A name like Sacromonte cannot be given to just anyplace. Don’t you think?
Of course not. You will find few places similar to the old gipsy neighbourhood of Granada, and not only because it has spectacular views of the Alhambra, which it does, but because to begin with, it is said that its caves were already inhabited ten thousand years ago.
What is certain, for sure, is that the Arabs of al-Andalus lived in them; and then the gipsies, who had landed on the peninsula in the fifteenth century, and by 1530 were already settled in this suburb of Granada.
During the following four hundred years, Sacromonte was going to have a gipsy accent, and it was going to fill up with more and more people until it became a popular area and one of the most genuine homes of Flamenco. But the sixties of the twentieth century were not a very prodigious decade for the neighbourhood. Floods left everything destroyed, and people had to accommodate as they could in other parts of the city. Shortly after, the hippies of the time would try to recover the caves and bring to Sacromonte, their flower power philosophy, but apparently, they weren’t very handy with the structural engineering, and that is a far as they went.
But you probably are still wondering where does such a loud and sonorous name like this one come from. Well, you’ll see: Granada has a long tradition of legends about hidden treasures, and there must be so many that they appear without even looking for them. That happened in 1587, while they were doing some works on the cathedral. Knocking things down and digging things up, a box appeared which was protected from humidity with bitumen and plumb, and for that reason, the writings that were in the box were called Plumbeos Books.
It turned out that they told the hardships of the first Christians that were in these lands, whom Nero turned into martyrs in the terrible and unpleasant way. And it turned out that one of them was San Cecilio, an Arab who would have been the first one to spread the new religion in Granada.
As, according to the Plumbeos Books, all those things happened in the Iliputiano mount, they began to place crosses in the area, and soon there were so many that the Iliputiano became a sacred mount and its name was changed to, can you guess it? Sacromonte.
The thing is that by the time the Pope in Rome said that both the Plumpeos and the story they told was false, well hey, nobody wanted to change the name of this place anymore!