Gérgal, is a municipality of the province of Almería, that takes its name from the Arabian Xergal. The town is on the border between the desert and the forest, in it you will enjoy the sun and snow if you are to visit the mountains around the town. The town stands on the banks of the River Gergal, on the sunny side of the Sierra de los Filabres. Its history dates back to prehistoric times but it was particularly important during the Middle Ages.
At first it was a fortress between two roads and surrounded by humble houses, in a solitary and poor land. All changed for a while thanks to its mining
industry. At the present, it is a region of cattle farming and agriculture. Gergal’s
domestic buildings are a mixture of early traditional houses and ones built in
the nineteenth century, during the prosperous mining days.
The sixteenth century castle overlooking the town was built on the ruins of a Medieval fortress and is now a well-kept private house.
Of great interest due to its historic past, it became famous in 1920 when its mines of iron were exploited and the cultivation of grapes added to its splendor. on its shield the motto “The hospitibal Village of Gérgal” appears and that really defines the character of its inhabitants.
The Parish Church de Santa Maria (1680) has a plain brick and masonry exterior. Its three naves are joined by semicircular arches, the central one having a beautiful coffered Moorish ceiling, one panel of which depicts the sun. Other religious buildings include the Chapel del Santo Sepulcro, the Chapel de San Sebastianand the Chapel de la Santa Cruz.
Close to the railway station are the Alcubillas Altas (‘Tall Cisterns’, for water storage) and the Moorish-style Parish Church of San Sebastian.
In the year 2005 the town had a census of 1057 inhabitants according to the Institute of Statistics of Andalusia.
The town is at an altitude of 758 metres above sea level and is found situated in the lower foothills of the southern part of the Sierra of the Filabres, in the shape of an amphitheater on an expansion of the river bed of the river that shares its name that flows into in the River Andarax. To both banks of the Rambla of Gérgal the town has its fertile plains, where their crops are grown and gives the town its outstanding variety of colours throughout the year and extends like a cloak on its settlement dominated by the medieval castle and the church.
On the highest summit behing Gérgal, an observatory housing one of the largest telescopes in Europe, sited here by a German-Spanish venture to take advantage of the almost onstantly clear skies at night.
Gérgal is now a very sought after destination for tourism and those looking to make the region of Almería their home due to its beautiful location and proximity to Almería city itself and being just over an hour’s drive from the magnificent city of Granada.
Schooling and Health Care is of a good standard in the town and there are many facilities within it.