The history of the Cortijo

The Cortijo del Marqués is a historical property in the countryside just outside Granada. The history has so far been traced back to about 500 years ago, though the Roman columns in one of the hotel rooms whisper of a still richer story. After the conquest of Granada in 1492, the remaining Moors were forced to hand over two thirds of their property to their Catholic victors. In 1532 such a transfer was made of a large agricultural property measuring several thousand hectares at the base of the Pozuelo mountains, to the Marquis (Marqués in Spanish) of Mondéjar which henceforth came to be known as the Cortijo del Marqués.

The full name of this Marqués of Mondéjar is Luis Hurtado de Mendoza and he was the captain general of the kingdom of Granada and alcaide of the Alhambra. He inherited these titles from his father Íñigo López de Mendoza (El Gran Tendilla) who played a principal role in the battle for Granada. Luis himself was an early supporter to the throne of Charles V to whom he became a close friend when the by then Holy Roman Emperor Charles V spent his honeymoon in the Alhambra. His closeness to the emperor earned him high profile jobs such as overseeing the construction of the renaissance Cathedral of Granada as well as the Palace of Charles V in the Alhambra.

In the early 19th century the Cortijo del Marqués passed to a local family and continued its role as an outsized agricultural property. In 1878 the sizeable chapel and the tower of the Cortijo were built and the property came to look more like a small village than a farmhouse. The chapel received its full church rights by means of a papal bull dated 1880 with the seal of Pope Leon XIII.

During the Spanish civil war the Cortijo del Marqués served as barracks for Republican forces and the chapel was damaged when it was hit by a Nationalist artillery round.

Towards the end of the 20th century the Cortijo was abandoned and quickly deteriorated. Despite its glorious past nobody but the locals were aware of its existence until it was carefully restored since the beginning of the 21st century. Restoration work and adaptation to its use as a small country hotel were carried out with great care. Many original features have been maintained and for this reason the property still has the air of a historical Andalusian manor house, now open for all to enjoy.