Muralla Ciclópea de Ibros

THE CYCLOPEAN WALL OF IBROS


FavoriteLoadingAñadir a mi cuaderno de viaje

The Cyclops were mythological beings with only one eye who belonged to a race of giants. They were strong, with fiery tempers and quick emotions. According to the mythology they were great builders and artisans. When walls made from great blocks of hewn stone, like the wall at Ibros, began to be discovered in the Middle Ages they came to be called ‘Cyclopean structures’. The conclusion reached was that only Cyclops possessed the necessary skill and strength to build them.

Read more

It was Manuel de Góngora who discovered this magnificent wall on his travels through the province of Jaén in 1860, declaring for the first time that it was of Iberian construction. A professor of Universal History and Inspector of Antiquities, he had made a spectacular discovery: he pioneered the identification of the Iberian villages of the Upper Guadalquivir.

More recent studies have drawn parallels between this type of Cyclopean structures and towers and fortified areas that are believed to have spanned the 2nd and 1st centuries BC. In these late stages of Iberian culture, the Romans are now found in lands around the Guadalquivir. Their new models of occupation are imposed on the landscape. It seems that these great defensive structures correspond to strategic sites that demarcate and control territories, roads, water sources and even agricultural land.

The Cyclopean Wall of Ibros, which is today part of the village, has endured to this day as a vital architectural component of Iberian culture. Much can be learnt about those people from these great stones, which were originally laid without mortar: their fears, technological advances, battles and wars, conquests, social transformations etc. The wall is situated in the northern area of the historical town centre, in the district known as el señorio. From a strategic point of view its location is perfectly logical, as it defended the most vulnerable area closest to the course of the river.

It is one of the most famous prehistoric monuments in Jaén province. A great construction, primitively formed by a quadrangle ringing the perimeter of the settlement. Today only one 12 and 13 metre long corner remains. The enormous stone blocks are 3.60 metres long and 1.70 metres wide, and no mortar was used in the construction.

Nothing further was heard about the location until the Christian era when it was taken in 1157. It subsequently fell once again into Arab hands, until being definitively conquered by Fernando III, the Saint. During the reign of Felipe IV the town’s defences consisted of a small castle and a wall that reused the Ibero-Roman Cyclopean wall.

The old Ibros castle, along with the rest of the fortifications, were progressively abandoned. After the taking of Granada in 1492 there was no immediate external enemy and the development of artillery rendered these fortifications unnecessary.

Advice for visitors

It is best to start your visit from Plaza del Ayuntamiento. If you walk towards Calle Grados you will reach the site of the wall on Calle Pilar.

Contact

The Cyclopean wall of Ibros forms part of the historic town centre of Ibros, and is situated on the corner of Calle Pilar and Calle del Castillo s/n. 23450-Ibros

As this is an external visit no reservations are needed.

Other services

ÚBEDA Y BAEZA

Ibros is in close proximity to the World Heritage cities of Úbeda and Baeza. The most outstanding Renaissance monuments in southern Europe can be visited in these cities. Further information is available on the website


SABIOTE

Villa Medieval and Renaissance ville

Location and access

Ibros is reached from the JA-4101 road, which leads directly to Calle Pilar where the Cyclopean wall can be found.