JURASSIC CABRA, a new Interpretive Centre for Sierras Subbéticas UNESCO GLOBAL GEOPARK

Last May 18th, in the frame of the 10th European Geoparks Week in Sierras Subbéticas (Cordova, Spain), a new Interpretive Centre was opened.

Jurassic Cabra focuses on the meaning of local rocks, fossils and processes to explain the Earth’s History. Sample donations, especially those from the friar Guillermo Triano, who had compiled them for decades on trips and fieldtrips, have encouraged the City Council of Cabra to design this centre, under the advice of Sierras Subbéticas UNESCO Global Geopark. The information inside the showcases is interpreted by the very same emblem of the Geopark, an ammonite. This fossil, sometimes in a humorous way, unravels aspects of the more distant past of the region, like the characteristics of some of the habitats and inhabitants of ancient Sea of Tethys, the process of fossilization, etc., and highlights the importance to include geodiversity in natural heritage conservation.

This centre also contains a small laboratory to observe samples under a microscope or to make fossils casts.

The centre is located 200 hundred meters from the Oil Greenway, the old railway now used for biking and hiking. It represents both touristic and educational resource, and can be complemented with hiking activities in the Geopark, or with the urban trail “Cabra, Jurassic City”.

The municipality of Cabra has long tradition in geological issues. Already in 1926 Cabra welcomed with great devotion and pride hundred expeditionary of the XIV International Geological Congress, which was held in Madrid (the only one held in Spain), who participated in the pre-congress fieldtrips through the Betic Cordillera. In 1929, the Picacho of the Virgen de la Sierra was declared a National Site of Natural Interest, one of the first protection figures established in Spain.

In 2006 the Natural Park Sierras Subbéticas entered the Global Geoparks Network. The geopark is known worldwide for its outcrops of Jurassic-Cretaceous series that yield a high quantity and diversity of invertebrate fossils, mainly ammonites in facies ammonitico rosso.