Cueva de la Yedra in Villarrubia de Santiago, Spain

Villarrubia de Santiago, a quaint town in the province of Toledo located approximately an hour from Madrid, harbors a secret that has remained concealed from the public for centuries: La Cueva de la Yedra. Recently renovated, this cave is now open to visitors.

The cave’s architecture is remarkable, featuring a circular chamber adorned with columns. Interestingly, this circular room is encircled by nine columns, with an additional central column. However, rather surprisingly, these columns do not support the cave’s ceiling; they serve merely as a decorative element without any known purpose.

While the cave’s beginnings and purpose are shrouded in mystery, it appears to have been designed as a gathering spot. The prevailing theory suggests the cave may have served as a meeting space for a clandestine organization or fraternal order, however, the possibility of it being utilized as an underground synagogue or ancient sanctuary cannot be dismissed. The presence of the columned chamber poses a challenge to this interpretation.

Experts point to its similarities with constructions as old as the Greek tholos. The cave is thought to have been built in the 18th century since it has a series of neoclassical arches, which suggests its function was to give the cave greater dignity and emphasis to hold meetings and gatherings.

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