of the Romería de la Virgen a Montenegro which is celebrated on the 13th of May, and which is attended by all the inhabitants of the municipality. Montenegro Chapel
In Yegen the Church of the Dulce Nombre del Niño Jesús stands out, with a meticulous Mudejar coffered ceiling, the façade has two semicircular arches and a small roof. The interior is remarkable for its simplicity and beauty. According to the memorial of the visit to the Alpujarra in 1578-79, Alonso López de Carvajal states that the church of Yegen was “healthy and was one of the old ones”, which suggests that it preserved its ancient mosque. The church has undergone many alterations over the years, but in spite of this it still conserves a beautiful Mudejar framework.
In Mecina Bombarón we find the Parish Church of San Miguel Arcangel from the middle of the 18th century, with a rectangular floor plan and a gabled roof over semicircular arches with Arabic tiles. The façade has a central body with a simple doorway decorated with semicircular arches on which the pediment rests. The first church was begun around 1539 and had three naves and a distinct main chapel. The Moors sacked and burnt it, so in 1582 it was rebuilt using chestnut wood. Throughout the 17th century it underwent numerous repairs, but its condition threatened imminent ruin and it was recommended that it be demolished and rebuilt in a different location. However, due to the opposition of the neighbours, it was not carried out and was rebuilt on its former site. Our church is a good example of the historicist religious architecture of the late 19th century.
Located in Golco is one of the most beautiful religious buildings in the area, the church of NUESTRA SEÑORA ARACELI, which
can boast of being one of the oldest in the area, built in the 16th century. It is a church with a rectangular floor plan and a vault over pendentives, with a nave and a differentiated main chapel with a square floor plan. The most outstanding feature is the façade, which is testimony to the Classicist intervention. The current tower was raised in the second half of the 18th century with a new bell tower. It is a modest church that reflects the different construction phases it has undergone and whose cruel enemy is the relentless passage of time.
The oldest church in the whole of the Alpujarra is in Júbar, 16th century. It is remarkable for its coffered ceiling and a weather vane with a mixture of Judaic and Muslim symbols.
Washing places and fountains
Some of the most common elements in the villages of the Alpujarra and therefore also in our municipality are the old washing places and fountains. Most of these wash basins are located in a natural environment full of vegetation and in the open air. Our mothers and grandmothers still tell us about those mornings spent by the rough stones of the washing places rubbing the mountains of clothes with a piece of homemade soap. They were the most frequented places by all the women in the village, and as well as being a place for work, they were also a place for meetings and gossip. The washing places represented an authentic forum for social relations in which there was no room for class distinction.
In Yegen, there are two washhouses, one located in the lowest part of the village known as “la fuente Camellona”, in this beautiful spot where the fountain and the washhouse meet. And another washhouse known as the “Nacimiento” whose water came from the old wheat mill. Both are representative examples of the typical washhouses of the Alpujarra.
In Mecina Bombarón there are two old and well preserved washhouses, one of them is situated at the highest point of the village in the Plaza Vieja street, known by the same name. The other washhouse is located in the centre of the Barrio Alto at the beginning of the slope of Guadix and is called “Lavadero fuente del Capitán”. Both are covered and clad in stone, giving them a more distinctive appearance.
The fountains are the most common in both Yegen and Mecina Bombarón. Water is an extremely important element in this environment, very necessary for our villages in the development of daily activities. For this reason, the abundance of fountains in every corner of the village is a constant, strategically placed to refresh and quench our thirst after climbing the steep slopes that form the terrain. The water that flows through the fountains has its origin in the slopes of the Sierra Nevada, so we can enjoy its exquisite flavour.
Other places to visit
The Roman Bridge of Mecina Bombarón
Mecina retains intact its old bridge of the ancient “Camino Real” that linked Almeria with Granada. Some attribute Roman origin to this architectural relic, considered in the village as an authentic local monument. It is situated below the modern bridge, and contrasts with it in its uniqueness and style. It is of great architectural value and is of great antiquity, as well as being the only one in the region that has survived unchanged in time.
