You cannot get to know Abarán in just one visit. You need to look hard for precious jewels but when you find them, it's worth all the effort.
Abarán is located between two bends in a path. Even today, as its antiquity is eroded by time, you can still see how the first houses were built on the side of Solana hill between the Rulo ridge and the schools, between Calle Santa Teresa and Plaza de Don Jesús García Candel. The village grew continuously from when it was founded until the end of the twentieth century. First, Solana hill, via the Hortichuela path, today called Calle de la Artichuela. Then, in the sixteenth century, Eras hill, where buildings were erected and you can currently find San Pablo's church. Then Ermita hill, where a small temple to San Cosme and San Damián was built in the sixteenth century; this was replaced by the current one which dates from 1953. During the nineteenth century, Era mountain and the current Plaza de la Zarzuela and their surroundings were developed. Later, in the second-half of the twentieth century, Cabezos de la Cruz and the Civil Guard Headquarters were developed.
So grew a village characterised not only for its narrow steep slopes but also for the difference in height between two pavements in the same street, something which would have an effect on the construction of most of its houses and thoroughfares. All due to the fact that the flattest part of the 'untouchable' countryside, below the waterline of the irrigation channels, was essential for maintaining agricultural activity. We had to wait until the last third of the twentieth century to start building on the irrigated terraces.
It is in these difficult-to-expand areas that generations of people have lived over time. This age-old village settlement has turned a collection of streets and houses into one.
There are certain streets which hold a special place in villager's lives. At certain times of the day, Abarán's men had their meeting places. The Plaza Vieja was the first of these, then the Calle Mayor del Médico Gómez where it crosses Luis Carrasco. Later on you had the Calle San Damián and, finally, the Era or Plaza de la Zarzuela. The places where the village's men meet change in the same way as the village expands, always further upwards. The same thing happens to the places where married couples and youngsters go for walks. The first of these places is the Camino del Agua - Calle Menéndez Pelayo, then the Ermita at the start of the twentieth century, then the Era and, when cars arrived, Calle Dr. Molina. Both the men's meeting places and the places where people go for walks are spaces which have adapted themselves to the new streets, cinemas, theatres, taverns and bars.
This is how the Abarán of the twenty-first century was built, with part of its countryside used for new constructions, trying to adapt to the new multi-home buildings which turn streets into roads. Environmental transformations which affect the population and cause them to change their habits and which will see a way of life disappear into the past.
José David Molina Templado
Official Town Chronicler