He restored ancient cave village inside mountain on his own

With 10 abandoned caves in the Bardenas Reales, or badlands, of Navarre, Spain, Ruben Mendi wired, plumbed, floored and painted them and turned them into naturally heated and cooled housing. Today, he rents them out to visitors, but back in 1850, during the “cave housing boom,” these were affordable, self-dug, off-grid homes for the residents of Valtierra.

Mendi explains that the land was owned by the town, and as long as one was willing to dig, one could excavate themselves a home. Since these were mostly farms, or day laborers, the work was done in spare time, so it could take a year to dig a starter home: kitchen plus bedroom. As the family grew, new rooms were dug out. The naturally-insulated mountainside keeps the caves at a comfortable temperature year round.

The highly compacted mountain (due to its millions of years of existence) guarantees the safety of the caves. A geologist who did a risk assessment on the structures said that an 8.0 earthquake would knock down the local homes, but the caves would remain standing.

Mendi showed us one of the smaller starter homes – just a bedroom, kitchen and bathroom -, as well as the extra large “Palomar” (“Pigeon House”). Palomar was built in 1880 by a local man named Cenón Urbeneta, who spent all of his life digging the 250-square-meter (2690 square feet) cave home.

Las Bardenas Caves: https://www.lasbardenas.com/
Bardenas Reales natural park: https://www.visitnavarra.es/es/bardenas-reales

On *faircompanies: https://faircompanies.com/videos/giant-pumpkin-grower-restores-cluster-of-abandoned-cave-homes/

19 Replies to “He restored ancient cave village inside mountain on his own”

  1. This will come back because housing price is skyrocketting…everywhere in Europe, buying a house is harder and harder even for middle class…(and i know in US is the same)
    Add to this, it's way more ecologic.

  2. Jesus was born in a cave and he's still not respected by most of the world, nothing new.

  3. Amazing 🤩, Thank You so much for the history, the learning of other cultures and people. Thank you for this.

  4. kinda reminds me of the Khalil Gibran museum in Bsharri Lebanon

  5. Thank you! I learn so much from your channel. I never knew about this history until now – truly interesting.

  6. Oh gourd, the post electrical is as ingenious as the whole thing. The sum of the parts = the result ! 👏👏

  7. I've seen, and stayed in, similar cave dwelling in Cappadocia and locals still live there – along with tourists (so quiet!), Visited the caves of Roma in Granada, Spain as well where most are occupied. Must be lots more sites around our globe. Ingenious use of landscape and materials. Please let me know is any of you are visited similar cave dwellings are where they were located.

  8. WOW! Y'all always show the most interesting places. It is hard for me/us to comprehend what life was like or is like even now all over the world! Your videos are amazing! I have watched y'all for years and learn and enjoy each one of them. God bless

  9. Absolutely amazing Ruben did a great job modernizing the caves.

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