Cuadrilla of Añana


Surface: 21,9 Km²
Altitude: 531 m.
Population(INE 2008): 176 hab.
Atiega and Salinas de Añana.
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The history of Salinas de Añana is the history of salt, flavouring and preservative of great importance throughout the times, round which turned all the development of the town in the Middle Age. Its springs of salty water and the activity related to the salt appears already documented in the year 822, little before the Arabians occupied it in the year 865.

In the year 1126 Alfonso I the Battling ordered to settle Salinas in the boundary where it is nowadays, converting it into the most ancient small town of Álava, and it received its municipal charter in 1140 from Alfonso VI. That municipal charter had an economic characteristic, which encouraged the production and market of the salt converting Salinas into one of the most widely coveted small towns of the north of the peninsula.

Its landscape is totally characterised by the salt threshing floor, plane platforms supported by wood pillars and stone walls and arranged in groups or farms, each of which has one or two deposits (terrazo floors) where the obtained salt is stocked. The salt extraction is done by evaporating the waters of the river Muera, which are canalised towards the threshing floors making use of the lowering of the ground.

The pronouncement of Salt Valley as a Monument led the Provincial Council of Álava, through the Historical-Architectural Heritage service, to launch a series of actions aimed at generating the conditions necessary to reverse the deterioration of the valley due to the abandoning salt production and begin with its comprehensive restoration through the Master Plan designed for such purposes.
At the present, the salt mines' complex has started being restored, given the state of deterioration that it has suffered since the abandonment of the salt mines' activity. Apart from having a walk tour through the town we can visit the convent of San Juan de Acre Commanders and the church of Santa Maria de Villacones that preserves some elements from the 13th century even if the present building dates from the end of the 16th century. The palace-house of Ozpinas family maintains its medieval character and the palace of the Herrán family, situated in the highest side of the street La Carrera, is a Baroque example that was sent built at the end of the 17th century

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Pza. de los Fueros, 11 · 01213 Rivabellosa (Araba/Álava) · Tel.: 945 355089 · Fax: 945 355053