What to do and what to see in Guadix

The city of Guadix is located in the province of Granada, in the homonymous region. It is located in the Hoya de Guadix, next to Sierra Nevada. The neighborhoods of Guadix are very different among them, due to the immigration that existed until 1990.

Guadix can attract your attention by different factors, but the main ones and those that stand out most are its monuments, its cave houses, its museums and its proximity to the region of The Alpujarra.

History of Guadix

Guadix is one of the oldest settlements in Spain, proof of this is the abundant demography in both the stone age and the age of metals. However, when Guadix began to be important it was because of its location, between the east and bética area, as a crossroads for trade, civilizations, etc.

In Roman times, Guadix had the name of Julia Gemela Acci, which was formed so that Roman legionaries could find wives among the indigenous population and in this way a Roman colony could be established.

On the other hand, at the time of the Visigoths, Guadix stood out for its episcopal character. In the year 304, the bishop of Guadix presided over the Council of Elvira or Council of lliveris, one of the most important in Spain at the time.

During the Muslim period, Guadix lived moments of splendor and decadence. Do not forget the military importance that Guadix obtained for Abderramán III. The civil wars of the Muslim kingdom made Guadix the capital of the kingdom headed by Abú Abdallah Muhammad "El Zagal".

Rodrigo González de Mendoza was a key figure of Guadix since it favored the configuration of the city as an episcopal enclave.

After the reconquest, the evacuation of the Moriscos of the Kingdom of Granada was ordered, which provoked a massive deportation of Guadix that would sink the most prosperous industry of the city, the silk. This expulsion carried out from 1570, is translated in a return of some exiled ones, who excavated their houses in the clay giving origin to the famous caves of Guadix, although these already were used previously like agricultural solution.

Finally, since Guadix was granted the privileges of a city in the old regime to the present, the city has suffered a series of catastrophic consequences such as the War of the Spanish Succession, the Independence War, epidemics, sociopolitical disasters and the Civil War. However, nowadays it is a city marked by the passage of different civilizations that makes it a good option when it comes to rural tourism.

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What to see in Guadix

Guadix has a wide cultural heritage for all tastes. In the case that what catches your attention is religion, Guadix has a long list of religious constructions.

Cathedral: Built between the 16th and 18th centuries, work of Diego de Siloé, Gaspar Cayón and Vicente Acero. It is situated on the Almohad mosque and the old Gothic cathedral. It is a fusion of Renaissance and Baroque styles, the latter is a choir by Ruiz del Peral. The cathedral is consecrated to the Incarnation of the Virgin and has three facades dedicated to the Annunciation, to Saint Torcuato, who is the patron of Guadix, and to Santiago Apostle. Inside is the Cathedral Museum.

Convent of the Concepción: It is located where the old Arab souk of Guadix was located. At present it is surrounded by old noble houses. It dates from the 16th century, although it suffered a fire in 1667 and was rebuilt. Inside it highlights the image of the Virgin of the Dolores, whose face was of the Virgin of the Angustias, destroyed in the Civil War.

Convent of Saint Domingo: It was built by order of the Catholic Monarchs. It is the most finished and perfect Mudejar work of Guadix.

Hermitage of Gracia - Cave Church: Its origin is of the 16th century with troglodyte character. In 1964 the church attached to the hermitage was inaugurated.

Church of the Magdalena: Church of a ship with a rectangular plant where its exterior is baroque. It contains an image of the Virgin of the Magdalena. It was built on an old mosque in Guadix.

Church of Saint Agustín: Built in the 18th century, it served as the headquarters of Guadix in the Independence War, for which it was destroyed. In its reform the Minor Seminary of Saint Torcuato was installed.

Church of Saint Ana: Construction began in the sixteenth century. In the headboard there is a carving of Saint Ana. The cover, the Mudejar-style coffered ceiling and the square-based tower also attract attention.

Church of Santiago: It was built in the 16th century with a Gothic-Mudejar style. This church in Guadix has valuable coffered ceilings and a Mudejar tower, apart from its facade, the work of Diego de Siloé.

Church of Saint Torcuato: This church was built with the plan of Vicente Acero, with Renaissance style and Baroque facade. Its plant is of Greek cross with small altars in its arms.

Church and Convent of Saint Diego: It is a single nave covered with a barrel vault. It has a modern altarpiece in the dressing room of the Virgin of the Angustias, patron saint of Guadix. It has no tower so the bell is in a belfry. To the right of the facade is the old convent.

