Tobarra is a municipality in the southeast of the province of Albacete, community of Castilla la Mancha. The settlement of Tobarra is ancient: prehistoric tools and spears have been found at its boundaries, and the Santa Ana valley contains Iberian graves. Tobarra is famous for its drum processions, which were declared to be of National Tourist Interest, and for its variety of apricots “Moniquí”. The unique museum of the Drum is located in Tobarra. Offers to its visitors many other sights, such as Town Clock, the lagoon of Alboraj, the watchtower of El Castellar, etc.
Tobarra is located in the southeast of the province of Albacete and the community of Castilla la Mancha, in the limits of the Region of Murcia and Alicante,in a landscape dominated by broad plains and long valleys.Its location coincides with an area of transition between the plateau, which leaves the great plains to enter in an area of outstanding orography and the meadow Murciana. Tobarra constitutes the gateway of the province to the mountainous areas of the Sierra del Segura, with a nucleus of population of 7.850 neighbours’ approximately, which are distributed between the urban area of the municipality and the six dependent districts: Aljubé, Los Mardos or Villegas, Santiago de Mora, Mora de Santa Quiteria, Cordovilla and Sierra.
The continental climate dominates this semiarid zone at 661 meters above sea level. The conditions of aridity dryness existing in Tobarra, bring with them a landscape of low vegetation. In winter we can find average temperatures of 5,4ºC, while the hottest month of the year is July, with an average temperature of 24,5ºC with many summer days at 30ºC.
The vegetation defined by this environment is formed by thickets of black hawthorn and aromatic plants; although in some points small regroupings of pine forests can be seen, with an important irrigated orchard in which fruits are mainly harvested as apricot (the most desired and quoted is the variety “moniqui”), as well as olive, almond trees and numerous vegetables, the most known being”Tobarra” beans. As for the existing fauna, the most common animals are hares, rabbits, and hedgehogs, common geckos’ and partridges.
PLACES OF INTEREST
MONUMENTS & PLACES TO VISIT IN TOBARRA
- The church of Our Lady of the Assumption –
(built between 1546 and 1616), recently restored and settled in the main valley of the town. It has now been completely restored. In it, you can visit the great majority of images that parade in procession during Hoy Week, among them the image of the Virgin of the Dolores, the work of Francisco Salzillo (18th century), and the image or Our Father Jesus of Nazarene, in charge of giving the blessing on the morning of Good Friday.
- The sanctuary of the Encarnacion and Christ of Antigua –
(National Artistic Historical Monument since 1981), which has a Mudejar artisan ceilings, a 17th century wall painting dedicated to the Virgin and another rococo under the dome where the image of the Christ of Antigua is found. Next to the sanctuary are the ruins of a Muslim fortress, which the tower known as “Eyes of the Devil” stand out. Underneath all of this, without any visible remnant remaining, there was a primitive cemetery of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.
-The drum museum –
located in which the chapel of the Purisima was (17th century). It is a unique Drum museum in the world, where the drums of the different continents are exposed and one that comes to understand the evolution of the drum tobarreño from its origins.
- The monument of the drum “la Evolución” –
located on Avenida de la Constitucion, and the monument to the Nazarene, in the Plaza de España, both works by the local artist Jesus Jimenez Ramirez.
- The clock of the town –
(built between 1924 and 1927) and installed on the top of a tower at the top of the hill of San Cristobal. This clock allows you to hear its sound from any corner of the locality due to its geographical location.
- The church of San Anton –
located in the neighbourhood of San Anton, where every January 17th are organized popular parties for residents of the locality and close to the municipality.
- The hermitage of the Calvary –
(17th century) important monument during the celebration of Holy Week. Built on the top of the hill of Calvary where more than 30.000 people congregate each morning on Good Friday.
- The Convent of the Franciscan Observant of San Jose –
from the 17th century (now the Federation of the Holy Week Guilds), located in the vicinity of the Plaza de España.
- The Spanish rock hermitage Visigoth of Albarajico –
dug in the rock in full nature to six kilometres of the urban district, between Aljube and Sierra.
- The lagoon of Alboraj –
located five kilometres from Tobarra and catalogued by the Junta de Comunidades de Castilla la Mancha as Micro Nature Reserve. It is an ideal place for leisure and rest, located in the vicinity of the hermitage Hispano Visigoth.
- The salt marsh of Cordovilla –
an extension of salted land, located in the district of Cordovilla, 6 kilometres from Tobarra, on whose surface we find unique flora in the world.
