Today, following the recommendation of the City of Hondon de las Nieves, we come to this county and we will try “Discover” Hondón de las Nieves starting with its history dating back to the Upper Paleolithic.
The first documented archaeological site is the cave of Rollo, which have appeared lithic industries belonging to the Aurignacian, Gravettian and Solutreogravietiense. The survival of these early inhabitants depended on what they hunted around for what they used flint as illustrated by the archaeological record found so far. Also gathered that the land produced without cultivation.
Of Iberian and Roman times we have no record of archaeological remains as probably destroyed crops of field sites, often robbed and sometimes silencing its existence, although there is evidence of Roman remains and coins, etc.., No doubt due to the proximity to the Via Augusta, one of the axes of the territory of Teodomiro of Orihuela.
During the Muslim invasion occurred in 711, this area was sold to the Cora Tudmir to cover, from the river and Vinalopó the river Almanzora river from source to the Mediterranean world, ie part of the provinces of Murcia, northern and southern Almería Albacete and Alicante. At this time we are not aware of the existence of a population center, it would be rather scarce and scattered population.
The area was known as Hondón “Ufra” for Muslims it means deep place. Depended “Hisn’Asf”, Ie the Castle of the river in Aspe, farmhouse that served as a fortress.
In 1243 there was the Spanish occupation of these lands and Ra’is (governor) of Crevillente, Ahmad ben Hud, who ruled these lands came under the protection of Castile.
Since 1262, the territory encompassing the valleys of Vinalopó was part of the Lordship of the Infante Don Manuel, brother of Alfonso X. The occupation of land by Castilla supposed to enter the area of Spanish influence despite the Taifa kingdoms and their Muslim rulers, continued to control the territory, although at half the income to the Christian king.
Following the Moorish revolt from 1264-66, get in the Aragonese king, James II, to quell the uprising and annexing these territories to the Crown of Aragon. In 1296 he conquered the city of Alicante and incorporates the town of Aspe Muslim Crevillente the Lordship until 1318, it passed to the Legal and Administrative Management of the Attorney General of Orihuela. At this time the land is held of the Crown until 1329, within the estate of Orihuela. This area played an important role during the War of the two Pedros, because they are scattered population centers bordering the kingdom of Castile. In 1368 it donated to Sir Hugo de Calviley by Pedro IV of Aragon in exchange for services rendered and in 1383 was sold to the Crown of Aragon.
It is in these moments when it is built according to written sources, the hermitage of San Pedro, which takes place according to tradition, the appearance of the image of the Virgen de las Nieves in 1418, a time of calamities, pests, crop failures, etc …
Hondon de las Nieves from the Parque de la Cruz
Hondon de las Nieves was a small village of farmers belonging to the Marquis of Elche, jurisdiction was provided by the town of Aspe and neighbors and Aspe Hondon came on pilgrimage to the town of Biar where the revered image of Our Lady of rogation grace to ask in the rain, etc …
One day of that year came to the place dear Hondon Yecla two pilgrims road and asked to stay the night drop. Residents were given dinner and heat the home, heard that the natives of the place need to have the presence of the Savior’s mother. They said they were sculptors and agreed to make an image of Mary. They locked themselves in a small shrine with the food and all the material needed to manufacture a stone carving. After three days and not hear hammering on the white stone, decided to break open the door if something had happened to the pilgrims. What was a surprise to find on the altar a beautiful image of Mary and the food, as well as provided material that had not been touched. The Pilgrims had disappeared and the bell tower began to play alone.
The village of Hondon had an image of Mary, but did not know how to call it, so I moved to the town of Aspe where the clergy along with the council looked forward, there voted to name the image and after placing six ball of wax with different name of virgins in a cloth sack as de Piedad de la Victoria, the Comfort, the Refuge of the Afflicted and Concepción. By extracting the lump appeared on behalf of Virgen de las Nieves, after checking the rest of the names to a different ball again and again to see the name of Virgen de las Nieves, with this, the vulgar mother understood that God wanted to receive the name of Our Lady of the Snows. The Queen of Heaven was moved in procession to the chapel where it remained except when invoked in prayers.
The Elda Aspe and freeholds were sold in 1424 the Aragonese nobleman Alfonso Perez de Corella Ximén, cupbearer of King Alfonso V of Aragon, which facilitated the resettlement of Christian families. In 1469 the governor of Elda Arnau Rosell Orihuela asked the Council to permit the Moors from Aspe them to cultivate land and contemplation Hondón the Count, was granted a license, provided they paid the tithe and not till the land Orihuela neighbors. These days there and two different Hondones the Aspe and was owned by the Dominicans of Orihuela (Hondon de los Frailes).
