Guadix, Hoya de Guadix, Granada
Guadix can be found on the northern slopes of Sierra Nevada, in the Hoya de Guadix, a natural step from the Levant to Andalusia. It is a large city, one of the biggest in the province of Granada and the oldest in the Iberian Peninsula, containing a rich and extensive historical and artistic heritage, with important examples of both religious and civil architecture.
Here was one of the oldest human settlements in Spain, through the stone and metal ages, there is abundant evidence of a demographic low with little or no possibility to improve the terrain due to the geographical characteristics of the area, not much changed to this day, except with regard to the forests and hunting, which was then much more abundant.
Guadix was important as a natural communication route between the Levant and Betic areas, shown since early days as an important ‘crossroads’ and therefore the growth of civilization, culture, religion, trade took place here …, together with many more human activities.
The Romans established a communications hub here, on the road called ‘Via Augusta’ and it was Julius Caesar who in 45ad raised this to the rank of a colony, called Julia Gemela Acci, to house the Legionnaires emeritus of the Prima and Segundo Legions, and it was inevitable that the military contingent, which was of course exclusively male, would take wives from among the indigenous population and this would lead to the formation of a proper Roman colony. Over time, the colony grew to mint its own coins of different values which today are spread across the former empire and much of the Mediterranean region, and can be found in the numismatic cabinets of the most important archaeological museums: Rome, Jerusalem, Mérida, Arles, Carbona to name but a few.
In the Roman colony, at the crossroads of Decumanus and Cardus and admirably constructed on the central hill of the city, can be found the Cardinals temple, main town square and Ayuntamiento (City Hall). As with many other cities, successive cultures have left their mark on the original settlement, as evidenced by both the abundant and important archaeological remains and inscriptions found locally.
During the Visigoth period, the Episcopal character of the city made it something of a leading light in the councils of Toledo and in some of the most important decisions of the Spanish crown. Guadix had and still has its own regional representative in the person of the bishop.
Felix, bishop of Guadix, who was president of the Iberian Council in the year 304, was without doubt one of the most important men of Roman Spain and a fount of knowledge on the interpretation of life in the city during the late Imperial period.
The tradition referred to as San Torcuato, having 7 apostolic men as the first missionaries of the peninsula, is deeply ingrained in local culture.
During the long and fruitful Islamic period, many centuries passed, with varying fortunes for the city, alternating with periods of decline, caused by wars, epidemics or droughts. Yet it would be unfair to forget the military importance of Rahman III in the 10th century, or the literary, ethical and philosophical writings of Abemtofail and the poetess Hansa.
The civil wars of the Muslim kingdom in the latter stages of the Nazari dynasty made Guadix effective capital of the Muslim kingdom led by the somewhat mythical figure of El Zagal, who allied himself alternatively with Moors and Spaniards ending up as the victim of resentment and revenge, allowing easy conquest by the Spaniards of the Catholic Monarchs, with Cardinal Mendoza leading the armies.
Then the aptly named third king of Spain, Archbishop of Toledo, Rodrigo Gonzalez de Mendoza, became one of the key figures in the history of Guadix from 1487. He was responsible for shaping the city into an Episcopalian enclave which became the largest township of the crown of Castile, well financed under the power of the house of the Infanta and Toledo ‘juntas’, leading to the royal concessions given to the Marquis of Cenete, D. Rodrigo de Vivar y Mendoza and the conversion of the Mezquita to a cathedral.
The conflict of religions and cultures occurring after the reconquest lasted for almost a century to 1570, and under Philip II the expulsion of the defeated Moors from the kingdom of Granada, the Levant area, La Mancha and Extremadura was ordered.
The measures taken to solve the crisis of the so-called Revolt of the Alpujarras caused the disappearance from the region of a large part of the native population; the city was the main centre of terrible mass deportations, which led to the disappearance of the prosperous silk industry.
The Synod of Bishop Martín Pérez de Ayala has left us a splendid portrait of Guadix in the 16th century, with an ecclesiastical system in place, albeit for a population almost entirely Muslim.
