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Castillo Guardias Viejas

The economic development of El Ejido is based on a rich and varied social and cultural reality. Our land is a melting pot of civilizations where the local population mingles with others coming from many geographical areas. That intermingling has worked the miracle of a plural, harmonious and enterprising society, welcoming and integrating the vital contributions of those who day after day arrive to this municipality. And it has been like this for a long period of time: in the course of history, a multitude of civilisations settled and lived in the area. They worked their crops and made the most of the nearby sea. Many traces of the materials used by these civilisations remain in the landscape and are part of the magnificent cultural heritage El Ejido is so proud of.

Monuments

The Daimun

The Daimún is a funereal mausoleum located near the city centre, on the road to Berja. It is a semi-subterranean mausoleum which was built towards the end of the 3rd or beginning of the 4th century and whose structural typology displays numerous similarities to others that may be found along the Mediterranean coast area.From the outside it looks practically square and its interior consists of a floor in the shape of a Greek cross, the extremes of which are delimited by three archways that are inserted into the walls, underneath which the sarcophagi may have been placed.It is constructed with masonry of uneven blocks of stone and mortar, and has a water shed roof. On the inside it has a barrel vault finish. The building may have been part of one of the necropolis of funereal areas of Murgi..

Its construction must be attributed to a Roman family from the local aristocracy

Castle of Guardias Viejas

The Castle of Guardias Viejas is a notable element of the 18th century military architecture. It was built in order to defend the coast from being attacked by pirates and corsairs. The construction of the building consists of a quadrangular floor around a courtyard for arms, from where you access the semicircular battery. Two turrets flank the battery with an external fortification made up by two half triangular-shaped bastions. The courtyard for the arms gave access to the rooms on the inside, covered by half-barrel vaults on top of masonry walls and ashlars in the corners. Access to the fortress was achieved by crossing a drawbridge over an open moat across from the main entrance.

The castle has been restored by the City Council and is open to the public. It houses a permanent exhibition on military uniforms and weapons of the era as well as models of coastal fortresses.

Location: Village of Guardias Viejas.

Visiting hours:

Visiting hours:

September and october

From Tuesday to Friday: 5:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Saturday - Sunday - Holidays: 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Closed on Monday

Entrance: Free..

Telephone: +34 950 54 10 06.

Trading post and port of Guardias Viejas

The breakwater of present-day Guardias Viejas harbours a natural creek, which, according to all the indications, points it out as one of the ports that favoured the commercial activity in Murgi. The remains of a fish-salting factory have been found in that area. The everyday activities of this place must have been the salting of fish, the preparation of the famous Roman sauce called garum and maybe the elaboration of purple die.

Many fragments of amphorae may be found scattered all over the area around the factory. Some pieces of evidence prove that this port maintained an important commercial activity from at least the 1st until the 5th century of our era.

Fortified tower of Balerma

Built in the middle of the 18th century, the Fortified Tower of Balerma formed part of a complex defensive system of watchtowers and fortresses that protected the coast of the ancient Kingdom of Granada. A masonry stairway and a drawbridge to its entrance were mentioned in 1803. There were rooms in the upper part for housing the two tower keepers who made up the staff together with the corporal. On the ground floor the stock and provisions/munitions that were needed for the defensive function of the tower were stored. The tower, located in the village of Balerma, has been restored by the City Council in and is now open to the public.

Ciavieja Archaeological Site

It is an artificial hill covering some 5.000 m2, formed by a superposition of archaeological stratum, which contains the material remains that stem from human activity that stretches over more than 3.000 years. This is where the Roman mosaic, which is presently exhibited in the Museum of El Ejido, was found. Thanks to the enormous significance of the site for the knowledge about the Recent Prehistory and the history of the Antiquity of the Southeast peninsula, the site has received the status of Property of Cultural Interest. The site is at the moment object of studies, investigations and excavations and, as a consequence, is not open to the public.

En la actualidad no se puede visitar ya que se encuentra pendiente de su estudio, excavación y puesta en valor.

Cultural activitiess

El Ejido was at the forefront of Theatre programming in the 70’s, almost at the same time as the municipal district’s economic and social development. Since then it has been a benchmark in the province of Almeria and its Theatre Festival has been declared of Tourist Interest in Andalusia. It is held from the end of May until the beginning of June and the most innovative shows in the artistic scene are on the programme. In addition, there is an ongoing monthly programme of Theatre, Music, Dance and other shows. Also worth mentioning is the important music cycle held in July and August in the Castle of Guardias Viejas.

Local history Educational Room

It houses a permanent exhibition of archaeological remains which allows the visitors to get an insight into the history of the town from the first human occupation, dated 5,000 years ago, until the end of the Roman Age. The most interesting vestige exhibited is a Roman mosaic that was found in the Ciavieja archaeological site.

Address: Auditorium of El Ejido,

C/Bayarcal - El Ejido

Visiting hours: More information in the Culture Department (Town Hall of El Ejido), tel: +34 950 541 014.

Fiestas Programme

The territorial and sociological diversity of El Ejido has resulted in a wide range of fiestas and traditions. The active participation of residents in organising them gives all the fiestas a distinctive character and a peculiar symbol of identity.

January

  • Christmas and the Procession of the Three Wise Kings throughout the municipal district.
  • San Antón (St. Anthony’s Day), celebrated on 16 and 17 January. Especially important in San Agustín.

February

  • Carnivals throughout the municipal district.

April

  • San Marcos (St. Mark – at the end of the month): Parades of carriages and the fiesta of beans, wine and bacon.
  • Easter: religious processions are held in the different population centres in the municipal district to celebrate Holy Week.

May

  • Cruces de mayo (May Crosses) throughout the municipal district.
  • Venta Carmona patron saint’s fiestas during the 2nd weekend.
  • Sta. María del Águila patron saint’s fiestas, last weekend.

June

  • Romería (religious pilgrimage) of Sta. María del Águila during the 1st fortnight.
  • Matagorda patron saint’s fiestas during the 2nd weekend.
  • Loma de la Mezquita patron saint’s fiestas.
  • 24: San Juan (St. John), with bonfires on the beaches of Balerma and Almerimar.
  • Last weekend: San Isidro (St. Isidore), patron saint’s fiesta of El Ejido.

July

  • Santo Domingo patron saint’s fiestas during the 1st week.
  • Las Norias patron saint’s fiestas during the 1st fortnight.
  • 16: Virgen del Carmen (Our Lady of Mount Carmel) fiestas in Almerimar and Balerma.
  • 25: Santiago (St. James) fiesta in Guardias Viejas

August

  • Virgen de las Mercedes (Our Lady of Mercy) fiesta in Balerma. 
  • San Rafael (St. Raphael) fiestas in Pampanico.
  • San Agustín patron saint’s fiestas.
  • San Silvestre patron saint’s fiestas.

September

  • 11: Municipal District Day

October

  • Pilar (Our Lady of the Pillar) fiestas in Calahonda.
  • Fiesta of the “Divina Infantita”, patron saint of El Ejido.
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