Guadix, crossroads and ancient cultures, cradle of clay and reference city in eastern Andalusia, keeps hidden in the bowels of the earth treasure cave houses.
Considered the “European Capital of Caves” by its approximately 2000 underground dwellings (spread over an area of approximately 200 hectares of land), most of them are still inhabited by about 4500 accitanos who enjoy all the comforts of modern living and its natural benefits: constant temperature between 18 ° C – 20 ° C and the tranquility and silence that brings natural insulator (clay).
The origins of the caves are to be found immediately after the taking of Granada (1492) by the Catholic Monarchs in the displacement of the Moors from the medina to the suburbs and then to the periphery, when in 1568 the War took place Moriscos and the consequent expulsion of these.
An arc from east-south-west around the city, the caves have an anarchic planning. Excavated by the hand of man thanks to and friable materials and easy to carve, dry very waterproof clay hills surrounding the city, traditionally were bitten by master builders with pick and shovel and the technique was the “crushed” the hill so it will not collapse.
Currently, the use of mechanical means has been spreading assuming a degeneration of the typology of the cave, as large tunnels then split with artificial walls for the different rooms of the house are dug.
In any hill or mountain sours a vertical plane and, once obtained, horizontally or cave gallery is excavated, with internal ramifications that shape the different rooms of the house. Once the excavation exterior, wait drying of the surface layers of ground before proceeding with the works inside the cave.
Loins income of the cave must have a length between 1-1.5M. 1,5- and 2,5 m. depending on the type of terrain (hard and very consolidated or less consistent as sandstones or clays with streaks of dirt). The same measures are recommended for the thickness of the outer and inner walls.
The dimension of the stays is wide and ceilings 2,5-3m domed shape with parallel axes to balance the side thrust. The interior of the cave is covered with lime to achieve brightness and acting disinfectant.
Vent the kitchen is obtained by perforating the hill vertically to it, with chimeneasmontadas over the hills and built with mortar and whitewashed later. Hence the hills look these unique fireplaces that lend the landscape a peculiar physiognomy.
The facade is usually an element of integration for the troglodyte cave habitat, so that avails itself of the site geometry. Shape and dimensions vary if the excavation is with machinery or by hand.
The use of the cave as a dwelling is not alone. There are others like the religious through temples (Shrines or Churches) and funeral pantheons; productive as wineries or wineries, bread ovens and pottery; tourism or also known as “Trogloturismo”, such as catering, lodgings and cave hotels, museums and interpretive centers or Arab baths.
A tour of the various districts of the municipality of Cuevas Guadix allow us to know the uniqueness of this type of construction, its benefits and uses.
BARRIOS DE CUEVAS
Ermita Nueva, Cuatro Veredas, Fátima, . ; Cerros de Medina, San Marcos, la Magdalena y San Cristóbal, . ; Barriadas del Colmenar , la Estación , Paulenca y Belerda.
MUSEOS, CENTROS DE INTERPRETACIÓN Y OTROS
Centro de Interpretación Cuevas de Guadix, Cueva Museo de Alfarería La Alcazaba, Cueva Santa Virgen de Gracia, Cueva de San Pedro Poveda.