Situated on the left bank of the Río Cubillas on the edge of the Montes Orientales and the Vega de Granada, Deifontes is located next to the famous spring that sometimes reaches a flow of a thousand litres per second. Its name comes from Latin, meaning ‘fountains of God’. In the Muslim period, it was called Dialfates, later renamed Daifontes. This name is included in the geographic dictionaries of the 19th century, where it is stated the name comes from a mixture of Arabic and Latin that literally means ‘place of the fountains’.
The entire town is partly set within the Hacienda Deifontes, an area of about 22 km2 covering over half the current municipal area. From here you can enjoy excellent views of the surrounding area, such as of the municipality of Iznalloz, where the Cueva del Agua is located. It is interesting to walk around the town, which still retains its original appearance, as there are no modern buildings and the old station still in use.
The oldest archaeological remains discovered in the municipality, in the hamlet of Las Erillas, point to the existence of an Iberian town. Here the remains of a necropolis and numerous ceramic vessels were found. In the Venta del Nacimiento, along the old road from Granada, Roman columns that were probably part of a temple dedicated to the gods of water were also discovered. There is also an ancient Roman dam in the town known amongst the locals as ‘La Romana’, built in the 1st and 2nd centuries AD.
The only visible trace from the Muslim period is the watchtower standing on the foothills of the mountains and just above the town. It was used to control the pass between Iznalloz and Granada through the Valle de Cubillas valley. The remains of a medieval necropolis in the Barrio de Las Islas Canarias (a part of Deifontes) have also been discovered suggesting the existence of a Prehistoric town.
After the Reconquista, the village was given to the Abbey of Sacromonte in Granada, whose coat of arms (a six-pointed star formed by two superposed equilateral triangles) would then be adopted by the town. In the 19th century, with the confiscation of Mendizábal, the estate was bought at a public auction by the Countess of Antillón.
In 1944 it was still owned by the Pérez de Herrasti family. The Marquis of Albayda sold it to the National Insurance Institute, and it was the Society of Farmers of Deifontes that distributed it amongst its members.
A very typical recipe is called rain soup (Sopa de lluvia). During the celebration on 1st November each year, the locals meet at the bonfire in the town square and roast chestnuts. A pilgrimage is held that leads to the edge of the Río Cubillas, where popular dishes are prepared, such as the Gachas con pimiento or the Cazuela de Semana Santa.
The local pastries are delicious, and homemade recipes of olive oil buns, muffins, Borrachuelos, egg doughnuts, butter doughnuts and Tortas de pringue or Tortas de carda are all worth trying.