La Unión, 2000 years of mining activity
The names of several places in the modern town and the general layout of the rock-cut churches themselves are said to mimic names and patterns observed by Lalibela during the time he spent as a youth in Jerusalem and the Holy Land. Lalibela, revered as a saint, is said to have seen Jerusalem, and then attempted to build a new Jerusalem as his capital in response to the capture of old Jerusalem by Muslims in Each church was carved from a single piece of rock to symbolize spirituality and humility.
Christian faith inspires many features with Biblical names — even Lalibela's river is known as the River Jordan. Lalibela remained the capital of Ethiopia from the late 12th into the 13th century. He describes the unique church structures as follows: I swear by God, in Whose power I am, that all I have written is the truth[. Its pillars were likewise cut from the mountain. Pankhurst also notes that the Royal Chronicles , which mention Ahmad al-Ghazi's laying waste to the district between July and September , are silent about the him ravaging the fabled churches of this city.
This rural town is known around the world for its churches carved from within the earth from "living rock," which play an important part in the history of rock-cut architecture. Though the dating of the churches is not well established, most are thought to have been built during the reign of Lalibela, namely during the 12th and 13th centuries.
Unesco identifies 11 churches,  assembled in four groups:. Farther afield, lie the monastery of Ashetan Maryam and Yimrehane Kristos Church , possibly eleventh century, built in the Aksumite fashion, but within a cave. There is some controversy as to when some of the churches were constructed.
David Buxton established the generally accepted chronology, noting that "two of them follow, with great fidelity of detail, the tradition represented by Debra Damo as modified at Yemrahana Kristos. Contrary to the myths and Cult alternative theories created and advocated by Alternative Archaeologist Pseudoarchaeology writers like Graham Hancock , Buxton states the great rock-hewn churches of Lalibela were not built with the help of the Knights Templar; asserting abundant evidence exists to show that they were produced solely by medieval Ethiopian civilization.
For example, while Buxton notes the existence of a tradition that "Abyssinians invoked the aid of foreigners" to construct these monolithic churches, and admits that "there are clearly signs of Coptic influence in some decorative details" hardly surprising given the theological, ecclesiastical, and cultural links between the Ethiopian Orthodox and Coptic Orthodox Churches , he is adamant about the native origins of these creations: The churches are also a significant engineering feat, given that they are all associated with water which fills the wells next to many of the churches , exploiting an artesian geological system that brings the water up to the top of the mountain ridge on which the city rests.
In a report of the historic dwellings of Lalibela, Sandro Angelini evaluated the vernacular earthen architecture on the Lalibela World Heritage Site, including the characteristics of the traditional earth houses and analysis of their state of conservation. His report described two types of vernacular housing found in the area.
One type are a group he calls the "tukuls", round huts built of stone and usually having two stories. The second are the single-storey "chika" buildings which are round and built of earth and wattle, which he feels reflects more "scarcity".
Angel's report also included an inventory of Lalibela's traditional buildings, placing them in categories rating their state of conservation. According to the Census Data, the population was 17,, of whom 8, were males and 9, were females. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For other uses, see Lalibela disambiguation. Place in Amhara Region, Ethiopia. Following the decline of the Roman Empire, the area was subject to continuous invasions by Barbarians, Byzantines and Moors, as well as Berber pirates.
Islam and the Reconquista. However, the Reconquist and subsequent Christian occupation changed that, and in the 13th century official mining activity recommenced in Murcia. In a law was passed which allowed mining exploitation, and the Catholic Monarchs passed ordinances rewarding the miners. Little is known about the scale of activity or the actual settlements in this period.
The Interests of the Crown in the Mines of Cartagena. There was undoubtedly an element of fantasy among the mining fraternity regarding the possible rewards to be reaped from the mines. At this time , Alumbre was an important mineral, used for setting the dye in cloth, as a disinfectant and a medicinal product.
The settlement of Alumbre is named for this mineral which was mined extensively in this period and which can still be purchased from the Parque Minero reception. This was achieved on 1st January, , when A Royal Decree signed by Isabel II named the township of "Villa de El Garbanzal", the name which originally covered the group of settlements included.
Although the mines yielded substantial profits at times, there were also crises within the sector. These brought about recessions in the town as a whole, since almost all the population was directly or indirectly dependent on the mines.
The profits, then, were high at times, but always fragile, and heavily dependent on fluctuations in the London metal trading market. A new age of splendour took place at the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th. This was the towns moment of glory, and brought about not only an increase in the towns population but also important urban reforms which lent it a certain prestige. This time of great expectations also contributed to a higher level of general wealth throughout the area.
It was said at this time that rich men "lit their cigars using peseta notes. Of course, whilst the mineowners enjoyed the profits to be had from owning the major mining exploitations, it was hard, dangerous work for those employed in the gruelling labour of mining the minerals. There was no social security, hours were long and demanding, and working conditions were appalling.
Miners were exposed to incurable diseases which cut life expectancy, and salaries failed to compensate for their efforts and the danger to which they were exposed on a daily basis. The mining industry entered an inexorable decline at the start of the 20th century, especially following the First World War. Recovery arrived in the s, with the introduction of more modern mining methods, re-opening previously abandoned mines and making use of the discarded material from previous activity.
In , though, after two millennia of mining activity, the mines were shut down for the last time. The lack of immediate alternatives meant the most severe crisis ever suffered by the town. The Remains of the Mining Past The essence of the mines still remains in the municipality.
Little is left of the old traditions of the mining society, but what there is includes the music, which strictly speaking doesnt have its roots in the locality, but is ingrained in the traditions which have grown up over the years.