Paterna del Río

Paterna del Río
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Village belonging to the area with the Marquesado de Zenete through the mountains. It is included in the Sierra Nevada Natural Park, one of the natural paradises of the area due to its scenic, botanical and anthropological wealth, as well as for its fauna. It is also rich in sulphurous or gaseous waters or waters that are rich in iron, with medicinal properties.

The population is made up of various centres or districts, all of which preserve the characteristic traces in their physiognomy, architecture and customs, of their Moorish origin.


Village situated on the southern slope of Sierra Nevada. As a result of the thawing of the snow a series of gullies are formed which feed the river Paterna further down. Very close to the village are the old Moorish villages of Iniza and Guarros, today reduced to farmhouses. Guarro gave its name to its spa of medicinal waters which are gaseous, sulphurous and are rich in minerals and iron. Its importance as a spa goes back to the Middle Ages.

Although the origin of Paterna is not very clear, the term Paterno is of Latin origin and in the mines of La Gaviarra Iberian swords have been found. The impression it made during the Al-Andalus period is inescapable. The centre of population was made up of four large districts, defended by a castle and a common organization, with a high mosque and two lesser ones. Today it is also divided into four districts: La placeta, Barrio Alto, Barrio de Enmedio, Fuente del Castaño and Barrio de los Castillos. La Alqueria de Huerros, today Guarros, was added to the municipal area in the XVI century.

During the War of the Alpujarras (1568-1570), the Marquis of Mondejar defeated 4,000 Moors in Guarros in 1569. Aben Humeya, leader of the rebellion fled to Paterna and from there, on finding himself surrounded by the royal troops, escaped to the mountains. He left behind his wife, mother and sisters who were immediately captured. With the defeat and the expulsion of the Moors from the Kingdom of Granada in 1570, Paterna was repopulated with old Christians from Galicia. In total there were 100 settlers.

Nowadays its population dedicates itself fundamentally to agriculture with the cultivation of vegetables, potatoes and apples. It is a place where there are the delicious waters of its springs such as the Bitter Fountain (Fuente Agria) with its iron-rich waters, or its chestnut trees which are over one hundred years old and the holm-oak woods in its ravines.

Paterna del Río
Paterna del Río
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Paterna del Río
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