In 1497, Juan Ruiz de Corella, sell the place Aspe Don Gutierrez de Cardenas, Lord of Elche, to remain attached to this manor, which was later elevated to the rank of Marquis.
In the sixteenth century the place of Aspe Ondones Ondón comprised of the Hermitage (Hondon de las Nieves), the Balsas Ondón (the overflow, which received its name due to the existence of rafts at the edge of the existing road ) and carcass. They were payments, ie agricultural land with scattered farm houses. The station received its name thanks to a derivation of the name Canatllosa, meaning “stone canal” but eventually lost the “t-ll.”
They were Moorish villages, whose population is engaged in agriculture. They also developed a modest craft focused on meeting local needs and activities related to agriculture: flour milling, mills, warehouses, rope and sandal, trades until the early twentieth century endured.
The Bishop of Orihuela, Fray Andrés Balaguer noted in 1607 that existed in the chapel of Ondones Aspe, two sung services funded by the Moors in the town of Aspe. This was because in the Synod of Orihuela 1, 1569, was imposed on the leaders of each local monitoring of religious practices of the newly converted Muslims to Christianity. In the town of Aspe Bishop Ausías Aznar appointed sheriff to comply with the contents of the Synod.
In 1609, the reign of Philip III, the expulsion of the Moors not converted to Christianity, resulting in massive depopulation and loss for the economy, as the gentlemen lost most of his subjects and as a result of suspending the pilgrimages to the shrine of Ondones Aspe. In 1629 the Bishop of Orihuela in his pastoral visit to the parish of Aspe, shows that it has lost the tradition of going on pilgrimage to the shrine of Ondones and urged the population to recover that tradition Aspe.
In 1658 it built a new chapel dedicated to the Virgen de las Nieves, which was surrounded by about 20 tenants and houses that cost more than 1,000 ducats, by the alms collected pieces of bread that gave the residents of the town of Aspe furnaces. It would be more than a reworking of the earlier chapel dedicated to San Pedro.
Sierra de Crevillente
Given the population growth that occurs in the eighteenth century in Ondones Aspe, the Bishop of Orihuela, D. José Gomez de Teran, decided in 1746 to erect at the site of the chapel, a parish under the patronage of Our Lady of the Snows and a few years later, was signed on 1 Concordat between Aspen and Hondón in 1769 which regulated the transfer of Virgen de las Nieves from this location to Aspe. But this Concordat caused the rift grew between the two locations and in 1776 was signed on 2 nd Concordat.
Between 1815 -1839 the old cemetery is built on the Paseo Juan Bonmatí.
In 1838 the town of Hondon de las Nieves asked the segregation of the town of Aspe, which was dismissed by the regent Maria Cristina de Borbón. A second petition initiated the formal process of segregation in 1839 was carried out by the Minister of Development, Javier de Burgos. So that of May 3, 1839 by Royal Decree of the Regent Maria Cristina, was segregated Hondon de las Nieves in the municipality of Aspe, in the decree fixing the population at 418 residents and an income of 190,000 Rv.
On 17 May the Government informed Alicante Political José Pérez, fiscal sponsor Monóvar constituting the Vestry to proceed to delimit the term. On December 18, 1839, after the Confiscation Act of Mendizabal, Queen Governor ordered the segregation of Hondon de los Frailes municipality Redován and pass it to depend Hondon de las Nieves.
In 1842 he commissioned architect Emilio Jover academic, sketch up around the end of Hondon de las Nieves, the Friars and the town of Aspe. The Corporation of the City of Aspen filed a complaint with the Government for the observed bias in awarding medium term, a population of 100 inhabitants. On March 3, the Regent General Espartero division approved the terms, which thing is served on the City Council dated March 20, 1842. By Royal Order of May 3, 1842, are set at the appropriate milestones, completion of the partition being the municipalities. The term Hondon de las Nieves Hondon cover the town of Snow and payments Canalosa, Tolome, Alcan, Hondon de las Balsas, Hondon de los Frailes and Murada.
Following this segregation Hondon de las Nieves was signed on 3 º Concordat in 1848, since they had already changed the terms of the relationship between the two peoples. The celebration of the Feast of August 5 in honor of the Virgen de las Nieves was agreed to hold alternative: the even years in the town of Aspe and odd years in Hondon de las Nieves.
