Located just over an hours ride from Malaga, in the Cadiz region of Southern Spain, lies the village of Setenil De Las Bodegas.
As you can see the residents are clearly mad… either that or they’ve absolutely no worries about claustrophobia at all!
There’s just over 3,000 people that reside here, all of them, literally, living under the shadow of the Rio Trejo rock face.
As scary and strange as it may look these unique houses are actually in really high demand in Spain.
The houses haven’t been constructed so much as a front has been built over the already existing natural caves of Sentenil (we’re assuming some mod cons like indoor plumbing and electricity have been added over the years though!)
Apparently they’re perfect for keeping the heat of the Spanish summer sun out and the warmth in during winter.
In fact the area is thought to be one of the oldest inhabited regions of Spain, if not Europe, with some historians claiming the caves have been lived in since prehistoric times. Unfortunately the fact that they have been continuously inhabited since then means any evidence of that has long been either destroyed or built over.
Still, not many people that can claim the past owner of their house was a Neanderthal! (Not whilst meaning it literally anyway)…
It’s said the town’s name of Setenil De Las Bodegas traces its routes back to two very different sources.
Setenil is supposed to derive from the Latin septem nihil (seven times no) which is a reference to the town’s Moorish history during medieval times when the Catholic Church tried to evict the Moors from the Iberian Peninsula.
It was only during the seventh siege that the town was recaptured. In fact Setenil was at the time one of the last Moorish strongholds in Spain.
The second part of the name is perhaps slightly less romantic, coming from the Spanish word bodegas, meaning warehouse.
A reference to the different food stuffs the town could store for much longer than other villages in it’s cool caves.
Christian settlers in the 15th century maintained these ‘warehouses’ to store the fruits from the Arab olive and almond groves previously established there as well as introducing their own vineyards.
As well as grapes though (and the great big caves obviously), the town also became famous over the centuries for its meat products, especially its chorizo sausages which are now famous all over Spain.
Have you ever been to Setenil De Las Bodegas? Would the rocks closing in on you scare you or do you think this’d be a really fun spot in Spain to visit?
Let us know in the comments below…
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