Torre Cardela is located at more than 1200 metres above sea level, on top of a hill dominated by two larger ones that separate the Río Genil from the Río Guadiana Menor. The town owes its name to the medieval tower that still remains today and is situated above the city centre, from where the road from Guadix to Guadahortuna and Huelma was guarded.
Its main attractions are the Arab tower located on the Cerro del Molino, the Iglesia Parroquial de San José, the Ermita de Santa Catalina and the Casa Grande.
Torre Cardela was made into a village at some point during the Islamic domination, although some archaeological remains in the area indicate the existence of human settlements long before this time. The Arabs called the village ‘Hisn Cardaira’ (literally ‘Castle Cardaira’). It played an important role at the time, as it lay on the border between Granada and Jaén, and meant that it suffered from frequent skirmishes by the Christians.
It was conquered by the Marquis of Cádiz in 1412, but it was retaken by the Moors. It later fell into the hands of the Girones family and eventually the Catholic Monarchs. Since then the village has remained relatively stable and it was not greatly affected by the expulsion of the Moors.
Locally produced vegetables and fruits, such as cherries, are very popular as are olives and olive oil, which are grown and produced in this area. Excellent dishes include Migas, Cordero a la brasa, Guiso de tarbinas, Maimones, Estofaillo and Gachas with honey.
Sausages, cured meats and homemade sausages are other delicacies that you must try.