In 1846, as reported by Pascual Madoz, there were two schools, one for children attending the 20 students and one for girls with the same assistance. On December 12, 1877 took possession of the new house, the Civil Guard barracks, located on Main Street.
The first printing on the streets was in the late nineteenth century, according to Royal Decree of February 24, 1887. In these first moments of the existing roads were:
– New Street
– Street Silvestre
– Senia Street, known as El Raval
– Street Aljibes
– Street Bayon
– Street Clock
– Elm Street
– Calle de les Pallisso
– Calle del Horno
– Calle San Juan
– Calle Palmera
– Street Crevillente
– Calle de la Vereda
– Street of the Church or the Mass coast
– Street Caves north and south
– Orchard Street
– Calle Cuevas Carrilets
– Street Caves Aljibes
– Street Altico
– Street Theatre
– Calle Cuevas of Calereta
– Las Casas del Pino
– Crossing the Trail
Some of these streets have been renamed such as the Plaza, which was of the Republic (1931), Jose Antonio (1939) and now the Villa, Main Street was called Joseph Canalejas (1913), Avenida de Manuel ana (1931), Generalissimo (1939) and again Mayor; The Carrer changed Moret (1913), News of San Vicente (1914), Francisco Mira (1927), Caballero (1936), Calvo Sotelo (1939) and again New Street, the trail changed to Cuesta de la Vereda (1910), Sagasta (1913), Avenida Directory (1930), Pablo Iglesias (1932) and currently Trail, the street was called Aljibes Requejo (1906), Cayetano Limorte Gómez (1908), O’Donnell (1913), Queipo de Llano (1939) and again cisterns; The street was called Enrique Crevillente Albentosa (1907), Fernández de los Ríos (1932), Francisco Candela (1939) and currently Avenida Crevillente.
During the first third of the twentieth century, Hondon de las Nieves experienced a significant decline in the population. In 1900, the highest number of inhabitants in its history with 3690 souls. This date marks the beginning of population decline, a result of poor economic conditions. In 1918 there is a negative natural balance due to a flu epidemic. Between 1920 and 1930 of 3454 people passed to 2232, this decline so alarming that represents a 35.37% of the population is explained by the number of laborers who were going to harvest or other agricultural work was Aragon, Castilla and Algeria and which became part of the town of Hondon de los Frailes from 1929. In the 1930 census shows a population with a total of 793 souls.
In this scenario the situation Hondon de las Nieves is similar to other regions except the Middle Vinalopó Elda and Petrer.
Calle Juan Albentosa
As in the rest of the region, despite the decline of the vine, the primary sector, agriculture, between 1900 and 1930 constituted the main source of wealth and occupation of the local workforce. The core product was still the vineyard, although it remained far from the glory years of the late twentieth century. According N. Alimiñana, were produced in Pinoso, Villena, Aspe and Hondon de las Nieves over 700,000 hectoliters of wine were exported almost entirely to France. There was also the first third of the twentieth century an important industrial activity, aguardiente, plaster mills, flour mills, warehouses, mills, quarries, carpentry, etc. As well as an important industry in the craft sector Alpargatera. Workers / sandal as used to work in their own homes and building alternated soles for sandals with farming. It was a seasonal job and paid irregularly, machines and tools used to be the workers, from the humble espadrille bank to the sewing machine “Singer”, which was acquired on credit. Moreover, women, elderly and children were engaged in preparing for litigation and factories esparto mats and rope as Manuel Galipienso of Crevillente.
In the first third of the twentieth century, we find a large number of owners: Antonio Guardiola Galiana, Ramon Socorro, Eduardo Cortés Sastre, Elisa Jover Botella, Juan Lorenzo Bonmatí Albert, Vicente Calatayud, Ignacio Quesada, Esmaragdo Tortosa Tortosa, Francisco Mira, Cerdá Silvestre , Tomas Navarro, etc. Besides living in Aspe owners who owned large estates in the end of Hondon de la Nieves as Ms. Antonia Olivares, D. Vicente Muñoz, D. Julio Alcaraz, D. Antonio Mira-Perceval, D. Vicente Gumiel etc …
Also in this first third of s. XX appears phylloxera epidemic imported from France in 1906 affected the end of Hondon de las Nieves. Must be added for long periods of drought and lack of external demand. It is generally observed in the farmers of the province of Alicante is a clear confusion and a sense of crisis at the low trade of the vine.
