Covetes del Colomer


Useful Information

Location: Carrer Mossén Hilario, 70, 46880 Bocairent
(38.767657, -0.607065)
Open: All year Mon-Fri 10:30-12, Sat, Sun, Hol 12-14,
[2021]
Fee: Adults EUR 2.
[2021]
Classification: SubterraneaKeller
Light: electric.
Dimension:  
Guided tours: self guided
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: no
Bibliography:  
Address: Covetes del Colomer, Carrer Mossén Hilario, 70, 46880 Bocairent, Valencia.
Tourist-Info Bocairent, Plaça de l'Ajuntament, 2, 46880 Bocairent, Valencia, Tel: +34-962-90-50-62. E-mail:
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

2009 large area of the exterior rock face collapses causing serious change in appearance.
11-FEB-2012 caves restored, converted into an interpretation centre, and opened to the public.

Description

The Covetes del Colomer (The Colomer Caves) are so-called Moorish Caves, storage rooms cut into the rock during the Moorish Occupation of Spain. As a result of their accessibility these caves have been used from the time of their construction during the Muslim reign almost up to the present day. Originally built as agricultural storage deposits, namely granaries, they were later used as stables, as an air raid shelter during the Civil War, and as a dovecote for bird breeding. This caused substantial modifications to the original structure. Originally each window gave entry into an independent interior chamber. Later the self-contained units were connected by removing the separating walls and form now a huge passage with a series of windows on one side. In 2009 a large area of the exterior rock face collapsed, which changed the appearance of the caves completely. Subsequently the caves where restored, including the recuperation of a small natural spring called Saint Vincent’s Spring.

In the pre-Saharan area of the Maghreb, on the southern face of the Alto Altal and in the Anti-Atlas similar acves can bee seen. Tamazight (Berber) people built quite similar caverns. Agadir (Morocco) or gorfas (Tunisia) have been in use until the early 20th century. Probably Berber agricultural communities settled in this area during the Islamic period abd brought this tradition with them. The caves were abandoned between the 12th century and the beginning of the 13th century,

There are several groups of such caves in this area, the nearby Covetes dels Moros are also open to the public. Between the towns of Ontinyent, Bocairent and Alfafara a total of 13 groups have been documented. Notable caves are at the head of the Sellent River (Chella), in the Cabriel River basin (Requena), in the Tuéjar river basin (Chelva) and the Turia river basin (Ademuz). In the rest of the Iberian peninsula, there are more, in the Guadix area, Almería and the upper basin of the Ebro river.

The Colomer Caves were restored and converted into an interpretation centre, and opened to the public in 2012. If you plan to visit caves in the area its a good idea to visit the interpretation centre first.