Gor is a typical Andalucian mountain village. Its population of just over 900 now depends on agriculture for their livelihood although in the past mining also contributed to the local economy. The railway line that took the agricultural produce to markets and ore to be smelted is now long gone but the track has been maintained as a Via Verde, a walking and cycling route that runs from Guadix to Almendricos just over the provincial border in Almeria.
The origin of the name, Gor, is not known although it was called that during the Moorish occupation and is thought to have Iberian origins. A small mosque stood where the 16th Century Iglesia de la Anunciación stands now. The village was also the home of the Duque de Gor. He built a palatial residence during the 15th Century on the foundations of a mediaeval castle. The palace somehow managed to be incorporated into the modern bullring.
The town square is the centre of the village with its beautiful green-tiled, arched, cloister on one side, overlooked by the church with its unusual and intricate ironwork frame for the bell. Close to the square is the communal laundry. Water to Gor is from a spring. In the centre of the village, a very well-preserved fountain outputs the water into a trough. From there it is channeled into the laundry where rows of stone sinks, complete with stone scrubbing boards, await the ladies of the village.
Gor is at the southern edge of the Geoparque Granada near the head of the river Gor. Only a few kilometres downstream, in the vicinity of Gorafe, is the largest concentration of dolmens in Europe.
Just two kilometres downstream of Gor is the Copper Age settlement of Los Angosturas. This little known archaeological site appears to have been occupied from about 2500 BC right through the megalithic period, through the Los Millares and Argar periods, into the Iberian period and may have still been occupied when the Romans arrived. This neglected site may prove to be a key site for archaeologists decyphering the prehistory of this area.
Gor is a gateway to the Sierra de Baza, a beautiful natural park with many waymarked walks. The town is a great place from which to explore this fascinating area.
A geoparque (geopark or geoparc) is a well-defined territory, home to a valuable natural geological heritage. The most important parts of a geoparque, due to their scientific, aesthetic, or educational value, are called geosites.
In the north of Granada, surrounded by some of the tallest mountains of the Iberian peninsula, what we know today as the Basin of Guadix or the Guadix - Baza depression or basin was, for 5 million years, a lake with no outlet to the sea. Sediments, brought down by the mountain streams, were deposited in the basin in horizontal sheets. 500,000 years ago the basin drained to the west and new streams carved out the canyons, ravines and badlands that characterise the area, the most southerly desert in Europe, today.
Gor is a geosite due to the proximity of the Las Angosturas Copper Age site
Nick has lived and worked in Andalucia for over 20 years. He and his partner, Julie Evans, have travelled extensively and dug deep into the history and culture, producing authoritative articles on all aspects of the region. Nick has written four books about Andalucia and writes articles for other websites and blogs.
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