Lonely Planet Writer

A cave used as a shelter in Roman times has been converted into a luxury guesthouse in rural Spain

If the thought of sleeping in a cave conjures images of a dark, claustrophobic evening spent among bats, check out this rural cave house in southern Spain.

The house isbuilt into the side of a rock quarry.
The house is built into the side of a rock quarry. Image by Ummo Estudio

Located 30 minutes from the city of Córdoba, Cuevas del Pino is a country retreat offering four separate houses for rent. Among them, Casa Tierra is the only one built into the side of a rock quarry. Designed by architectural firm Ummo Estudio, the residence is about 90 square metres, and shatters any preconceived notions of cave dwelling. Inside the solar-powered home, visitors will find a surprisingly light-filled, airy space with a bedroom, bathroom, full kitchen, and washing machine, while outside a small terrace overlooks the lush, peaceful property.

The cave is said to date back to the Roman era.
The cave is said to date back to the Roman era. Image by Ummo Estudio

Archaeologists familiar with the site have noted the cave likely dates back to the Roman era or earlier, according to the home’s website. “This cave was a shelter a long time ago until the present day, when it was rehabilitated according to the contemporary language,” architects Andrés Moreno and Manuel Murillo told Lonely Planet. “The biggest challenge was to find a way to work in such a wonderful natural space using the architecture to achieve a symbiosis between both, and we think we were able to overcome it using simple forms, noble materials and always the respect to maintain the protagonism of nature.”

The house is in the foothills of the Sierra Morena mountains.
The house is in the foothills of the Sierra Morena mountains. Image by Ummo Estudio

The houses are situated on a farm near the base of the Sierra Morena mountains, surrounded by fruit trees, a vegetable garden, and other greenery. Guests can relax by the heated pool, visit the nearby stone quarry caves, join a summer yoga session, or make a day trip to Córdoba to take in the the famed Islamic mosque La Mezquita.

The architects used stone materials for the flooring.
The architects used stone materials for the flooring. Image by Ummo Estudio

Rates for Casa Tierra start at 115€ a night.

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