Rock of the Fort
Fue una fortaleza en la que se refugiaron los últimos moriscos de Yegen. Brenan se refiere a la Piedra Fuerte en varios pasajes de su libro, atribuyendo su fundación a antes de la época musulmana: “la Piedra el Fuerte, una roca aislada que un día sostuvo un castillo moro y que en la actualidad cobija a una familia de gatos salvajes. (…) Es una roca inmensa, de cima plana, con una extensión de unos quinientos metros cuadrados cuyos costados verticales se levantan hasta unos quince metros por encima del valle. En tiempo de los árabes fue construido un pequeño castillo en este lugar, pero ciertos restos de basta cerámica sugieren una ocupación mucho más temprana. Naturalmente un lugar así ha de estar encantado”. En la plataforma rocosa sobre la que se encuentran los restos del castillo se aprecian tres escalones definidos que corresponden a tres recintos, el castillo data del siglo XI y se han encontrado restos cerámicos de distintas épocas, prehistóricas, medievales, altomedievales y califales. Por todo esto resulta ser un lugar recomendable (el Sendero de Brenan pasa por el pie del Peñon).
The old barracks of Mecina Bombarón is a building of neoclassical influence, with a rectangular ground plan and three floors. The main façade is divided into three sections, each section consisting of three lintelled openings. It was the former barracks of the Guardia Civil until a few years ago and represents one of the best examples of neoclassical architecture in the municipality.
Other villages in the surrounding area
Pueblos bonitos como Júbar con la iglesia del Cristo de la Columna del siglo XII (Destaca su artesonado de gran antigüedad, y el suelo de losas de barro muy antiguas), Nechite, y Jorairátar (donde hay además un interesante museo)Beautiful villages such as Júbar with the church of Cristo de la Columna from the 12th century (its coffered ceiling of great antiquity stands out, as well as the floor of very old clay slabs), Nechite, and Jorairátar (where there is also an interesting museum).
Photographic Museum Mecina Bombarón
This is the first museum of its kind in the Alpujarra and was inaugurated on 19.08.2000 in our municipality. It is located on the ground floor of the Town Hall and the entrance is free of charge. It consists of 650 black and white and colour photographs by the journalist Rafael Vílchez, who has lived in the area for more than two decades. The photos reflect the architecture, gastronomy, folklore, culture, legends and countless characters of the different villages that make up the Alpujarra region.
The Fonda-Museum Espacio Brenan in Yegen
Situated on the main road of Yegen is a small museum in the old inn where Brenan slept in the beginning. We can see what the houses were like at the beginning of the last century and also this old inn keeps inside an important relic for the memory of the inhabitants of the village; a large number of photos exclusively of the village and its people decorate the walls of the corridors. In them we can contemplate the living history from 1959 to 1989, thanks to Mr. Van Hannsen’s voluntary work, who was known and loved by all and who took portraits of the inhabitants of Yegen. His country of origin is Denmark, which is why he was called “The Denmark”
Museum of the Alpujarra (Ugíjar)
In the centre of Ugijar, in the Plaza de los Caños: It exhibits a wide range of farming tools and utensils related to the popular historical customs of the region.
“Historical Museum of the Alpujarra” of Jorairátar
At the foot of the Murtas hill, opposite the Cerrillo del Moro de Ugíjar, just in the shadow of the Peñón de la Cruz de Jorairátar, stands the Museum House, built in the 17th century, together with the church. The extraordinary estate, no less than five storeys high, was, like the good estates of the Alpujarra, extremely complete: with a wine cellar, stables, ovens, oil mill, trojes… Its walls contain some 7,000 antique objects of all kinds, from farm implements and the wine press, preserved in the building’s cellar, to collections of old cameras, radio sets, record players, even the first telephone to be installed in Ugíjar. In one of its rooms, the classroom of the National School that was based here at the beginning of the century has been reconstructed, with a large collection of post-war toys. Another room reproduces a typical Arab-Andalusian room with costumes and weapons of the period.