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Visiting Guadix with its famous cave houses

Visiting Guadix in the Province of Granada


Before discovering the sites to visit in Guadix, we will briefly mention the very ancient origins of this small town. Then we will discover the town in the manner of a short stroll through the narrow streets of the centre.


Then we will discover the famous cave-houses, troglodyte dwellings, which have made the town famous.


guadix-barrio-de-cuevas

Finally, we will look at the activities and other sites to discover in the surroundings, in the province of Granada.


The origins of Guadix


This site was first inhabited by the Iberians, at that time it was called Acci. Later the site was occupied by the Romans, who gave it the name Julia Gemella Acci.

Historians believe that it was Julius Caesar who founded the Roman column of Guadix in 45 BC. It was a fairly important city in the Roman Empire, coins of several emperors (Caesar Augustus, Tiberius, Caligula and Claudio) have been found.

From the Roman origins of the city, you can admire the ruins of the Roman theatre discovered in… 2008.


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It is of course still being restored. This theatre was founded by order of the Roman emperor Tiberius.


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During the Al-Andalus period, the city took the name of Wadi-Ash (oradi-Acci), which after the reconquista was Spanishised under the name of Guadix.


Visit Guadix, what to see in the town :


The Alcazaba


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The Alcazaba of Guadix must be one of the oldest, it dates from the 10th and 11th century, and was founded by the Zirids.

I make a small aside on the Zirids, a Berber tribe of Kabylie of which one speaks rather little. However, they are the originators of the Alcazaba in Malaga, the Alhambra palace and the Albayzin district in Granada.

Finally, this Berber tribe is also the origin of the first kingdom of Granada.

The Alcazaba of Guadix is not yet open to the public, except on a few dates for partial visits of the site.


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The Cathedral of La Encarnacion


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This cathedral was built from the 16th to the 18th century on top of an old mosque, which was itself built on top of an older temple. It has a very singular physiognomy mixing many styles (renaissance, mannerism and neoclassic) but the gothic and the baroque remain predominant.


catedral-de-la-Encarnacion-de-Guadix
Vue partielle de la Cathérale de la Encarnacion

This combination is due to the fact that it was built over almost three centuries, with changes of era and of course of architects. The Cathedral is made of red sandstone, its colour is really beautiful to see in the late afternoon.


El Ferro Tower


This tower located next to the Roman theatre and the Cathedral is an old tower of the Medina wall, in the Middle Ages, during the Al-Andalus period.


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The Santa Maria de las Lagrimas Church


I must admit that I visited this church by chance. The view from the outside gave the impression of an abandoned place.

Not much is said about this church, but if you come to visit Guadix, I invite you to spend some time there. It is worth a visit.


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…. Inside, I discovered a small treasure of architecture and some sculptures and paintings of the most surprising… Some symbols behind the altar even recall Freemasons symbols.

A place to discover, full of surprises, here are two of them, below.


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Some frontages in the streets of Guadix


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Some other places to visit in Guadix


  • The Pottery and Cave Museum (in a cave below the Alcazaba)
  • Los Marqueses de Villalegre Palace
  • Santiago Church
  • Penaflor Palace
  • The beautiful Plaza de los Palomas

One last place to visit in Guadix: the railway station…


Guadix is known as a land of cinema, as are many other places in Andalusia. The most famous film with scenes shot in Guadix is Sergio Leone’s “Once Upon a Time in the Revolution”.

But a few years ago, a scene from a famous film was shot here too. In this film, Sean Connery is Harrison Ford’s father…I mean Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. Connoisseurs will recognize a scene from the film in this picture!


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Discover the troglodyte houses, caves of Guadix


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Guadix allows you to discover one of the largest groups of troglodyte houses in the world.


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here are about 2000 cave-houses, in which about 3000 people live.


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These very special houses have one thing in common: the temperature is around 18-20°C day and night and all year round.


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guadix-cave-houses

All around Guadix, the surroundings are identical and one can guess the ancient dwellings or not, in these clay mountains:


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It is possible to visit some troglodyte houses, caves on the spot.


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What to see in the surroundings of Guadix?


In the direct surroundings of Guadix, there are beautiful desert landscapes to see. The Gorafe desert and Benalua de Guadix are worth a visit.


If you want to go to the coast, the small white village by the sea, called Salobrena, is a little wonder to discover. Salobrena is known as the “Pearl of the Costa Tropical”.


At the foot of the Sierra Nevada, and still in the province of Granada: the villages of the Alpujarra, such as Pampaneira and Capileira are beautiful and unique and can be a very, very nice stopover on any trip to Andalusia.


What to do around Guadix, what activities?


In the following link you will find a selection of activities that might be of interest to you, including a beautiful canyoning trip: see activities around Guadix.


Locate Guadix in Andalusia



Find accommodation in Guadix…in a cueva…a cave house?


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Want to continue touring Andalusia?


Here is a very useful link for your travels : find a rental car from your place of stay


Discover other beautiful places in Andalusia in the Andalusia blog pages.


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