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.
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.
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.
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.
If you click on the photos they will enlarge.