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Benita Beneva
23 August 2016
Known as the trogloditas, Guadix locals have been living in these underground houses for hundreds of years.
Where people live underground ..

Upon arrival at the bus station, Guadix looked like any other small Andalucían town, with whitewashed townhouses and charming, shaded plazas.
But as I climbed to the top of the hill, a strange Martian-like landscape appeared before me.



I had arrived at the Barrio de Cuevas or the Neighbourhood of Caves, where much of the town’s population lives underground.

- “Would you like to see inside one of the caves?” an old man called out to me ( Jose)



He proudly led me around his home, showing off his various rooms and possessions. The terracotta farm-style kitchen was modern yet
rustic, with dried red peppers, onions and garlic hanging from the ceilings and walls, but wonder what it would actually be like to live in a cave.



José said that he believed the cave was around 500 years old, but of course now it had been renovated and fitted with modern furnishings and appliances.
He then took me up to his terrace, which sat just above his house. From here, I had an incredible view over Guadix.



While some nearby towns such as Baza and Huescar also have cave districts, Guadix has more than 2,000 underground dwellings, making it home to the largest number of cave homes in all of Europe.
Until a few decades ago, Guadix’s cave homes were seen as houses for the poor, considered inferior to the town’s more modern houses.
Today, however, they are becoming more popular, and many local residents are transforming these grotto-like dwellings into restaurants, hotels and even holiday rentals.



 

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