The cathedral town of Gaudix is well off the beaten path, in the eastern confines of the Province of Granada, a large, bustling country town with a personality all of its own. Its history dates back to Phoenician and Roman times, and it played a major role in the Reconquest.
The most interesting feature of the Guadix area is that many of the inhabitants of this large town live underground, in the southern part of the town, in what are known as cave houses. The jagged ochre terrain and the dazzling whitewashed chimneys and doors of the caves contrast dramatically with the snow-covered peaks of the Sierra Nevada, which loom above. The cave district is signposted on the main street of the town as the "Barrio Troglodyte".
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You can drive through the cave area, but you should also get out and take a stroll. The "troglodytes" very friendly people and are also very house-proud, or "cave-proud". If you show an interest in their homes, you will be sure to be invited in to have a look. Ever since the Moorish times, the Andalucians have been fond of living underground because it is the best way of escaping the summer heat waves, and don't be surprised if you are invited in to have a look around. Most of today's cave-dwellings are well-appointed, like any other Spanish home, and some are even quite luxurious, with marble floors, fitted kitchens, faxes and internet connections. Purullena, a nearby village, has a disco inside a cave, and you can rent a cave to spend the night in many of the region's villages. See our page about cave houses accommodation.
PEDRO ANTONIO DE ALARCON
Guadix is proud to be the home town of writer Pedro Antonio de Alarcón, in the English-speaking world Pedro is best known for the novel, El sombrero de tres picos (The Three-Cornered Hat), a text that tells the story of a miller, his attractive wife and the local magistrate who has designs on her. The three-cornered hat in question represents ‘power' to those who wear it - a power that is satirised by the author. There is a statue of Pedro in the main square. The Palacio de Marqueses de Peñaflor has a room dedicated to the writer which recreates his study with objects donated by his family.
Things to SEE
In the centre of Guadix, you should not miss the Cathedral, founded in 1594, and the Cave Museum - Plaza de la Ermita Nueva S/n.
The Sala de Exposiciones Municipal holds regular exhibitions of paintings and sculptures.
Plaza de la Catedral. Open Monday to Saturday 19.00 to 22.00. Entrance free.
Things to see nearby
The area is famous for its hand-crafted earthenware, which is sold on the roadside in the nearby village of Purullena.
The desert landscape around the village of Benalúa de Guadix is especially impressive, and well worth a drive through the region. If you wish to explore this fascinating area more thoroughly, you can also drive from Benalúa de Guadix to the Spa called "Baños de las Alicun de las Torres" returning on the first road on the right after leaving the spa, which will take you back to the A-92 Motorway. The total drive takes between 90 minutes and 2 hours.
The fascinating Castle of the Calahorra in the village of La Calahorra, just a few miles to the East. This impressive fort was awarded to a Christian knight for his role in the Reconquest, and fitted by him with a gracious Renaissance courtyard made of Italian marble and by Florentine craftsmen. To get there, leave Guadix in the direction of Almería on N-324. You will soon be treated to the spectacular view of the round towers of the castle framed against the towering Sierra Nevada, which so often features in photographs and posters.