- The watchtower of El Castellar –
in the district of Sierra. It is about5km from Tobarra. A defensive and strategic tower located at the top of the Hill of Sierra, which separates the district of Cordovilla and Sierra. This monument of Islamic origin was built in the 11th century and served to control the territory between the present cities of Murcia, Albacete and Alicante. At the present it is possible to visit, as well as the remains of the fortress and town that consolidated this environment.
The main sports facilities are housed in the so-called “La Granja” area. It is located in the Avenue of the Mancha, with direct access by exit North of the highway A-30.
The sport complex has the following infrastructures:
- The artificial turf football field “La Granja” - It allows the celebration of football matches-11 and up to two football matches-7 simultaneously. They have a lateral grandstand with a capacity for 300 people.
- Sports Pavilion - Installation that counts in its interior with a polyvalent field enabled for the practice of indoor soccer, handball, basketball and volleyball, in addition to allowing the simultaneous celebration of up to three mini-basketball matches. The main room is equipped with a pre-heating court and with two ping-pong tables. This installation allows its adaptation for the celebration of other sports modalities, like badminton, taekwondo, etc.
-Municipal Public Pool - opens its doors in the summer period. It has a children’s pool for the little ones, as well as a large natural grass area. Its operation and maintenance is of private use.
- Two tennis courts and a court wall - One of the tennis courts has a small stand for face-to-face matches.
- Paddle court- next to tennis court and court wall.
- Sports court –
in which you can practice sports such as indoor football, basketball, volleyball, etc.
In addition to the activities carried out in the sports complex, sport is one of the best life styles seen in Tobarra, so throughout the year there are many sports activities related to walking (through Tobarara fields and orchards), bicycle routes, horse riding, motorcycle routes, etc. At the present, there is a signposted hiking route, the Route of Polope-La Vega, designed not only for sports but to know all the flora and fauna that surrounds the locality, enjoying the natural landscapes that the orchard tobarreña offers.
HOLIDAYS & TRADITIONS
- Festivities of San Anton - in January and coinciding with the feast day of San Anton Abad on the 17th, the festivities of the popular San Anton district are celebrated in Tobarra. Are beginning with the procession of the castle takes place on the night of January 16 to 17, where the image is carried on the shoulders by the neighbours walking the streets of the mentions neighbourhood among fireworks. At the end, the traditional fireworks display is made. During the days of its celebration, they realize novenas for saint, but they apply for things around the town and districts and after that they organized bidding for these things. In addition to other musical and cultural activities offered, you can describe the agronomic products of this land.
- Carnival - the carnival begins with a children’s parade on Tuesday of carnival, varying the dates according to the years. That same week, on Saturday, the adult parade is held, people of all ages participate, individually or in groups. After the parade, a jury gives several prizes to the best costumes and the most original disguises, enjoying a great chocolate with the famous “fritillas.
- The Holy Week - which is characterized by Regional and National Tourist Interest, in which its 104 hours of uninterrupted drum play stand out, making the place where the drum can be played continuously for more hours. Within Holy Week, the act blessing on Holy Friday in the morning on Mount Calvary stand out, with the image of Our Father Jesus Nazarene imparting the blessing to the four cardinal’s points (articulated image)in presence of more than 30.000 people arrived from all corners of the Spanish geography. Holy Week thus becomes the summit of the local residents and the thousands of visitors who come from all corners crowding for five days the streets of Tobarra. The Holy Week of Tobarra is one of the most unique festivals in Spain, as well as having the longest drumming in the world, is the greatest tourist potential of the town throughout the year.
- Other local festivities - there are other local festivities such as the May Cross and the patron saints’ Cristo de la Antigua and the Virgin of the Encarnacion, whose images are venerated in the Sanctuary of the Encarnacion. The patron saint festivities begin on the second Sunday of May, with the traditional bids and the descent of the patrons to the Church of the Asuncion, where novenas are held in their honour. These festivities end on the las Sunday of that month, with a solemn procession of patrons throughout the town and with the subsequent climb to the sanctuary where they will be guard throughout the year.
- Festivity of Saint Roque - they start on August 14th, with the traditional parade of floats and end on the 21st of that month. During its development different sporting and musical events are celebrated, as well as taurine celebrations and various cultural events among which the prestigious Floral Games stand out, a traditional poetic and literary manifestation, becoming the summit of this celebration.
TELEPHONES OF INTEREST
Tourist office- 618141127
AMBULANCE - 967 507 557 Guardia Civil (Traffic) - 967 210 723 Hospital of Hellin (Information) - 967 309 500 Hospital of Hellin (Urgencies) - 967 309 549 Local Police of Tobarra - 967 325 678