In the middle of the sunny part of the Sierra de los Filabres we find this lovely mountain village which is graded down a mountain slope, with its houses which are always white, positioned on the slopes among the fields of almond and olive trees and backed by the spectacular arid mountains.
HistoryIn the VIII century a group of Berbers arrived in this region. They were very Romanized, of the Christian religion and under the leadership of Queen La Kahima. Many times the cohabitation of the Mozarabs in the Al-Andalus territory was difficult. For this reason, after a raid by the king of Aragon, Alfonso the Fighter, in 1125, many of them went with him to repopulate the Ebro valley. At the end of the X century a group of jarichíes, a sect persecuted by Cordoba, took refuge in Velefique.
During the Al-Andalus period, Velefique was a land of great men, as in the case of Abu Ishaq, one of the great Moslem saints of the times. It is also believed that in 1264 Abul Barakat was born here. He was the cadí (a type of judge) of Marbella, Estepona, Malaga and Almeria. He became the great cadí of Granada.
It was conquered in the year 1483 by Isabel "the Catholic Queen". The Catholic Monarchs gave Velefique in 1490 to don Juan Tellez Giron, Count of Ureña. He sold it to don Alonso de Cardenas, Count of the Puebla del Maestre.
The Moorish rebellion of 1568 did not affect this region at the beginning, but a group of Moors from the Alpujarras together with those from Gergal incited them to rebel too. Once the conflict was ended by don Juan of Austria in 1570, 70 Moors from Velefique were taken prisoner and reduced to slavery. They were sold in public auction in Vera, Mojacar and Lorca. The rest, a total of 120, were taken to Cuenca and Albacete. Repopulation was carried out in later years with 28 old Christians from outside the Kingdom of Granada.
In the XVII and XVIII centuries there was a slow growth in the population. The principal activity was still agriculture and the silk looms. The Official Land Register (El Catastro de Ensenada) of the middle of the XVIII century informs us that Velefique had 363 inhabitants. This population continued growing during the XIX century, reaching the point of having 1,174 inhabitants. The XX century was characterized by a gradual descent in the population until the present day. Currently it is looking towards beginning an ambitious programme in rural tourism as its best bet for the future.
- Max 17
- Min 6
- Max 62
- Min 42