In Andalusia, a refreshing stop in the middle of farmland
Just over 70 kilometers separate Hacienda Las Alcabalas from Seville airport. The roads in this stretch of rural Andalusia pass fields of wheat and sunflowers, olive groves, as well as orchards of pistachio and almond trees. This year, the heat wave set in at the start of spring and crops are already threatened by drought. Didier and Maud Boisson have been criss-crossing this setting for nearly thirty years.
At the time, he was a pharmacist in Lunel, Occitania, and she was a riding instructor and horse trainer. At the same time, the French couple set up an equestrian show troupe and regularly go down to the south of Spain with their equines to train them in “doma vaquera”, a local dressage discipline. Little by little, the desire to settle in this region with which they fell in love wins them over.
They visit several properties and finally set their sights, in 2013, on a 17th century hacienda.e century, 8 kilometers from Morón de la Frontera, a town known for having the last artisanal lime factory in Europe. They welcome travelers stopping off on the way to Seville, Cordoba, Cadiz or Granada, or simply come to relax on Spanish time. At the end of a track, two pillars mark the entrance to the 4-hectare estate.
Purebred horses and centuries-old olive trees
A long driveway of white pebbles lined with yuccas leads to an outbuilding, then to a garden where bougainvilleas, palms and lemon trees flourish, and from which one reaches the main building of 2,000 square meters. Its white façade, brightened up by red edging, is listed as an Andalusian Cultural Heritage Site. An imposing wooden porch opens onto a large flowered patio adorned with azulejos (earthenware tiles) and large terracotta jars. There is an appreciable freshness. This interior courtyard distributes a chapel, an Arab bath and reception rooms. Several straight staircases with tiled risers lead to the guest rooms.
“It was a ruin, commented Didier Boisson. There were holes in the walls and the chapel no longer had a roof. » The renovation, carried out from old photos recovered from the former owners to stick as closely as possible to the original architecture, lasted more than two and a half years. If the carved dark wood furniture and upholstered armchairs seem to have occupied the place for decades, it is not so. Maud unearthed these rustic pieces on the Internet, from beds to sideboards, including cupboards, dressers, chairs with twisted columns, dressing tables and other pews. On the second floor, the roof terrace is furnished with sofas and bar stools allowing you to comfortably enjoy the view of the park with swimming pool and the mountain ranges of the Sierra de Grazalema.
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