CAVE MONASTERY COMPLEX
This monumental complex is privately owned. It is only open to the public on certain dates or for specific events.
This monumental complex has been dated between the 8th and 10th centuries, most likely around the 9th-10th centuries using a Mozarabic chronology and according to comparative analyzes with other similar ones in our environment.
Without ruling out the possibility of a previous hermitic origin, it must be the archaeological discipline that settles the uncertainty.
These rock caves are therefore the oldest existing monument in Coín apart from the numerous deserted areas found in its municipal area, where it also happens to be the most important artistic-monumental structure.
This monumental complex has the particularity of having been excavated in the same limestone rock, carving out many aesthetic and functional details: such as horseshoe arches, niches, buttresses, simulated gabled roofs, a bench for the liturgical service, a triumphal arch to separate the nave and the presbytery of the church, different types of vaults, ventilation galleries, escape routes.
In particular, says Professor Ríu, it is possible to suppose the existence of a hemispherical dome, in front of the northernmost vaulted nave, with tubes or ventilation chimneys that would reach the upper surface.
According to the architectural design, seen in plan, it is a set of three main naves and two accessory ones, similar to the one existing in Ronda and Archidona, also known as a set of unique naves. To a greater resemblance, the three main ships of the Coín group all run in the same direction, as also occurs in the Archidona group.
The Rupestrian Caves of this locality fit within the five existing suburban churches and monastic complexes in the province of Malaga, in which an organized and relatively important community is supposed, in the opinion of Professor Puertas Tricas.
Text: Fundación García Agüera
You can visit the Fundación García Aguera website where you will find reports and more detailed information. You can also download here the edition of the informative diptych «The discovery of rock caves», prepared by the Foundation itself.
Here you will find "The 10th century recreation and current state", a sheet that shows a recreation of the state of the monumental complex, prepared by the Department of Culture in 2017.