Cortijo y Ermita del Fraile

Ermita del Fraile

The Consejeria de Cultura de la Junta de Andalucia have ordered the owners of this old church and the surrounding farm buildings to restore them because they are of historic and cultural interest. La Ermita and Cortijo del Fraile are situated in the heart of the Parque Natural de Cabo de Gata in a hidden valley in the mountains behind Rodalquilar.

Working in a field of onions - Cortijo del fraile

The valley has fertile soil and abundant spring water and the owners, an agricultural company farm it intensively using mainly immigrant labour; fortunately they cannot erect plastic greenhouses as it is within the national park.

Inside the ruins

The owners, however, have little interest in reconstructing this mini hamlet as there is no financial benefit in doing so..As you can see the ruins are extensive and would take a lot of time and money to restore. The owners claim that most of them are beyond restoration and new buildings would have to replace them.

Door of the Ermita

The Cortijo and Ermita del Fraile were built in the 18th Century for the monks of El Convento de Santa Domingo de Almeria. In 1928 it was the scene of a crime of passion made famous by Federico Garcia Lorca as the subject of his play Blood Wedding.

Looking through the old wall

If you click on the photos they will enlarge.

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About Margaret Merry

I grew up in Falmouth, Cornwall, England where, after leaving Falmouth High School, I spent a year at Falmouth School of Art. Then followed three years at Hornsey College of Art in London where I obtained a Diploma in Art and Design. I then spent a post-graduate year at the West of England College of Art in Bristol where I gained an Art Teacher?s Diploma and a Certificate in Education of the University of Bristol. I lived and worked in Truro for over 30 years and became one of Cornwall's most popular artists. My paintings have been exhibited in New York, Tokyo, Paris and London and have been bought by collectors from all over the world. I have published 4 books which became local bestsellers - 'The Natural History of a Westcountry City', 'Margaret Merry's Cornish Garden Sketchbook', 'Sea & Sail' and 'Tidal Reaches'. In 2002 I moved to Spain and now live in the little coastal village of Las Negras in the heart of the Parque Natural de Cabo de Gata. I now get my inspiration from the dramatic scenery of Andalucia and its old cities, towns and villages which I usually capture in watercolour. I also enjoy figurative art, particularly nudes and dancers. For these paintings I use artists' soft pastels. I have written and illustrated 3 children's books - The Wise Old Boar, The Lonely Digger and The Adventure of Princess The Pony - which have been published in the USA.
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