Baria (Villaricos) It was an important settlement and commercial Phoenician port
The Municipality of Cuevas del Almanzora has made effective entry into the Spanish Red Route of the Phoenicians, which is one of the most important European cultural routes and has the same category as the Camino de Santiago. This route is supported by the European Union and the UNESCO Center of Italy.
Antonio Fernández Liria, Mayor of Cuevas del Almanzora, and Arturo Ruiz, responsible for the route Spain, They signed yesterday morning in the so-called "Letter of Jaén", document by which the undertakings are set to be adopted by the members of the Network, It thus initiating a collaboration of great cultural and tourist impact as it is intended as a dynamic resource promote the regional economy to Hypogea Villaricos, where there are five Phoenician burial tombs of all fifteen there throughout Spain. The mayor of Cuevas it is "an event of great importance for our town, because of participating in an international impact platform using history and our heritage as a strategic element for tourism ".
Villaricos was founded by the Phoenicians around the VII century BC. with the name of Baria. Located in a strategic position had both large fishery resources (traps to catch tuna in their annual migrations), Communication (the bed of the river itself Almanzora) as miners (payment, lead and iron in the Sierra Almagrera). Some ancient sources located in this area of southeastern Spanish to bastetanos (Third and second centuries A.C.), name that adopted the main settlement on Basti (Base). according to Strabo, when the Phoenicians arrived merged with the Iberians who occupied southern Spain, from Tarifa to Barea. There is talk that those were wiped out after the first Punic War, resurging again to the Carthaginians Hamilcar Barca, whose son Hannibal ran his famous elephants edge of the Sierra de Filabres recruiting mercenaries for their armies.
Baria is cited by several classical authors such as Ptolemy, Plinio y Estrabón. Archaeologist and professor of Ancient History of UAL, José Luis López Castro, who conducted several archaeological campaigns of urgency in Villaricos from 1987 up 1993, and in 2003 with the co-direction of Domingo Ortiz, We found references to the site that suffered Baria Year 209 A.C.. by the armies of P. Cornelio Escipión, prompting the Phoenician Baria he was subjected to Rome as civitas stipendiaria, which obliged to pay an annual tribute and resources became part of the Empire.
In 1994 the Italian Ministry of Tourism presents the Route of the Phoenicians as the subject of a Cultural Route of the Council of Europe. In 2003, Cultural Route “Route of the Phoenicians” It is accepted by the Institute of Cultural Routes of the Council of Europe as a pilot project of European cultural tourism and is admitted between the cultural routes program of the same name.
In 2004, born the International Association of the Route of the Phoenicians as a manager entity Route.
In 2014 Jaen signed the "Charter of Jaén" from the Technical Secretariat of the Route of the Phoenicians in Spain based at the University Research Institute of Archeology Iberian UJA is created, It is structured in five thematic blocks: Phoenician-Punic roads in Spain (Route of the Phoenicians), Way of Hannibal in Spain, Iberians routes, Talayotic route and route of Casiterides.
This year, the Spanish Red Route of the Phoenicians has joined tourism promotion strategy “Spanish Cultural Routes” that promotes Turespaña, what makes a big bet cultural and scientific tourism, with presence and impact in major international tourism forums.
Last year, It was created in Villaricos Historical Cultural Association "Phenicia Baria Villaricos", which according to its president, Francisco Javier Fernandez Espinosa "was born with the idea of claiming the entrance of caves in Red as the main argument, at the same time we want to value the heritage and the work Villaricos Luis Siret made in the region ", adding that "it is time to ask sensitivity with hipogeos and invest in their rehabilitation and improvement, issue that is critical to getting a cultural and quality tourism product leveraging existing infrastructure, with realistic projects ".
The day concluded with a visit to the hipogeos, guided by archaeologist Laura Larios, who he explained the characteristics of the enclave representatives of the Network and local authorities.
NDP Association “Phenicia Baria Villaricos”