Orce, pronounced Orca

From the lounge room window at Sulphur Creek one can see the Spirit of Tasmania on the horizon, the cruise ships that dock at Burnie port, fishing boats, yachts and the odd kayaker and snorkeller!! And then in the water one can see orcas, dolphins, whales, rays and plenty of fish. 


Orce, (Orca) is a very small village in the middle of Spain, population about 1200. There are three active archeological sites around the town and carbon dating will tell you that Europes oldest civilisation lived here about 1.4 million years ago. It's a bit hard for me to fathom that. 

Of course it still has a few churches, museums and today two little 2CV's. They are so cute, especially this blue one.  


The oldest church, the Fortress of seven towers was first built in the 11 th Century as a Castle, when the Moors were protecting their assets. Centuries later the Christians came and claimed it as a Cathedral.  

Part of the fortress can be seen in the Background of this photo.  


this is one of the other more recently built churches in Orce 


 Orce is truly rich in historic and architectural heritage, as can be seen with the Segura Palace of the 16th - 17th century, the church of the 17th century and many stately homes. This photo is of the Palace,  built for one of the African royal families. The iron work in the balustrading is very heavy duty.  


Ancient stuff. A really interesting museum, I was their only visitor for the day.  


Evolution. The red man, homo ergaster ( Hombre de Orce).  Others to the right are from civilisations in Africa and Asia, much older than Europes. 


This tourist road runs from Granada to Puebla de Don Fadrique. I rode along much of this trail, spending nights at both ends and one in the middle too.  


Some note from the ' net.

The people in the main village of Orce and in the three nearby hamlets of Fuente Nueva, Venta Micena and Pozo de la Rueda enjoy a simple rural life. The prehistoric relics include the much discussed and significant historical remains of a skull, which has become known as "El Hombre de Orce" (Orce Man). There are also fascinating and significant remains of an ancient city from the Bronze Age.

There are very interesting ancient archaeological sites at Orce: Fuente Nueva, Barranco del Paso, Barranco León and Venta Micena. This last find of the cranial remains, is now known as, "Hombre de Orce" (Orce Man).

Many ancient stone utensils have been found and there are thought to be many human fossils still to be discovered. To date, the Fuente Nueva site is the most important of the four in Orce, for the large amount of flint, dolomitic limestone which are related to rhinoceros, hippopotamus, elephants and other mammals.

As well as these traces of ancient species, there are also archeological remains, on of great interest being 'el cerro de la virgen' (the hill of the virgin), where you can see the remains of a Bronze Age village dating back to 2,500BC.