Sacromonte Granada has got to be one of my family’s and mine favorite spots in Spain. Not only is it the home of Flamenco and the Gitanos (gypsies), its unique layout is incredibly different than anywhere else. Including the cave houses.
- Sacromonte is a neighborhood of Granada in Spain.
- It’s name comes from the nearby Sacromonte Abbey.
- The abbey was founded in 1600 on the hill of Valparaiso outside the old city.
- The church was built over catacombs (originally mine workings of Roman date).
- The slopes of the hills around it form what is known as the gitano (gypsy) quarter of the city.
- Every year on the 1st of February the neighborhood celebrates Fiesta of San Cecilio.
- This is a celebration when large crowds gather to celebrate the city’s first bishop and Granada’s patron saint, Caecilius of Elvira (San Cecilio).
- This festival first started as a way of preservation, propagation and dissemination of the legend of Saint Caecilius. In the 17th century this was key to redefine Granada’s historic identity, replacing its Moorish past with fabricated (or re-discovered) accounts of Christian origins.
- The legend states that the catacombs are the site of Saint Caecilius’s martyrdom, and the abbey preserves the supposed relics of Caecilius and eleven other saints’ bones.
- It also possesses the inscribed lead plaques and books that were found with the supposed relics. These are known as the Lead Books of Sacromonte.
- The area became famous for Flamenco music and dancing, but major floods and forced evacuations in the 1960s.
- It started recovering after the 90’s and is now a tourist attraction, and a centre of Gitano culture.
Caecilius of Elvira
- Saint Caecilius is the patron saint of Granada, Spain.
- Tradition makes him a Christian missionary of the 1st century, during the Apostolic Age.
- He evangelized the town of Iliberri or Iliberis (Elvira/Granada), and became its first bishop.
- He is one of the group of Seven Apostolic Men (siete varones apostólicos), seven Christian clerics ordained in Rome by Saints Peter and Paul and sent to evangelize Spain.