During the visit of our Spanish friends we finally had a chance to visit the Caves up in the Sacromonte district which is right opposite the Alhambra on the other side of the Diver Darro. Meritxell had already been there once so luckily she knew the way.
The history of the caves started after the Reconquista. The people who populated this area were the gypsies who arrived together with the Christian army to take back Granada, the last stronghold of the Muslims in Spain. After the battle this group decided to stay here and together with the expelled Jews they lived here on the margin of society.
When we got to the Interpretation Centre in the Museo Cuevas del Sacromonte, we paid the 5 euro entry fee (which I personally think is expensive) and walked in. Every cave is set up differently and in front of all of them there’s a little explanation in Spanish and English. You can go in and touch the displayed items. Here’s a little selection of photos of them.
Even though looking into the caves was interesting the view from the side of the museum is definitely worth the trek up. There in front of your eyes are the two sides of the River Darro. The distance between them is not much more than 500m but they are still a world apart. The Alhambra, the ultimate wealth of kings and queens is directly opposite the caves of the gypsies and other expelled groups. A huge difference in terms of living areas, statuses and finance. Even the vegetation seem to reflect the same sentiment as on the side of the Kings it’s all green and lush, while on the side of Sacromonte it’s bare, only cacti grows there. An interesting contrast.
You can find this Museum on Barranco de los Negros, Sacromonte, walk all the way to the end of the road. You can read about the opening hours and other information on the Museum’s website here.
Finally, if you are interested in the gypsies, have a look at one of Granada´s famous poet´s, Federico García Lorca´s book called Gypsy Ballads.