Civic: chronicle of a cave architecture


It dawns, the sun is just a metaphorical firefly, incapable, still, of clearing that universe of shadows that hangs over the horizon line.


My destination, and by default yours, if you continue reading and decide to accompany me, is approximately 70 kilometers from Madrid, within the territory of another Autonomous Community: Guadalajara.


Guadalajara is part of that other territorial division that marks the border with which, until relatively modern times, was Old Castilla –which is currently called Castilla y León- and is included within that very new, in comparison, demarcation known as Castilla -La Mancha, the latter land that may be familiar to you, since Miguel de Cervantes located the birth of the adventures of our most universal knight-errant: Don Quixote.


To reach our destination, we have to deviate to the height of a town called Torija, where we will be powerfully attracted by a type of military architecture, which dates back to the Middle Ages and which, in fact, was the precedent of the name of Castilla for its abundance: its castle.


Also know that we are entering a territory called with the peculiar name of Alcarria, famous, among other things, for the excellence of its honey and also for the beauty of some towns that still preserve a good part of their medieval architecture, as shown , for example, the old walls that surrounded the next town in importance, to which we have to arrive, whose name is Brihuega.


Leaving Brihuega in the direction of Cifuentes, our destination is just a few kilometers, which pass through a convoluted regional road, where you will have a magnificent view of what is known as the Tajuña valley, with many orchards and farmlands.


Within this apparently idyllic perspective, we will see to our left, just stopping a few meters beyond a small and surprising waterfall, a peculiar rocky promontory, pierced with caves, in whose innumerable interstices the hand of man can be clearly seen.


Although partially abandoned today, what we have here is a joint work between erosion and the hand of man and takes us back to those prehistoric times when the caves were the natural refuge of the first hominids.


It is known that during the Middle Ages, as it happened in many places in Spain - the most relevant case, to give you an example, is that of the so-called Tebaida berciana leonesa - these caves served as hermitages.


Hermitages that gradually and gradually adapted to the social needs of each era, until we reached the home caves that we see today and that in fact were inhabited until relatively current times.


A look inside will help you get an idea of ​​how the original cave was adapting to the functional needs of a home; of how certain holes were used and how they were carved to adapt them as cupboards where to deposit crockery and various everyday utensils.


Also made of stone, you will observe the columns, which, simulating the typical Atlanteans or caryatids - if you prefer, to adapt it to current terms, master or weight beams - supported the weight of rock ceilings, avoiding the fear of possible landslides.


The interior entrances from one room to another have the approximate shape of Romanesque and Visigothic and even Arab underground architectures, which can also be seen in certain caves located next to the Brihuega Town Hall and that apart from being currently used as warehouses or wineries, They are also a tourist opening museum.


Finally, detail the steps, carved in the hard rock that rise to upper rooms, as well as the widening of holes for the opening of windows to facilitate the access of sunlight.


Around the year 2015, approximately, this enigmatic complex of cave houses was acquired by a real estate agency in order to re-inhabit it as homes and put them up for sale.


NOTICE: Both the text and the accompanying photographs are my exclusive intellectual property and therefore are subject to my Copyright.