Almegíjar’s cultural heritage is the result of a combination of its urban design, monuments, cuisine, agriculture, folklore and popular fiestas. The area has a cultural association, La Bien Plantá, which is currently setting up an ethnographical museum for the region. The area is also home to a famous Spanish illustrator who loves the Alpujarra, Martín Morales.
The people of Almegíjar continue to carry out an annual winter slaughter (matanza), producing excellent cold meats and sausages, cured pork products and pork shoulders. These, along with locally-grown vegetables, are a key ingredient of the diet of the families living in this mountain region. Puchero de hinojos (fennel stew) is made with bacon and pigs’ tails, morcilla (similar to black pudding), white beans, fennel and garlic. Papaviejos, which are also typical of many other municipalities throughout the Alpujarra, are made with eggs, milk, flour, sugar and cinnamon.
A number of objects dating from the Neolithic Period have been found in the municipal district. Romans and Visigoths both passed through the area, but it was the Arabs who carved out the municipality’s current appearance and location. They also gave it its name, as Al-Mahãshir in Arabic means “the well-located”.
From the end of the 15th century onwards, the local people were harassed by the Christian authorities. In the middle of the 16th century, the Morisco Revolt took place, under the leadership of Abén Humeya. After their defeat, the Moors were driven out of the region, and the municipality was deserted. Later, new settlers to the area arrived from Galicia, León, Asturias and Castile.