This impresive cathedral, in the Baroque style, was built in the 16th century and completed in the 18th century, in red standstone. It is said to be built on the site of a former mosque. I wasn't able to go in as my timing was a mistake -- it was siesta time, and rightly so in this incredibly hot place (i was there in the peak of summer)!
Take a good look and you will see that all the homes surrounding this street junction are underground, or at least partially. The second photo with Stacey in it gives you a way to judge the size of the homes, but there is more underground than meets the exterior eye. The third photo shows a view looking back toward Guadix center, you can see Stacey and Zohara at the bottom of the photo. When I took this I was standing on the hill (or rather the ROOF) of one of the homes alonside the chimney. Many of the homes had a very small front whitewashed entrance area, this particular home had a very Looooooong front. Last of all one of the poised residents of the area, this blonde with blue eyes caught my attention.
On the edge of the town of Guadix is a fairly large neighourhood composed of cave homes. People have dug out and settled INTO these hills surrounding the town. As you can see in the photos the front of the houses can look like a perfectly regular home in any ordinary town around the world....but when you look at the roof you will see that it disappears into the mountain and what you see is only a facade, a walls thickness before you go underground. Some of the homes have only that wall outside, while others have built some small rooms that stand away from the hill.
My tips on Guadix and short, this is true, but it is because there aren't many words to describe it. Nor is there much information I can give on it. It is a place to see and marvel at not to give facts about.
Saying that here is a fact for you: The origins of the cave homes are thought to date back to the Arabic times of Guadix
Even if some of the houses in the main part of town look a little run down, I think this adds to the charm of the place so don't rule out just walking around the streets. Go get lost and take lots of photos.
The Alcazaba is a military fortification and palace built in the 11th Century by the Arabs when they were in control of this part of Spain from the Centuries VIII to XV.
As you can see from the photo these old fortifications are well preserved and add to the beauty of this little town.
Now these really are CAVE homes.
Some cave homes look like normal houses on the outside and then you find out the rest is dug out cave. These type of Cave homes have most of the mod cons of life; others really are just caves that people live in. Look at the holes in the hills in the photo opposite and you will see what I am talking about.
"Barrio Troglodyte": This is the most interesting part of Guadix as it does not look like the rest of the town or a normal part of any non 3rd world town for that matter. The reason to come to Guadix is to come to the Troglodyte neighbourhood...... It s worth it!
The little white houses you see lead back into cave homes too. If you are lucky someone will invite you in to show you around. They normally ask for a small donation. I recommend giving a euro if you can.
If it a friendly gesture that allows them to show you that the are civilised people who just happen to live in cave homes. It is a chance for you to see how the other half of Europe live. Much better than cave home museums as you get to see how people really decorate, furnish and live in these places.
You can also stay in caves too. Cave hotels I suppose. I have never done it but try Guadix's web page for info if you are interested in doing this: http://www.guadix.es
Many times the only evidence that there is a cave home below is the protruding chimney like the one shown in the photo below.
Caves make great houses as they stay at the same temperature all year, making them cool in summer and warm in winter! You really do save a packet on energy bills!
There is a large coral which is filled with horses roaming around. They don't look like they are the healthiest of beasts nor do I know if they are broken in. They are just there, wondering about suffering in the hot summer months. I have no idea what they are used for though I expect it isn't for show jumping or the such like. They are more probably working animals.
You can also see your fair share of donkeys which appear to share their residences with their human masters like in the Europe of old. These are working animals, not pets. You can see them carrying loads around the town on carts or wagons.
in a town where they have those kind of "houses" of course ,a museum, is a mandatory feature. free admitance, and you'll be able, to know the "story" behind the cuevas and what makes them still trying to keep a tradition, unique in the World. if you want to understand that kind of living you should visit the museum and enlarged your cultural knowledge. very rewarding.
In the centre of Guadix, you should not miss the Cathedral. an impressive sixteenth-century red-sandstone monument gives to the centre of this modest but pleasent old town and huge view, and well worth strolling and visit with yur tourist eyes.
*later i'll try to had more info about that beautifull monument
if not for the magnificent cathedral the troglodyte barrio would be the main atraction in guadix. you can drive through the cave area, but you should also get out and take a stroll. The "troglodytes" are very friendly people and also very house-proud, or "cave-proud", as you wish... If you show an interest in their homes, you will be sure to be invited in to have a look. and in the end a couple of euros to "pay" the visit. well worth it, i might say.