Prepare to be charmed by the pretty inland village of Galera ,steeped in history with the influence of many cultures going back some 4,000 years. Having been occupied during the Bronze Age followed by the Phoenicians, the Romans and the Moors, today it is home to just over 1000 inhabitants. This unspoiled village in the Granada ‘Altiplano’ area is one of the six villages with makes up the Huescar region. The town itself centres around the church built in the Granada ‘Mudejar’ style from the 16th Century. In 1983 it was officially given status as a National Monument.
The town hall square is surrounded by elegant Baroque houses restored to their former glory, the town hall, post office and the obligatory tapas bar.
The fountain bubbles away constantly and neighbours chat under the shade of the trees, a typically traditional Andalusian village scene.
There is however nothing more surprising or exceptional in Galera than the neighbourhood of the caves. In the Cave Barrios of Santa Elena, Del Santismo and Las Cruces the whitewashed cave houses cling high up on the side of the mountains, with their pepper pot chimneys protruding literally out of the rock. It is here that some of the population known as Troglodytes live underground. Traditionally the homes of the disadvantaged or poor the reformed caves now have all the utilities of modern life, including internet and WiFi. As demand for ecologically friendly homes continues to grow these quirky cave houses can provide an ideal solution. The thermal properties of these caves dug deep into the rock provide an all year round temperature of 18-20 degrees with no requirement for air conditioning or central heating, just perhaps a wood burning stove for the winter. These clusters of caves can be found in varying towns and villages from Granada and East to Galera and Huescar. The number of caves found here is due to the interesting geology of this area, a land that was previously covered by sea that has dried out leaving fascinating rock formations perfect for cave digging. There are today thousands of people in the province of Granada living underground. The cave which was once the domain of the poor has now become a stylish option for professionals in the city of Granada, for those looking for an ecological lifestyle or a holiday retreat and still home to many Spanish families who have lived in caves for generations.
The museum charts the history of the first inhabitants in Europe living in this area. A tour of this historic village takes us back thousands of years. This fascinating museum is located in the former chapel of the Convent of the Sisters of Christ the King. Step back in time more than 4000 years and experience an archaeological tour from the Copper Age and Bronze Age to our recent past. See incredible historic artifacts including the partially mummified remains of the burial site of 121 Castellón Alto “The Mummy Galera” these are the oldest human remains of prehistoric man after “Ötzi, the the frozen mummy of 5000 years old that was discovered in the Alps in 1991.
Read the Archaeological research from the Bronze Age through to the Iberian Culture. We will see a replica of the “Goddess of Galera” alabaster sculpture depicting a goddess of fertility. The Roman age and medieval times are depicted and an amazing collection of coins, ceramics and everyday items of these times displayed. You can see how the wine was produced also the Alpha grass and hemp, which was used to create useful objects including shoes baskets and floor coverings.
The original settlement dates back to the Bronze Age and the Castillio Alto and gives us an amazing glimpse into life at this time. Located approximately one kilometre from the centre of Galera on the left bank of the Galera river and dates back to the late Bronze Age 1900 to 1600 BC. The site is located at the top of the hill with three natural terraces. On these terraces the rock is cut to create horizontal platforms where the dwellings are located. Between 80 and 100 people would have lived in the town and access is by stairways and narrow streets. The top of the highest terrace is separated from the rest of the town by a perimeter wall creating an acropolis zone where the elite of the town would have lived. Today it is partially reconstructed and we can discover the daily life in a village Argárico over 3500 years B.C
Necrópolis de Tútugi
Along the Cerro del Real is the Ibero-Roman city of Tútugi. This towns discovery dates back to 1914 when a woman in Galera had a dream in which it was prophesied she would find abundant and rich treasures in this place. Thereafter a search of treasures by the townsfolk the discovery of some of the tombs of the necropolis began. The tumular set Tútugi exceeds hundred graves spread over a large area divided into three zones. The variety of the tombs highlights the strong social stratification of the population. The richest graves introduced into their chambers gorgeous outfits in which the Greek ceramics red figures abound, lavishly decorated amphoras, boxes of stone, bronze vessels, items of jewellery and small sculptures of a quality as high as that of the famous alabaster figurine of a deity known as the Lady of Galera. Cerro del Real was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1931.
Surroundings areas, what to see and do: