Community given back to the Diocese in September 2012.
In the province of Almeria, skirting the Gador Mountains where the Almerian Alpujarra begins, the Province of Saint Nicholas of Tolentine of the Order of the Augustinian Recollects has been serving from 2009 in nine parishes the region of river Andarax following a request from the Diocese of Almeria, which has a shortage of priests.
The religious community resides in Alhama de Almeria, and from there attends the parishes of the towns of Alhama, Huécija, Alicún, Íllar, Instinción, Rágol, Terque, Bentarique and Santa Fe de Mondújar. Previously the Province was only administrating several parishes of the same Diocese in west Almeria, so this meant consolidating its presence in the region and faciltiating community activities amongst the friars.
Each one of these towns has its own church; pretty monuments built after the invasion of the Muslims in the 16th Century, with prominent wooden coffered ceilings. The most distinguished church is the former Augustinian convent of Huécija, which has recently been restored.
These villages were in their splendour at the end of the 19th Century, with the development of grape plantations. But today they have an elderly population with little or no industrial development. Many inhabitants emigrated to Catalonia in the second part of the 20th Century, something as yet incomplete.
The pastoral work is more extensive at weekends, when a lot of the relatives of these villagers come back to the houses they once had there. It makes the number of young people during holidays and weekends more numerous.
Religiously, the population has a solid faith, and they like to maintain their traditions, some of them really colourful, such as the celebration of the Cross in May or the pilgrimages of Saint Isidro.
[Figures as of 2011]
— Alhama: 26 km2, 3,835 inhabitants.
— Huécija: 19 km2, 530 inhabitants.
— Alicún: 6 km2, 278 inhabitants
— Íllar: 19 km2, 452 inhabitants
— Instinción: 33 km2, 484 inhabitants
— Rágol: 27 km2, 379 inhabitants
— Terque: 16 km2, 455 inhabitants
— Bentarique: 11 km2, 277 inhabitants
— Santa Fe de Mondújar: 35 km2, 476 inhabitants
— Total: 192 km2, 7,166 inhabitants, 37,32 hab./km2
ALHAMA DE ALMERÍA (ALMERÍA)
Foundation: 13 B.C.E
Area: 26 km2
Density: 147,5 pop/Km2
GDP per capita (Spain): 30,622 $USA
Coordinates: 36º 57 0'' North, 2º 34' 0'' West
Altitude: 520 m. above sea level
Time: UTC + 1
Temperature: 9-31 ºC
Rainfall: 225 mm
Distance to Almeria: 25 km.
Coat of Arms