Conventico caves

Conventico caves

The Conventico Caves are located in the Muralla de la Cruz, inside the First Fortified Place of the Melilla’s Old City. The Caves were formed naturally and they are believed to have been used by the Phoenicians when they founded the town of Rusadir, and were subsequently used by Romans, Arabs and Spaniards.

It is in the 18th Century and ordered by the Sultan Sidi Mohammed Ben Abdalah when the Caves gained great importance, from December 1774 to March 1775, as a hiding place for religious images taken from the nearby church of the Purisima Concepcion, as well as for military and religious authorities and other families from Melilla.

Many restoration projects have been carried out in the Caves to preserve them from the ravages of time. The two main problems were the precarious condition of the cliff where the Muralla de la Cruz is located on and the vault in the second level, which is less than 30cm away from the pavement of the road. Additionally, a large cavity located at sea level, with a diameter of 20m and a height of 25m, posed another threat to the caves. These problems led the city to carry out several works to preserve the caves, the first of which were carried out from 1993-1995, resulting in the impressive Parabolic Arch which reaches the sea. Persisting problems led to more several works from 1998 to 2000, including the total restoration of the Second Level, the largest and most unknown of the three, and its connection to the Third Level, which was historically separated from the other two.

Another important project involved is the building of a large stone stairway to the cliff, which had two different purposes: facilitating entrance to the Trapana Cove, which had previously been inaccessible by land, and serving as a support to the Wall itself, protecting its weather-worn rocky outer perimeter.

Address and schedule of visits
Church Street 2-4-52001 Melilla
Phone: 952680929-Fax: 952686089

Winter timetable: from October 1 to May 30, from Tuesday to Saturday, both included.

Morning
1 pass from 10:30 h. pass 2nd from 11:30 h. 12:30 pm. 3rd pass
Afternoon
1st pass 16:45 h. 2nd pass 17:45 h. 3rd pass 18:45 h.
Sunday mornings
1st pass 10:45 h. 2nd pass 11:45 h. 12:45 pm. 3rd pass

Passes are 1 hour
Mondays closed.

Summer time: from June 1 to September 30

Morning
1st pass 10:45 h. 2nd pass 11:45 h. 12:45 pm. 3rd pass
Afternoon
1st pass 17:45 h. 2nd pass 18:45 h. 3rd pass 19:45 h.
Sunday mornings
1st pass 10:45 h. 2nd pass 11:45 h. 12:45 pm. 3rd pass

Mondays closed.