Historical Medieval Village of Setenil de las Bodegas
Nestled in the heart of Andalusia, Spain, is an ancient town called Setenil de las Bodegas. What makes it unique is that it was built into the mountainside, with some of the homes and buildings carved directly into the rock face.
This fascinating town has a rich history that dates back to prehistoric times, and its legacy has been preserved in the winding streets and charming architecture that still define the town today.
The History of Setenil de las Bodegas
Setenil de las Bodegas has a long and storied past dating back to the Upper Paleolithic period, around 25,000 BCE. The nearby Cueva de la Pileta is a remarkable cave system filled with ancient paintings that provides a glimpse into the culture of the area’s earliest inhabitants.
Throughout history, Setenil de las Bodegas has been a strategic location due to its proximity to the Guadalquivir River. Roman soldiers used the town as a defensive outpost during their occupation of Spain, and it was later conquered by the Moors in the 13th century. It remained under Moorish control until the Reconquista in 1484, when the Catholic Monarchs reclaimed the town for Spain.
The Town Built into the Mountainside
One of the defining attributes of Setenil de las Bodegas is the way in which the town was built directly into the rocky cliffs that line the Rio Trejo. Rather than constructing buildings on top of the rock, early settlers hollowed out the soft sedimentary rock to create caves and homes.
Over time, the town grew outward from the caves, with streets and buildings constructed alongside the rock face. As a result, many of the buildings feature overhanging roofs created by the rock above, giving the town an otherworldly feel that has enchanted visitors for centuries.
What to See and Do in Setenil de las Bodegas
There are many sights to take in while visiting Setenil de las Bodegas, from ancient Roman ruins to traditional Spanish markets. For a taste of local cuisine, be sure to sample the town’s famous olive oil and chorizo sausage, both of which are central to the regional gastronomy.
Other attractions include the nearby town of Ronda, famous for its dramatic cliffside bridge and Moorish architecture. The Castle of Setenil de las Bodegas is another must-see, dating back to the 12th century and offering sweeping views of the town and surrounding countryside.
In addition, the town’s winding streets and charming white-washed buildings are perfect for wandering and exploring, with hidden alleys and stunning views at every turn.
Setenil de las Bodegas is truly an incredible destination, with a fascinating history and unique architecture that have been beautifully preserved over the centuries. Whether you’re interested in prehistoric art, Roman ruins, or simply soaking up the vibrant culture of Andalusia, this town is sure to captivate and inspire.