IF it seems too good to be true, then it probably is – rarely if ever was this maximum for prospective buyers truer than earlier this year, when a grand gothic palace in the picturesque town of Cazalla de la Sierra, north-western Andalucia, went on sale for less than a fifth of its actual value.
Erected in the 15th century, the Palacio de San Benito is a luxury hotel aimed at guests who wish ‘to live like kings,’ though it initially served as a hospital for pilgrims travelling on the Camino de Santiago. Its turbulent history includes partial destruction in the earthquake of Lisbon, 1531, as well as a change of hands after the Spanish Civil War.
Various restorations have resulted in a unique architectural blend of the old and the modern, and the property has an estimated value of €5 million.
Manuel Morales, an interior designer who renovated the palace together with art collector Carlos Maranon in the 1990s, could hardly believe his eyes when he saw it for sale online, without the permission of the owner.
“It’s as if you wake up one day and see your home on sale for a price much lower than its actual value,” he told Spanish newspaper ABC.
The advert was taken down after Morales contacted his lawyer, but there has been no news on the fraudster who put it online in the first place.