Cuevas del Almanzora is one of the oldest towns of the province and lying in fertile valley of the Almanzora River.
In the early 19th century silver was discovered in the Sierra Almagrera Mountains. The news spread like wild fire and Cuevas del Almanzora became home to many a fortune hunter. The town got it’s name from the many artificial caves in the nearby hills once inhabited by the miners. This was the start of an age of splendour for the town. The impressive legacy of this silver rush can be seen all around from the elegant family houses of the mining barons to the grand avenues, churches and statues. Many of the grand old houses remain and it is well worth walking around the old town of Cuevas to gaze at the impressive bourgeois architecture, many are still inhabited. A number of these can be found in the Plaza de la Constitución and around the town Hall.
There are many places of interest, especially:
- The Castillo de Cuevas del Almanzora. It is a palace/fortress built in the 16th century in the Gothic style sitting high up in the town. In 1770 it was expanded in the neoclassic style. Within its extensive grounds are the Torre del Homenaje (keep), the Marquis Palace, the Casa de la Tercia and a well. The oldest part is the Torre del Homenaje, thought to be medieval. It is joined to the palace by what was once a drawbridge. The Marquis Palace is a two-storey mansion conceived as a symbol of the military might of the Marquis of Vélez. At present it is the Museum of Contemporary Painting and Sculpture. The Tercia, built in 1773 as a granary, now houses the Cuevas Archaeology Museum on the ground floor and the Archive and Municipal Library on the upper floor.
- The Parish Church de la Encarnación. Founded in the 18th century in the Baroque style it has been protected as a national monument since 1982. The main altar displays a valuable painting of the Last Supper.
- The Hermitage of San Pedro de Alclalá. It houses the image of the patron saint of Cuevas del Almanzora.
- The Convent of San Antonio. Built in1651 in the Baroque style, it is dedicated to San Antonio of Padua and was a charity hospital for more than a century.
- A visit to the cave dwellings is a must. Nearby is the Terrera del Calguerín, five levels of abandoned caves, once inhabited during the silver rush.
- The area around Cuevas del Almanzora is abundant in prehistoric settlements and there are many archaeological sites. Fuente Álamo is the most interesting, found in foothills of Sierra de Almagro, it was inhabited between 1900BC and 1300BC.