1884 San Isidro and the Bell Tower Ruins
San Isidro Church today after reconstruction
1884 Periana views
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