Features » Travel
El Palacio de Jacarilla
By Staff Reporter / 2007-07-02 16:53:07
This week’s places to visit has a slightly different twist as the ‘Leader’ visits the spectacular Palacio de Jacarilla on recommendation from a reader.
The Leader received a letter last week from a reader asking if we knew of the existence of a Spanish equivalent of The National Trust or English Heritage because he was concerned about the state of the old palace in Jacarilla.
Jacarilla is a small village between San Miguel and Orihuela, and the Palace is set in beautiful gardens spreading over 20,000 square metres, which are well maintained by the Town Hall. The gardens contain statues, ponds, viewpoints, fountains, paths and are an idyllic spot to spend a few hours. The gardens are open to the public and there is a wooded area, a play area for children, toilets, picnic tables and a small shop.
The magnificent country palace was built and owned by the Marques de Fontabla about 90 years ago. However he died in the 1930’s and his daughter married and moved away. The Fontabla family were noble land owners who owned most of the land in the village for centuries. In 1947 they divided up the land and sold it to the workers, bringing prosperity to the village. The main source of income has always been agriculture, especially citrus fruits, oranges and lemons.
The ‘Leader’ has since found out that the Town Hall is also the owner of the Palace, and plans to restore the building, though does not have a concrete date for work to start.
Our concerned reader, Jim Cripps, would like to start a campaign to save this beautiful building. He would like to form a ‘Friends of the Palace’ Society to raise money for a phased rescue plan, leading to a public open day in order to raise funds for ongoing upkeep, perhaps involving the local theatrical group in a period reenactment, maybe during fiestas week. Anyone with suggestions or ideas, or interested in becoming involved, please email the newsdesk at the usual address – email@example.com