El Poblado Minero de Rodalquilar

Typical houses in the mining town

The press this week reported that yet again the regional government cannot find the money to restore the old mining town of Rodalquilar. The former mine workers’ houses stand derelict next to the bright new town. The site covers 35 hectares and was acquired by the Junta de Andalucia 10 years ago. The plan is to create a Villa Turistica, converting the old houses into 110 holiday apartments and creating a hub with an administrative centre, shop, restaurant, swimming pool, tennis courts, garden and children’s play areas.

The properties vary in size

The traditional style of architecture would be retained to preserve the history of the famous gold mining epoch here.

Probably the most derelict of the houses

The original estimate was 8.9 million euros. At the height of the boom in 2007 it had increased to 11.3 million euros and now the estimate is 14 million euros. State owned Villas Turisticas are usually leased to private enterprise and we doubt if any entrepreneurs would see it as a viable enterprise in these days of austerity.

Another "street" in the mining village

An idea we have not seen put forward is that the land could be divided into individual plots with a ruin on each with planning consent to restore in the traditional style. These could be sold to private buyers and the money raised pay for the infrastructure – roads, street lighting, green areas and mains services such as water, electricity and sewage. The project could be done in phases and the plots should be inexpensive just to cover costs. would this not create employment and revitalise the area?


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 pn a small farmer the town of Alhabia in the Alpujarra Almeriense in the Province of Almeria. 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 portraiture and 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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