The first human settlements in this area can be traced back to Prehistoric times and the town of Guadix has a rich cultural heritage and has been declared a site of historical interest.
As you approach the town you cannot but be impressed as in front of the vista is the Cathedral and as a backdrop the stunning Sierra Nevada, capped with snow. There is a large roundabout in front of the Cathedral with fountains and on the day that we visited with friends, the sun shone on us.
The 16th century red sandstone Cathedral dominates the town and it is very impressive, with beautiful intricate carvings all over the facade. It combines many elements of Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque styles.
There is, in one of the streets bounding the Cathedral, a very interesting sculpture of a choir master
and his choir, some of the choir boys look a bit fishy!!
The town sits on a plain off the road from Granada to Almeria and from this photograph you can see how the Cathedral and the old Alcazaba dominate the view. There is an old Jewish quarter and
inside the old medina, the Barrio Latino, latin quarter and the Church of Santiago,
which is beautiful.
Guadix is famous for its cave dwellings that are still lived in to this day. They are on the outskirts of the town, in an area called the Barrio de las Cuevas and are still home to some 10,000 people. This is the largest concentration of cave dwellings in Europe. Below you can see some with their chimneys poking up from the ground.
It is quite a strange feeling that as you walk about on the grass, you are walking over peoples roofs!
The area extends to over a square mile, just beyond the ruins of the old Alcazaba. Some of them are almost proper cottages, with an upstairs and down, television aerials, electric and running water. Some are simpler, like the ones below, plain whitewashed, with perhaps a tiny window and some are derelict, while still others are now being renovated for families to move into.
Below is the rather splendid Plaza of the Constitution.
Here are some of the inhabitants we met along the way in one of the narrow Calles.
As we left Guadix, we passed through the beautiful orchards of Almonds, in full pink blossom, the Sierra Nevada behind and above the most amazing clouds had appeared.
This one looks to me like an alien space craft, descending towards the Sierra.
The scenery here is just spectacular and the sheer beauty of it all takes ones breath away.
We then stumbled across the Minas del Marquesado, iron mines, which are now deserted and the ruined deserted village.
It was strange that there was writing and graffiti on the bullet riddled walls, that appeared to be in some Eastern European language. We thought that they must have been used for film sets,
perhaps about the Bosnian war. We soon found out that they were actually making a film there and were escorted out by security, but not before Mike had taken some dramatic photographs.
The end of an interesting day, with a cast of thousands and scenery to make
Cecil B. DeMille weep for joy.