History of Guadix

Guadix is known for its cave houses and is located in the Sierra Nevada of Granada. Its population is about 20,000. Half of the people live in cave houses. The cave district is called the Barrio Troglodyte and is in the Barrio Santiago. All of the houses are white washed. The reason the people live in caves is that the caves are cool during summer and have a constant temperature of about 19C all year long. Most of the houses are well appointed with furnishings and resemble normal houses. There are about 4000 caves used as homes and is the biggest concentration of inhabited caves in Europe.

It was Julius Caesar who founded the town to mine the neighboring hills for silver, although the area around Guadix was one of the oldest settlements in Spain. The Romans called the town Julia Gemella Acci, and the inhabitants are still called "Accitanos". The town became an important Moorish town that was called Wadi Ash (an Arabic version of the name Acci). At the end of the Nasrid Dynasty there were many civil wars and Guadix became the capital of a Moorish kingdom under El Zagal, its king.

The Moors were driven out when the Catholic Kings and Cardinal Mendoza conquered the town. At that time many of the people started living in the caves to become invisible. Today one of the homes exhibited to tourists is the Cueva de Jose. Many of the cave houses have been converted to small hotels.

San Torcuato is the patron saint of the town. San Torcuato was one of seven disciples of St. James who came to Spain to evangelize it, and became the first bishop of Guadix and Europe. Guadix is considered the birth place of Christianity in Spain because San Torcuato converted all its inhabitants to Christianity after performing a miracle there.