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Las Alpujarras Route
GRANADA AND ALMERIA
To the south of the awe-inspiring mass of the Sierra Nevada which straddles the provinces of Granada and Almería, one comes to this mountainous area which is the setting for the villages situated at the highest altitude in all Spain.
They often appear arising from the craggy, rugged landscape and are generally situated on the mountainside, with their houses built onto the slope orientated towards the south, briefly interrupting architecture of Las Alpujarras is the flat roof of the houses formed by a roof terrace of "launa" a clay which is formed from the decomposition of slate and which becomes impermeable with the rain. This flat- roofed house, which we also find in the desert and coastal areas of Almería and which, due to its typology, -a cube- shaped house- would constitute another route of eastern Andalusian autochthonous architecture, shows signs of African influences and in the case of Las Alpujarras, evokes the Moorish presence in these mountains up until their expulsion in 1568.
The fact that the house is built on a slope means that strange shapes and spaces occur, the roof of one hose serving as a terrace for the one above. Slate is also used for the cornices while the walls are of stone, normally painted with lime, this sometimes being applied directly onto the stonework. Their truncated cone shaped chimneys and the presence of verandas and continuous balconies with wooden balustrades testify to them being mountain villages.
Another characteristic feature of the houses of Las Alpujarras is the "tinao" or cow shed which occupies the ground floor of these modest dwellings.
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