Torca (The Depression) of Mollina, (Unique Site)
Recommended month to visit it: April.
Abrigo de los Porqueros [Pigmen's Haven], Cueva de los Órganos [Cave of the Organs], Sima del Soldado [Chasm of the Soldier], Cueva de la Higuera [Cave of the Fig Tree], Cueva del Almirez [Cave of the Mortar]... evocative words that stimulate our imagination causing fantasies to take control of the mind. Perhaps some bandolero [bandit] made of this his vantage point; not a single other place to watch over the lands of the bright provinces in bright days.
We are in the Sierra de la Camorra, in Mollina, a magnificent enclave of a smooth topography, covered by dense vegetation which hides numerous hollow spaces, testimony of ancient settlements.
One of the most representative elements is a sinkhole or circular depression with a sheer rim. The sinkhole creates its own microclimate, fully aware that the elder entrusted it with the safety of their cattle.
- Parking – Trail start: 353271 / 4116084
- Torca de Mollina: 352720 / 4115827
In geological terms a depression (torca) is a circular hollow with craggy borderlines on its territory. These different types of caverns are both chasms, but can be differentiated in two types: the first group has got very craggy and abrupt walls, meanwhile the second is smoother and without any slopes.
The mountains of the Sierra de la Camorra extend within the municipal borders of Mollina, an important natural spot, whose highest peak is 780 meters high. This mountain range of eight square kilometres shows a rounded relief and is lightly covered by dense vegetation, Mediterranean brushwood and other scrub land. This is what makes discovering entrances to the cavern so difficult. The lower level is repopulated with pine trees and on its fields olive trees and vineyards are dominating.
Formed of limestone and dolomite stone from the Jurassic Era, the Sierra de la Camorra is enclosed by the so-called ‘Beatic Range' (Cordillera Bética) in its external areas. Its situation is privileged. On perfect days you can see five provinces from its highest peak: Cadiz, Cordoba, Granada, Malaga and Seville.
The dense vegetation and wide spread fauna define a territory that is perfect for hiking. Thirty caves with difficult access stand out. Most of them are on private property and of great speleological interest, such as the ‘Organs of the Mortar' (Órganos del Almirez), the ‘Fig tree' (La Higuera), the ‘Soldier's Chasm' (La Sima del Soldado), the ‘Small Rose' (La Rosa Chica), the ‘Rooks' (La Grajas) or the ‘Swineherd's Shelter' (El Abrigo de los Porqueros).
Among the caves that were inhabited in the Neolithic, important archaeological remains were found, for example in the caves La Goteras and La Higuera, and cave paintings representing human figures in the cave Abrigo de los Porqueros. A big depression was also discovered among the dense vegetation and a special microclimate.
Habitat inside the cave
This is a big depression with a diameter of 75 metres and an average depth of 16 metres. On the east wall a shelter of 32 metres length with an entrance of 37 meters of width and 10 metres height was found. Inside, some archaeological materials were discovered. Not many items were found, but due to their intact surface, they are very significant. Therefore, among twenty ceramic fragments, some decorated in the typical Andalusian style ‘a la amagra' and others with lines of choppy dots, cords with incisions and furthermore a high quality marble bracelet, decorated with eight grooves with a red paste, were found.