In 1910 a farmer Hondonero, restless and enterprising, Silvano Tortosa, after befriending Joseph Castroverde Aspe, who was in charge of the flour mill and small power plant that was in Aspen on the banks of river Vinalopó the height of the “Castle of the River”, began to think about the possibility of installing in Hondon de las Nieves to replace the electric light fixtures and carbides.
In late 1911, he bought a warehouse in New Street, Hondon de las Nieves electrothermal installed a central, not without criticism from the authorities. It was composed of an internal combustion engine and a 30hp Crossley of AEB dynamo of 25 KW at 120V.
In late January 1912 work began providing electricity for the first time to both private homes, which cost the wiring two pesetas per household, as some public places. Later would come to town the installation of an enterprise “of Lift Irrigation” that finally replaced the draft Silvano.
This summarizes the history of Hondon de las Nieves, in terms of geographical location, sits in a small valley in the region of the Middle Vinalopó, within the province of Alicante, 35 km from the capital. The village is located to 367 m. of altitude above sea level. Its area is 68.9 square kilometers and has a population of approximately 2,000 inhabitants. The municipality has as a backdrop, the magnificent silhouette of the Sierra de Crevillente which reaches 837 m. altitude, and its lush vegetation of pines are outlined on the countryside of almond and olive trees and vineyards.
When we got to Hondon de las Nieves, we find the Plaza de la Villa, typical Mediterranean plaza surrounded by palm trees and filled with colorful facades that provide some of its oldest homes, including City Hall. The urban landscape changes from narrow alleys to streets broad and long. Across the plaza and up a hill, we reached the parish church dating from 1746, Baroque, noting in her dressing room from the Virgin.
Hondon de las Nieves offers a variety of natural landscapes, we can find covering different hiking routes such as High Bald Trail, soft path to travel as a family, that takes us into the shadow of the Sierra de Crevillente, we find Mediterranean flora and fauna: Kermes, rosemary, thyme, oak, pine, hares, wild boar, birds of prey, etc. This route leads to a recreational area, located in the place de la Cuesta, where you can enjoy a playground, barbecues and toilets. Notably other natural areas such as Barranco del Infierno, The Evangelists, El Alto Colonel or caves as the Sun or the Roll in La Solana, where remains have been removed from the Upper Paleolithic.
For those seeking a quiet family day in the field, we recommend the recreational area of La Cruz, located on a small hill near the village, which is accessed from the road to La Romana. In the midst of vast fields of vineyards and irrigated crops, stands the chapel of San Isidro, around which has been converted into a recreational area that features a barbecue, where you can cook and stone tables with benches spread around.
From here you see a beautiful view of the village and its fields, with mountains on the horizon, highlighting the shady of the Sierra de Crevillente.
The Festivities in honor of the Virgen de las Nieves, have the distinction of being biennial, taking place in odd years 1 to August 15, as it shares its patron saint with the neighboring town of Aspe. Throughout the year there are other festivals and cultural events such as the Courts of Judea, auto sacred verse handed down from generation to generation represented by the inhabitants of the municipality and the Fiestas de San Isidro Labrador and his pilgrimage to be held on 15 May.
In Hondon de las Nieves can enjoy a rich and varied Mediterranean gastronomy among which stand out as dishes, rice soup, gazpacho, balls, and paella Gachamiga with rabbit and snails, pasta and crusty rolls, the French toast, etc..
Not surprisingly, the Sierra de Crevillente has been declared SCI (Site of Community Interest) as part of the Natura 2000 network, which includes a representation of all European ecosystems for its protection.
Nor has it lost on our eyes the majestic limestone which is the Sierra del Agaiat that offers challenging their heights: Alto de la Solana (978 m), Peña de La Mina (1053 m) and Peña Grande (1086 m.) . These places are inhabited by a diverse fauna. If risers can see wild boars. With a little patience, we will turn golden eagles, Bonelli eagles and hawks doing their aerobatics. With the fantastic start singing owls and owls. More difficult it will surprise the wild cat during one of his nocturnal expeditions.
Cavers will find in these mountains, completely perforated by karst phenomena, several potholes on that down.
At this point, we invite you to visit Hondon de las Nieves. We assure you that will not leave disappointed. Do not forget to visit the winery of the ravine, and excellent wines, vermouth has a bulk of very good quality.
by MANOLO SERRANO