La Calera

Rarely can you see the seed of a population. These lime kilns and some others that have disappeared are part of a mining industry from time immemorial. Throughout history the deposits have been exploited intermittently according to the demand and price of the minerals extracted in the Calera area.

This hamlet of Alía is another of the landmarks of the Villuercas Ibores Jara, resonates when naming sites that bring together such appreciated qualities as nature and intimacy. This personality is forged by being out on the road, with few hospitable people and in a vast environment.

La Calera
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Not only lime, there are also others… mainly marbles, the most abundant being black. The last exploitations of this mineral were carried out until the 18th century by the Hieronymite Community of the Royal Monastery of Guadalupe. Practically all the marble present in the Camarín de la Virgen is of Alieño origin, especially in the arch of black stones that give access to this magnificent room.

The most numerous group of ovens is located in the Era de los Madroñales, a few hundred meters from the village on the way to Palomera. There are five ovens in total: two in poor condition, two slightly deteriorated and one almost intact.

La Cantera is nearby, on the right side as you come from the road to Navalconejo. In Los Regajales there are two others, known as the Hornos de la Caleruela: one in poor condition and the other somewhat deteriorated. The operation is very artisanal, and has probably been done in the same way for hundreds of years.

The firewood was placed, if possible oak and heather vines, on top of which the lime stone was placed in the form of a vault until the oven was filled and then it was lit. It had to burn for three days, then the stone cooled down and became quicklime. When in contact with water it is capable of making even bones disappear, it burns until it disintegrates everything it contains and once it cools it is called slaked lime.

In this way it is very useful for construction: to make cements (bastard mortars) or paint facades of the houses; also as a disinfectant in houses or stables or wells, that until fifteen days later you can not drink but then it is the most potable that can exist.

It is safe from cold winds and facing south, in one of the most wonderful corners of the Villuercas, where the Sierras de la Palomera merge with the Brama de Guadalupe.

The town is located above 800 meters above sea level, a position that is not apparent, because you reach it by climbing so gently that you hardly notice or descending from higher altitudes.

The name of La Calera comes from the existence of deposits of this mineral in its surroundings.

The kilns that were used to burn the lime and some buildings used for ore processing are still preserved.

We can say that it is a population born by and for mining works. Lime was not the only wealth of La Calera; the monks of Guadalupe have in their writings news of marble mines in the surroundings of the town, without knowing today where they were located.