In the mountain above the city of Guadix, people live in house-caves. The white pillars that you see sticking up are either air vents or chimneys. We arrived before the museum opened, but a woman who was cranking out the awning of her store directed us to her “cueva”, to have a look inside for free.
Her husband was waiting to welcome us in. He’s there in the photo, behind the gatepost.
Kitchen, dining area, bedroom and bath.
The man’s family has lived there for four generations.
We explored the church, also a cave dug into the mountain.
The Museum of Traditional Culture was a gem, situated in a cueva that was furnished as it had been in 1928 when the family bought it for less than $2.00. We saw a film about the history of caves, from practical to religious. The rooms were full of artifacts.
The caves of Guadix didn’t receive electricity until either the 1940s or the 1970s. Either way, it made for a very dark residence. There were only two openings to the outside, one, the front door, and two, a window in the kitchen. The inside temperature was steady and cool. The animals were kept in the rooms furthest away from the door. Pigs. I couldn’t imagine sharing a cave house with pigs.
This is a water spigot in a courtyard of one of the cuevas. The cave village was the most tranquil place I’ve been in Spain. It was quiet, clean, and had the feel of a spiritual community.
In fact, it was the home of Saint Pedro Poveda, whose cueva is also open to visitors, located next door to the museum. The saint made many practical improvements in the lives of the very poor folk who lived in the caves in the early 20th century. He died a martyr in 1936.