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The village in Granada province where water from the Sierra Nevada flows through its river, fountains and springs
Tourism

The village in Granada province where water from the Sierra Nevada flows through its river, fountains and springs

Dúrcal is considered 'the pearl of the Lecrín valley', and another of the village's important water attractions are the Urquízar and Vacamia baths, a source of medicinal and thermal waters

Rafael Vílchez

Dúrcal

Monday, 1 July 2024

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Water flows through Dúrcal in the Lecrín Valley in Granada province in many places. There are standpipes and fountains like Pilar de la Plaza, built 156 years ago. The work was made possible thanks to the second Marquis of Márgena and then president of the provincial body, the Diputación de Granada, Nicolás Bonel y Guzmán.

The water comes from the Sierra Nevada when the snow and ice melt in spring. Until the middle of the 20th century it was one of the central water supply points until drinking water was installed in the houses.

The cows belonging to a former mayor, Don José Puertas and Juanico 'El herrador', and the donkeys and mules of many muleteers and farmers were taken to Pilar de la Plaza to drink water. In fact there is an inscription on all four sides of the square which reads: "Dúrcal, acknowledged to the Exma. Diputación Provincial; to the constancy of its president D. Nicolás Bonel y Guzmán, knight of the Order of Alcántara, and its town hall agreed to make this fountain in 1886 during the reign of Doña Isabel 2ª de Borbón".

The Salto de Dúrcal hydroelectric power station, which opened in 1923, is fed by a water channel, which after Capdella, is the highest in Spain.

El Pilar del Mono is another of Dúrcal's fountains. On 8 May 1902, an application was made to build a water fountain near the road, next to the new bridge. This drinking fountain is an obligatory stop for cyclists and many people who travel along the old Granada-Motril road.

Pilar de las Eras de Balina was built by the pharmacist Don Alfonso Puerta Calvente for farm workers in the area to drink from. Alfonso Puerta opened his pharmacy 'La Purísima' in Dúrcal in 1924 with great fanfare. In 1930 the new square was inaugurated, which also included a bandstand and was paid for by him. Tragically, not long after Don Alfonso was shot during the Civil War by Franco's supporters.

There is also another motorised fountain in Dúrcal, which, at certain times gives a 'performance' accompanied by colourful lights. It was built when the new Parque de la Estación del antiguo tranvía was constructed.

Another of Dúrcal's important water attractions are the Urquízar and Vacamia baths, a source of medicinal and thermal waters. Many people visit these places throughout the year. In 2010 the waters of the Urquízar II and Vacamia springs were declared medicinal waters at the request of Juan José Fernández Espinar y Hermanos.

These and other places were visited some years ago by the Nobel Prize winner, Mario Vargas Llosa, accompanied by his friend Antonio Gil de Carrasco. The River Dúrcal, its waterfalls and the Lavaderos de Las Fuentes are other attractions in Dúrcal, considered to be 'the pearl of the Lecrín Valley'.

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