Church of Saint Francisco: Church of the 16th century considered National Monument that contains in its interior a great number of artistic works of Guadix. Account with a central ship that gives access, with presbytery in the head and cover of Mudejar carpentry. Its facade is simple and has a tower.

Apart from the religious buildings, Guadix offers other civil architecture constructions that you can see and from which you can obtain beautiful photographs.

Peñaflor Palace: Built in the sixteenth century, this Renaissance palace is located in the Santiago Square of Guadix to which it gives a balcony. Inside, you will find Mudejar coffered ceilings.

Villalegre Palace: Also of Renaissance style, it belonged to the Dukes of Sesa, descendants of the Great Captain. On its facade, which faces the Santa María del Buen Aire Street in Guadix, it has two noble coats of arms. Inside it has a railing and coffered ceilings of the time.

Palomas Square: Also called Constitution Square or Corregidores Square. Located in the historic center of Guadix. In it you will find the Town Hall.

Alcazaba: It dates from the tenth and eleventh centuries, built in the highest part of Guadix, from it you get beautiful views to the Neighborhood of the Caves. Declared a National Monument, its function was defensive to protect Guadix from invaders and served as a refuge for kings.

Door of Saint Torcuato: It is the door that gave entrance to Guadix and is of the 16th century, although it was reconstructed in the stage of the Austrias. In this space the craft market was organized until recent times. On the facade of the door there are some decorative elements.

Neighborhood of the Caves: This neighborhood of Guadix is made up of caves excavated in the land that the Arabs built on the occasion of the search for a place to stay while the Christian reconquest took place.

Roman Theater Guadix Acci: It dates from the 1st century and was discovered in the center of Guadix in the excavations for the construction of a parking lot. It is the only Roman theater in Andalusia that preserves vestiges of the decorative paintings that adorned the proscenium. The theater was no longer used in the third century and the Arabs used their stones for other constructions such as the Alcazaba. However, the area in which it was located became a marshy area and orchards, which has allowed its conservation until it was discovered.

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What to do in Guadix

Among the different activities to do in Guadix, in the case of what you like is culture, we suggest you visit one of the different museums that the town has.

Almazara of Paulenca: Currently it is the Guadix Oil Museum where you can see old machines working. It is an 18th century oil mill that was used until 1975, surrounded by caves, almonds and olive trees with stunning views to Sierra Nevada. It has a restaurant and the house has been converted into a villa. In your visit you can taste and buy oil and wine from Guadix.

House Museum Fundation Painter Julio Visconti: Foundation located in the house of the Arias de Medina, from the 16th century, right on a Muslim cemetery. Although it has undergone transformations throughout history, it maintains the purity of its original Mudejar style.

Interpretation Center of the Caves of Guadix: It is a cave-museum that will teach you the way of life of the people of Guadix and the Guadix region in the near past. It was inhabited until the 80s. It shows the way of life of the north of the province of Granada and its exhibition is based on "The Troglodytism in Guadix".

Donum Fidei Cathedral Museum: This museum of Guadix with different rooms, two of them dedicated to painting, three rooms for the Diocese of Guadix and the last two are dedicated to show a collection of gadgets of the Catholic liturgy.

Alcazaba Cave Pottery Museum: It is located inside an Arab cave from the year 1400, under the Alcazaba. It was inaugurated in 1998 and there you can find more than 1500 pieces of pottery from Guadix that go from the year 1600 to the present. However, you can also appreciate carvings of the different cultures that have passed through Guadix. In the cave you will see a well of Arab origin.

Another option with which you can enjoy Guadix is through one of the long routes that pass through this town.

Ibn al-Jatib route: If you like to enjoy long distances we recommend this route that runs from Murcia to Granada that Ibn al-Jatib made and that represents the Andalusí Legacy. A route of great beauty that runs through such spectacular places as the Sierra de María, the Sierra de Huétor Natural Park or Sierra Nevada. Apart from passing through Guadix, this route crosses Murcia, Alcantarilla, Librilla, Alhama de Murcia, Totana, Aledo, Lorca, Puerto, Lumbreras, Vélez Rubio, Vélez Blanco, María, Puebla de Don Fadrique, Huéscar, Castril, Galera, Orce, Cúllar, Huércal Overa, Arboleas, Albox, Cantoria, Fines, Olula del Río, Macael, Purchena, Tíjola, Serón, Caniles, Baza, Gor, Purullena, Lopera, Diezma, Huétor de Santillán and Granada.

