History | Cortijo Rural Azahar | Málaga

1884 San Isidro  and the Bell Tower Ruins

San Isidro Church today after reconstruction

1884 Periana views

Periana today

Alfonso XIII visiting


Hello friends, my name is José Manuel, I'm the owner of the Azahar Complex and I would like you to travel with me, back in time, to tell you the history of these houses.

The beginning goes back to 1870, when my great-grandfather built these houses, on the south side of a small hamlet called Cortijo Blanco.

The original distribution of the houses was divided into two floors. The top floor was where they lived, with bedrooms, kitchen and terrace. The ground floor housed the stables where the oxen, mules and cows were kept. Surrounding the south side rose a 2 metre stone wall within lived hens, rabbits, turkeys and one or two goats in perfect harmony.

Below the stone wall, covering about 6000m2, were the orchards and vegetable gardens, where you could find fruit trees such as pomegranates, quinces, pears, peaches and above all, orange trees because year after year, they were the only ones that survived the passing of time and from there comes the name 'Azahar' meaning orange blossom. They also grew different types of vegetables, all watered by the small stream that bordered the estate.

These houses have within their history, an event that took place on the night of the 25th December, 1884. An earthquake shook the land, taking by surprise the inhabitants of the hamlet who, panic-stricken, ran out of their homes, watching as their roofs and walls fell down, gathering on a nearby threshing floor, away from the destruction. My great-grandfather, seeing his house remain intact from the earthquake, invited everyone in to seek shelter from the cold night. The house withstood another two earthquakes during the night. This story has been preserved in the family, passed down from generation to generation.

These houses are still owned by my family till today. In 1998, my wife and I suggested a project, restoring the houses for rural tourism. Five years later, we saw the fruit of our labour. On the 9th August 2003, we received our first guests.

The houses have kept their original structure of stone walls and mortar, more than 80cms thick, which leave us to imagine another era, when life was simple, time wasn't important and stress didn't exist, and today, they still transmit that peace as if time stopped within their walls.

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