Cueva de Don Juan


Useful Information

Location: Jalance, 120 km from Valencia. 10 km paved road to the cave, signposted.
(39.184702, -1.143178)
Open: APR to 15-OCT daily 10:45-14:30.
16-OCT to MAR Sat, Sun, Hol 10:45-14:30.
Last entry 13:45.
[2021]
Fee: Adults EUR 7, Children (5-15) EUR 5, Children (0-4) free, Young Card EUR 5.60, Seniors EUR 5.60.
Groups (15+): Adults EUR 6.
Groups (20+): Adults EUR 5.
[2021]
Classification: SpeleologyKarst cave Santonian limestone
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System
Dimension:  
Guided tours: L=400 m, D=30 min.
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: no
Bibliography:  
Address: Town Hall, Plaza del Ayuntamiento, 46624 Jalance, Tel: +34-96-219-60-11. E-mail:
Tourism Office, Carrer Tànger, 5, 46624 Jalance, Tel: +34-96-189-71-71.
Reservations, Tel: +34-686-950-457.
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.

History

17th cty during the Reconquista moorish locals fled to the cave and hid their valuables there.
1959 first speleologic exploration by members of the Center Excursionista de València.
1978 first archaeological investigations by José Aparicio Pérez, from the Prehistoric Research Service.
1979 begin of development as a show cave.
1981 cave opened as a show cave managed by the Jalance City Council.

Description

The Cueva de Don Juan (Cave of Don Juan) is located in the easternmost foothills of the Sierra del Boquerón, at about 660 m asl. The entrance is on the right bank of a tributary of the Júcar River. The cave was a hunting station since the Mesolithic period (8,000 to 6000 BC), but also many remains from the Valencian Bronze Age (1,900 to 500 BC) were discovered. The cave was developed as a show cave in the late 20th century There is a visitor reception center with cafeteria, shop, ticket sales and waiting room. Nearby is a picknick area.

From the ticket office its a short hike down into a ravine to a huge cave portal. The portal is mostly closed by a huge rockfall, the cave is entered through a gap on top of the debris. A staircase leads up the blocks and offers a great view from inside the portal. The cave is actually a single chamber which is accessed by a horizontal cave passage. In the chamber is a central hill of debris which is overgrown by many speleothems. The trail is a loop around this centrals hill.

The cave was developed very carefully. The trails were built using the natural rocks of the area, steps made of limestone and limestone gravel. That much better for the cave than most other possibilities, and required obviously some effort.

The cave formed in a Santonian (Upper Cretaceous) limestone layer. The Coniac below forms a ocher marl layer which is water resistant and dams the ground water, which caused the formation of the cave.

The cave was used as a hideout in the early 17th century. During the Reconquista many moorish people fled from the Christians to this cave, and brought all their valuables with them. With decree from 1609 they were expelled, but left their valuables. The "three Juanes", Don Juan Pacheco, corporal of the cavalry and brother of the viceroy of Valencia, Don Juan de Córdova, Master of Field of the Tercio of Lombardy, and Don Juan de Vergara, tenant of the stately rents of the Cofrentes Valley, quarreld about said valuables. This was recorded in the ceramic panel of the Fuente del Médico:

"The cave belongs to Don Juan de Córdova and, fairly, the remains found in it belong to him" - some said. "The cave belongs to Don Juan Pacheco, his troops surrendered it, and his is the loot" - others said. “The cave belongs to don Juan, yes, but to don Juan Vergara, my lord, and his are the goods that are in it” –said the others. The only thing everyone agreed on was that the cave belonged to Don Juan.