Jérez del Marquesado - Postero Alto route: This route covers the road used by the muleteers and shepherds to reach the Sierra de Jérez and the forest nursery of the Posterillo. This area of the region has been traditionally mining, although it has a large number of natural resources, which have allowed the development of populations and today is an ideal place for you to enjoy rural tourism. Much of the route is through the Sierra Nevada National Park, where you will appreciate some of the highest peaks of the Iberian Peninsula.

Outside of these routes, Guadix has other opportunities to do some sports such as canoeing, mountaineering, hiking, caving, alpine skiing, climbing, canyoning, horseback riding, etc. so that your visit is as complete and fun as possible.

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Traditional festivals and celebrations in Guadix

Regarding the festivities, Guadix has a broad calendar marked by them. And is that, either locally or by neighborhood, there is almost no one month in which Guadix does not have any celebration.

Pilgrimage of Saint Antón: The celebration begins on the night of January 16, burning the beards of Saint Antón to protect the inhabitants of Guadix. On January 17 we proceed to the pilgrimage in which there are seven returns to the sanctuary.

Celebrations of the Virgin of the Peace: Celebrated on January 24 and the third Sunday of August. They are in honor of the patron saint of the Neighbohood of Paulenca of Guadix.

Carnivals: They take place on Saturday and Sunday before Ash Wednesday. They are followed by horseback riding, parades, dances, etc. through the streets of Guadix.

Holy Week: It is an important celebration, taking into account the Christian tradition of the region and the population of Guadix.

Corpus Christi: It takes place 78 days after the resurrection Sunday, where there is a procession by Guadix accompanied by the Cathedral Chapter.

Patron Saint Festivities of Saint Torcuato: Celebrated on May 15, they begin with a mass and, later, the relics of Saint Torcuato in Guadix are processed. Along with other activities, beans and typical cakes are distributed in the Palomas Square.

"Guadix Clasic" International Music Cycle: This is one of the most important classical music cycles in Spain, where many of the most relevant groups and artists have attended.

Festivity of the Virgin of Fátima: It is celebrated on the last Sunday of May and in it the Virgin of Fátima is processed through the Neighborhood of the Caves of Guadix.

Festivities of Saint Bernabé: These are the festivities of Bácor-Olivar, a local entity of Guadix, and are dedicated to their patron Saint Bernabé. They are June 11, 12 and 13.

Celebrations of the Sacred Heart of Jesus: They take place the first or the second week of July and are the festivities of the Neighborhood of the Station of Guadix.

Festivity of Saint Francisco: This celebration takes place around August 15 in the Neighborhood of Belerda of Guadix, in honor of its patron, Saint Francisco.

Festivities of Our Lady of Gracia: Also around the 15th of August, in the Neighborhood of the Caves of Guadix, these festivities are celebrated by their patron, Our Lady of Gracia.

Festivities of Saint Luis King of France: Another neighborhood festivity, in this case the Neighborhood of Hernán Valle of Guadix, in honor to its patron.

Guadix Fair: It is celebrated the first week of September and is the largest fair in Guadix. In it, stands are set up for shows, where the inhabitants can enjoy themselves and you as a visitor. There are also parades of floats and different attractions are installed.

The Cascamorras: According to the legend, a farmer from Guadix named Juan Pedernal, was working in Baza and found, in the place where there was a Mozarab hermitage, the image of a virgin, which began to be known as the Virgin of the Piedad. This caused a conflict between Guadix and Baza. The festival of Cascamorras symbolizes the peaceful resolution of a conflict between two neighboring towns and takes place on September 9.

Festivity of Saint Miguel: It is the festivity of the Neighborhood of Saint Miguel de Guadix, held on September 29.

Feast of the Virgin of the Angustias: Held on the second Sunday of November, when the Virgin of the Angustias, co-patron of Guadix, is paraded through the streets of Guadix from the cathedral to her temple.

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Gastronomy of Guadix

Among the typical dishes of Guadix that we recommend you try in your visit to the city, are the migas, the porridge, the paprika with sardines, the rabbit with garlic, the rinr, the pot of Saint Antón and the loma of orza.

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