Setenil de las Bodegas is a town in the province of Cádiz, Spain, famous for its dwellings built into the rock walls of the River Gorge. The houses were built by enlarging the existing caves and adding an external wall.
Setenil is also famous for its meat products, particularly chorizo sausage and pork, as well as its fine pastries, restaurants, and bars.
The present-day Setenil de las Bodegas evolved from a fortified Moorish town. Although the caves have been inhabited since 12 000 years ago, the town started to develop around the 8th century when the Moors arrived on the land. The castle also dates from at least the 12th century.
The town’s Castilian name comes from the Latin phrase Septem nihil (‘seven times nothing’). This phrase refers to the Moorish town’s resistance to Christians who captured the city only after seven sieges. So, the Christian forces expelled the Moorish people in 1484 right after the city fell. The part “de las Bodegas” refers to the town’s once flourishing wineries or bodegas. Unfortunately, these wineries were wiped out by the phylloxera insect infestation of the 1860s.