BOASTING a 30ft swimming pool, a hard tennis court and mesmerising gardens modelled on the Alhambra’s expansive grounds, life at the Palacete de Cazulas has never been so good.
For while the Palacete today hosts weddings, conferences and yoga retreats, the ‘one of a kind’ property has a bloody and salacious past.
Steeped in history the Palacete has borne witness to everything from the murder of a lotharious aristocrat to the invasion of Franco’s forces during the civil war.
As British manager Richard Russell-Cowan explains, the attraction of the property – which is on the market for a cool €4.5 million – is as much its history as it is its buildings.
“The Palacete has history all around it, every inch of it is steeped in intrigue,” Richard says. “A buyer would be paying for a beautiful property but would also be buying into the Palacete’s rich and colourful past.”
He added: “It truly is a one off, there is nowhere else like it.”
Just one hour from Granada and half-an-hour from the beach, the Palacete is placed atop of a windy road in Otívar in the Sierra de Cazulas.
It was first built in 1492 by Christian nobleman Don Rodrigo de Ulloa who acquired the land from a Moor, just months after the last Moorish king of Granada ceded Granada to Christian King Ferdinand.
Don Rodrigo eventually went on to become mayor of the Castillo de Almunecar and stayed at the Palacete until his death in the mid 16th century.
The estate then passed into the hands of the noble De Castro family who remained there for over 400 years.
The most infamous member of the De Castro clan was Don Paco de Castro, a loyal friend to the King who had ‘Droigt du Seigneur’ (the power to hang people from a gibbet which he placed on a nearby hill above the property for the whole village to see).
A notorious womaniser, Don Paco met a bloody end when he took advantage of one local lady too many, to the anger of a jealous lover.
Don Paco’s daughter the Marquesa de Montanaro y Balsinas was the last of the de Castro lineage to live in the Palecete. During her time at the estate she had to endure a raid on the premises by Franco forces where furniture, paintings and religious artifacts were burnt in front of the main entrance.
The Marquesa and her staff escaped down the river and spent four years hiding in Madrid before returning and renovating the building.
The last two decades have been somewhat less dramatic at the Palacete which has allowed British couple Richard and Brenda to turn the estate into a successful business.
Previously operating as a hotel, the Palacete is now a rental property and is often used to host weddings of up to 150 people.
It is also a popular spot for bird watchers, star gazers, musicians, artists and yogis. Wild flower collectors are also avid visitors with 400 different species in the area, while the estate’s 2,500m2 orchard boasts white and red sweet vines, avocado, cherimoya, bananas and mango.
As well as the 12-double bedroom main building, the estate also has an adjoining cottage with three twin bedded rooms and ensuite bathrooms and a 500m2 barn.
It even has a museum, library as well as numerous large terraces.
• For more information visit www.cazulas.com or call 619 040 309 / 686 929 288