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Alfacar

Alfacar is an historic town approximately 8km from the city of Granada, in the autonomous Spanish region of Andalucia. In the 2005 census, INE reported its population as 5107 inhabitants. The town is on the edge of the Sierra de Huétor Natural Park and is in a region of intensive olive production. The town is 920m above sea level, but the local fossil record contains marine molluscs that show the profound geological forces that have shaped the region.The area has been occupied by humans since prehistory. A very important neolithic site - la Barranca de Las Majolicas - is within the town, and human remains, decorated ceramics, and bone tools and ornaments have been found there. Between 711 and 1492AD, most of Spain was governed by a series of Moslem dynasties and monarchs. We do not fully understand the origins of the name Alfacar, but in this era the Arabic name "al-Fajjar" (´the house of the potter´) was first applied to the settlement. The town was a summer retreat for the Moslem Zirite Kings (1010-1090AD). There are few visible architectural relics from this time. The Arabs adapted the Fuente Grande to channel its waters to Granada, and the old heart of the town retains the structure of an Arab settlement.The Christian Reconquest of Spain culminated on 2 January 1492 when Boabdil, the last Moslem king of Granada, surrendered to the Catholic Monarchs Ferdinand and Isabella. Thirteen days before, the Moslem population of Alfacar capitulated to the advancing forces. History shows that the Arab inhabitants of Alfacar continued living in relative peace under the new regime and did not participate in the subsequent unsuccessful uprising of the "Moriscos". However, this did not prevent their expulsion from the Iberian Peninsula in 1579 during the reign of Philip II, after which Alfacar was repopulated by Castillian Spanish families. An important building that dates from this period is the Church of the Assumption of Our Lady (La Iglesia de la Asunción de Nuestra Señora), built on the site of a former church that was destroyed in 1557 and in turn was situated over the foundations of a former mosque.
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