A BIT OF HISTORY
During the Stone Age, these hills were already peopled – stone axes and tools are scattered in the forests now converted to olive groves. It was a place of abundant water and caves for shelter and defence. The Cerro was a vantage point for primitive tribes...for Romans, Visigoths and Almohads; remains of tools, buildings and burials have been found here. The brow of the hill was probably the sentry point to view down to the confluence of the rivers Genil and Pesquera, now the start of Iznajar’s dam.
Travellers from Malaga to Madrid via Loja, Algarinejo and Priego walked past this point, rested their mules and took on provisions at Puerto Blanquillo (White Hill Pass), probably at El Cerro which was once an inn.
In the 1800s the farm was owned by the Excelentísimo Señor Conde del Castillo del Tajo, it consisted of monte (Mediterranean forest), tierra de calma (arable land), a house with roof tiles, a circular threshing field and some olives. He sold it to Miguel´s great uncle on 6 July 1859 (valued at 10,000 pesetas, 60 euros!). Miguel´s grandfather received the farm as a legacy from his uncle in 1910. Ask Miguel the story behind the gift, it´s a story of kindness and generosity...
For many years an uncle of Miguel, Emilio, lived here with his family and farmed the land until he retired in 1982 and went to live in Loja town.
This view was taken around that time and shows the building as it was: notice that in front and behind there are no olives, just wheat fields. The olives around the house were planted later.
The house was now empty and sadly it gradually started crumbling... but as we appreciated the beauty of its position and surroundings we decided to refurbish and modernise it. The work was completed in May 2003 and El Cerro became the place you are staying in today and that we hope you enjoy.
We would love you and your children to share a memory of your stay – a sketch, a photo, a story, an anecdote. Post us your memories and we will keep and enjoy them.
We also welcome your suggestions and constructive criticisms.
Our main suggestion is for you to come back and see us another day – in spring taste the fresh asparagus, broad beans and artichokes, follow the twisting paths in the hills and see the beautiful flowers in the forests and olive groves; in winter ski at altitude, watch the olive harvest and oil making; in the late autumn watch the sausage and ham making; in summer watch the cereal harvest and eat the fresh tomatoes, peppers and aubergines, relax by the pool, eat al fresco on the terrace, watch the stars at night...
We hope you love it as we do and we look forward to seeing you again.