Walking through Ronda you come across many lovely old buildings dating back to Arab times and even before. However some are in quite a bad shape and the sad thing is that these sometimes belong to the municipality, who either doesn’t use them anymore and/or cannot afford maintaining them. As a consequence the city of Ronda is selling off part of its heritage to fund investments in the city.
One of the places they have earmarked for sale is a house known as “Casa del Jalifa” – a palatial building of 726 square meter in the old quarter of town dating from the 15th century. It was the last residence of the Caliph of Tetuán under an agreement with Morocco. The house has typical interior patios and many Mudejar style features.
Until recently the building was used for Spanish classes to foreigners but has not been used for a while even though it has been fully modernised in the last few years. The building is being offered at auction with the hopes of raising EUR 1.265.249. A cynic might ask how long and how many people were required to work out that exact amount. The palace which re-opened its doors in 2006, after the City acquired the property and paid more than a million euros for its renovation. Without the sale – a spokesperson for the Town Hall has admitted – that the amount available for investments in the city would be “zero”.
For those of you who want to wait a bit longer to pick up cheap ans special property in Spain: The Ministry of Defence is also closing one of three military homes in Málaga and the one in Ronda and will offer them for sale by 2017. The centres have been chosen because they are ones that are less used or have high running expenses. I have the feeling that these won’t be the last remarkable places that come up for sale.