Traditional Architecture in the Cabo de Gata

Cortijo del Montana

There is a plaque outside the ruins of Cortijo del Montana explaining the traditional architecture of this part of Andalucia.

Ruins of Cortijo del Montana

Traces of launa on the walls

The houses were constructed using local materials. They were single storey constructions, rectangular in shape with flat roofs from which every drop of rainwater would be drained and stored..The walls were built of  local stones bound together with a mixture of cal and sand. They  were finished inside with  a wash of launa, which  is violet in colour..

Inside the cortijo

Alcove with shelves

The walls were built very thick and high to keep the rooms cool in summer. Likewise,the windows were small to keep out the light. Alcoves for shelves would be carved out of the thick walls.

Donkey stables inside the house

Animals often shared accommodation with humans and in a large cortijo like this one, the donkey stables are part of the main dwelling.

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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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