The expulsion of 1570 was followed by a subversive and clandestine return of a small number of moors, mainly to urban areas; they excavated homes from the ground, giving rise to the organized community of cave dwellers, which led to a rise in agriculture rather than urban spread.
The Austria Dynasty ceded to Guadix all the privileges and rights of a city of the old regime, but dealt severely with the matter of taxes in order to maintain a prestigious dynasty in Europe, through a huge military effort.
The Bourbon period could hardly be called the Age of Enlightenment, the initial ‘dark period’ needing a militarized youth for the war of Succession, which led to the people of Guadix making it known to the crown that they no longer had sufficient labour to till the earth for agriculture. The reign of Carlos III ended with a cultural institution and most prestigious academic history, within the College of St. Torcuato of the Society of Jesus, leaving the diocesan seminary exclusively for the teaching possibilities of the time. The Bourbons did finance and help with the works of the cathedral building, in order that it be finished before Napoleon’s arrival.
The ‘French period’ had definite serious consequences for the city, leading to a period of decline that lasted throughout the nineteenth century with wars, epidemics and social and political disasters, very similar to other areas in Spain. The non-existence of an industrial revolution led to a very high infant mortality rate and almost slave-labor conditions for the majority.
In nineteenth century in Spain, in 1936, there was civil war, perhaps initially avoidable, but insurmountable after serious injustices on both sides, each side claiming to be the real revolutionaries, and not warmongerers. For the children of this land and also for its cultural and artistic heritage, the war was, together with the ‘French period’ and subsequent confiscations, a disaster of insurmountable consequences.
* Alcazaba and walls. Medieval military architecture, X and XI centuries.
* Cathedral. Initial layout gothic, sixteenth century (the sacristy is the work of Diego de Siloe), transformed during its construction by the Renaissance movement and finished according to the canons of the Baroque style.
* San Francisco Church, which has within a coffered ceiling.
* Santiago Church, which has within a coffered ceiling.
* Church of Santa Ana, sixteenth century.
* Church of Santo Domingo, with a beautiful coffered ceiling.
* Magdalena Church, of baroque style.
* San Torcuato Church, baroque style.
* Church and Hermitage of La Concepción.
* Ermita de las Cuevas Nuestra Señora de Gracia.
* Ermita de las Cuevas Nuestra Señora de Fátima.
* Hermitage of San Sebastián.
* Convent of San Antonio.
* Palacio del Marqués de Villalegre.
* Episcopal Palace.
* Palacio Municipal.
* Peñaflor Palace.
* Civil Hospital.
* Aljama Mudejar.
* Arco of San Torcuato.
* Arco de la Imagen.
* El Arco de los obispos.
* Plaza de las Palomas.
* La Plaza Mayor.
* Plaza del Conde Luque.
* Alamo Plaza.
* Plaza de las Palomas and Ayuntimento (City Hall.)
* Guadix Cathedral Museum.
Guadix cuisine includes migas, los andrajos, casseroles, zalamandroña, sustentos, fritters and much more. A good collection of recipes of traditional cuisine of the region – more than two hundred – can be found in the book “La Olla de Guadix”, published by the Association ‘Valle de Alhama y Lider Comarca de Guadix’. The book is the result of a culinary competition that was made at regional level, so the recipes included have been reproduced exactly as submitted by various participants in the contest, thus constituting a very interesting document.
Leave Granada. At the roundabout, take exit 2 Continue along: E-902 / A-44 direction: Armilla – Motril. Pass near Maracena and Peligros. Follow directions Almería – Murcia. Around Albolote, go to: A-92. Pass near Lopera. Take the exit towards: Exit 288 – Purullena – Cortes y Graena – Beas de Guadix – Troglodyte City. Follow signs for Purullena. Pass Purullena. Continue to Guadix.
Distances from Guadix
Darro 18 km
Granada 53 km
Esfiliana 5 km
Purullena 6 km
Hernán Valle 11 km
Beas de Guadix 11km
Cortes y Graena 9.5 km
Belerda de Guadix 17 km
Alcudia de Guadix 6,5 km
Benalúa de Guadix 7.5 km
Properties for Sale in Guadix