CAUGHT up in a long-running legal battle, one of Ronda’s most famous landmarks is being allowed to crumble away.
The 13th-Century Moorish Palace, perched on the edge of the El Tajo gorge, has now fallen into a state of disrepair.
Despite fears it may eventually succumb to the 200-foot drop below, the legal battle to secure the future of the Casa del Rey Moro rumbles on.
The palace may soon be put up for auction to settle an alleged 150,000-euro debt between a disgruntled creditor and the building’s owners.
It is reported that the creditor is demanding the sum after proposed bid to turn the palace into a five-star hotel in the year 2000 never transpired.
However, Jochen Knie, head of the Casa del Rey Moro group, insisted that “it would be completely unfair if the historical building were put up for auction”.
Knie blamed Ronda town hall for thwarting the group’s attempts to transform the palace into a luxury hotel.
He added: “We still want to remain true to our initial agreement but at the moment our hands our tied. If officials allow us, then we will do it.”
Meanwhile, amid the legal wrangling, the palace is tottering ever closer to the Tajo’s edge.
Ronda resident Wendy Burrows, who lives opposite the palace, explained: “No doubt about it, it’s on the point of collapse.
“Surely this is a crime against historical heritage, it really is an absolute national treasure and it would be a tragedy if it were to fall down.”
And a landscape gardener who has worked in the palace’s gardens shares the same worries as Burrows.
Luis Coronel said: “It is in a very bad way, at the moment nobody can ever enter it due to the risk.
“It is getting worse every day, it is completely saturated with water, cracks are appearing and there is a lot of movement within the foundations.”