Astoundingly beautiful location in the mountains
On the edge of the Sierra Nevada Natural Park
In the heart of a traditional Spanish village
Amazing views across the valley to the Med.
Unique, fascinating, traditional, Moorish house
Sensitively modernised retaining special features
Self-contained apartment within the house
Established holiday letting income from apartment
Within reach of Mediterranean, Granada & Malaga
Very low property/water taxes - 200 euros pa.
Casa de la Fuente, (House of the Fountain), is a traditional Alpujarran village house facing onto a small square, or plazuela. There is a lovely old fountain on the front wall of the house and intriguing narrow lanes wind off the small square to other parts of the village. One of the most fascinating houses in the village, Casa de la Fuente is a remarkable example of the local architecture – rustic, quirky and characterful. It’s a charming and interesting house in which to live with the most amazing views from many of the rooms.
The upper floor provides the main living accommodation, currently arranged as two sitting rooms, two bedrooms, dining room and kitchen, study, large landing, bathroom and two terraces. On the lower floor is the entrance hall/library, a large garage with workshop and wood store and a spacious self-contained apartment consisting of a separate entrance hall, sitting room, dining room/kitchen, bedroom, bathroom and terrace. Below this floor are the cuadras or stables formerly used to keep the animals. These extend the full length and breadth of the house above. The present living accommodation is 260 sq.metres with an additional 130 sq.metres of basement space.
The house is very old. Exactly how old is difficult to say since property records for this area were either lost during the Civil War or simply have not existed until relatively recently. We estimate it was built more than 150 years ago. It appears to comprise two former houses which have been combined into one. The western end of the house is built in an older style with more rustic features than the eastern end which shows some attempts at sophistication, especially in the elaborate staircase and the encaustic tiling.
The construction is traditional Alpujarran, the walls built of stone and rubble, plastered and painted white. The roof and internal floors are supported on whole chestnut beams and all the original windows are old oak, well-weathered but solid with panelled shutters for privacy and shade.
The roof is flat and covered with launa, a traditional local roofing material, over a waterproof membrane with slate and stone edging. The house is detached and ‘very roughly’ rectangular, running east-west along one side of Calle La Cruz for a distance of around 20 metres. On the north side the house has two storeys. However, the ground drops away quite steeply north to south so there is an additional basement floor, (formerly stables and animal quarters), beneath the main house and above ground on the south side, making the house three storeys in height at the back.
The garage has been converted from what was once a village shop and the original shop shelving is largely still in place. Off the main garage space is a further room used mainly as a wood store from which a large trapdoor in the floor leads down steps to a further storage room beneath the garage. Although this room has a slate floor and electricity, the head height between the beams is slightly less than 6 feet so the floor would need to be excavated if it was to be brought into use for anything other than storage. Car access to the garage is through double doors to the eastern end of the house alongside an attractive stone fountain providing potable spring water. The garage is large enough to provide workshop and storage space and has several power points.
From this entrance hall a central staircase leads up to a small landing where it divides into two staircases which in turn lead to a large landing. (There is a useful walk-in under-stairs cupboard.) The landing is one of the most attractive areas in the house, having a high, beamed ceiling, large French windows looking out over the mountains and divided from the stairs by ornamental hanging arches in the Moorish style. From the landing, on the right, double doors lead down a step into the sitting room which has French windows to the south. There is an old built-in glazed cupboard and smaller double window on the north wall. The floor is original encaustic tiles in ‘tumbling block’ pattern and there is a traditionally-built unit to take television and video equipment. From this room further double doors lead to the main bedroom which has two windows, one of them a French window with a small iron balcony looking out over the square at the front of the house. There are two double built-in wardrobes, constructed of traditional brickwork, with decorative doors made from an Indian screen. This room also has original encaustic tiles, this time in an attractive border pattern in soft greens and greys. Also from the sitting room a door leads to a small room currently used as a study which could easily be converted to an ensuite shower room for the main bedroom.
On the opposite side of the landing, matching double doors lead to the book room (or second sitting room) which is probably the oldest room in the house. This room’s external window embrasure is shaped like a Moorish arch and has curious old iron hinges. Equally ancient double-panelled doors lead off this room to a further large bedroom. A large rustic single door leads from the bookroom to the kitchen and dining room. Originally two rooms, this space is now divided by an archway separating the dining area from the kitchen. At the dining room end is the original large beamed fireplace. Within this at one side is an interesting old built-in unit which must originally have been a cooking range. There is now a wood burning stove installed in the fireplace. At the kitchen end the working areas and cupboards have been constructed in traditional brickwork topped with marble. A glazed door leads off the kitchen to a small terrace with plumbing for a dishwasher or washing machine. A second glazed door leads from the kitchen/dining room to an azotea, or covered terrace, formerly used for drying vegetables etc but which is now used as an outdoor sitting or dining area. Another door from the dining room leads to a small vestibule off which is a walk-in larder and the main bathroom which has been furnished with traditional built-in units.
From the main entrance hall a door leads into the sitting room of the self-contained apartment. The sitting room is a generous size and has a wood-burning stove beneath a traditional chimney canopy. This room leads into the kitchen/dining room, also a good size, in which there is a large open (working) fireplace. There is also a large walk-in larder. From the kitchen a door opens on to a very pretty and private terrace with views to the south. The terrace is shaded by a canopy and covered by a mature crimson bougainvillea. A stone sink has been installed in one corner to provide water for the plants. At the other end of the kitchen a door leads to the bedroom, a long, cool, beamed room with a window looking over the terrace. Behind the kitchen is the bathroom, with a modern bathroom suite and plumbing for a washing machine. Lastly there is a separate entrance hall with three steps up to a private (and very rustic) entrance door. This room is also quite large and could be adapted to provide a second bedroom. In the hall a trapdoor in the floor conceals a flight of stairs leading down to the basement.
The apartment is linked to the main house by an internal door which means both living areas can be combined. Alternatively the internal door may be locked to separate off the apartment for private lettings.
The basement - this lower floor has not been converted into living space. It covers the entire ground floor area of the main house (approximately 130 square metres) and is still divided for mule stabling, chickens etc. There are windows to the south side but natural daylight is partly restricted by the neighbouring house except at the western end where double doors give direct access to outside.
The house has mains water and electricity supplies. Central heating (butane-fuelled) has been installed to the upper floor and wood burners provide additional heating. Air-conditioning has also been installed upstairs in the main sitting room and bedroom. ADSL is connected and a dish has been installed to provide UK television channels.
There is a mortgage on the property which, under Spanish law and subject to bank regulations, is transferable to a new owner if required. Community charges for the property, including water and sewage, total about 200 euros per year. The property deeds, here called the Escritura, are entirely legal and up to date.