STROLL AROUND Gaucin
Gaucin is delightful village, to just stroll around in the sunshine and here we have highlighted the curiosities of the village.
Walk into the village on Calle Luis de Armiñan, past the Convento de los Carmelitas, built in the 18th century and abandoned in 1835. Now owned by the town hall, this is used as a civic building and sometimes holds art exhibitions by the many artists living and working in the town.
Don't miss the view from the small Parque de la Alameda located just after the convent on the right hand side. A little further on, you will pass 'Florita's house' (number 92) which, as its name suggests, displays an impressive array of flower pots. Turn right in the triangular Plaza Santo Vino then into Calle Toledilo, passing the 1628 baroque fountain Fuente de los 6 Caños, with six classical faces somewhat eroded by time. You are now in the main square called Plaza de la Fuente. Stop at bar Casa Antonia to catch up on the local gossip.
Continue out to Plaza Guzman el Bueno where the town hall is located opposite La Taberna del Zorro. Turning into Calle Larga you will see the Iglesia de San Sebastian, build after the reconquest on the site of a mosque. The church's façade is red and white, with a renaissance appearance, constructed from brick with a triangular pediment. The tower is square, with a solid construction bell chamber and pyramid roof. Inside, the church has three naves separated by pillars supporting semicircular arches. Above the main altar are three golden figures, including San Sebastian and the Virgin de la Nieves, the patron saint of Gaucin.
At the end of Calle Larga continue towards the Castillo del Aguila (Eagle's Castle) which consists of a series of fortifications built across a rocky ridge above the village. The castle, which is of Roman origin, and was reinforced by the Moors, is located on top of a hill whose east and south slopes are practically impregnable. Leave the castle compound by the west gate and visit the cemetery next.
The cemetery is one of the most interesting and best kept in the area. Remains are placed in niches in the walls rather than underground, as in most cemeteries in Andalucia, and some are very old. There is an interesting Parthenon with old residents alongside some more recent arrivals. A panel of ceramic tiles at the entrance reminds us cryptically that "la muerte no es nada....la vida continua y todo esta bien". (Death is nothing....life carries on and everything is all right).
Over the road from cemetery is the mirador. This is very pleasant, with paths and gardens and a panoramic view of Penas Blancas, Los Reales, Sierra Crestellina, Sierra El Hacho, Gibraltar, and across the Straits of Gibraltar to Africa.
If you are walking, you will have to return the way you came. If, however, you risked driving through the narrow streets, then due to the one-way system you will need to return via Calle Alta, past the old communal lavadero, and exit the village on the north bypass road.
Other interesting historic buildings are the Fraguas and the 19th-century forge.