THE HISTORY OF THE HOUSE AND THE OWNER FAMILY
THE HISTORY OF THE HOUSE AND THE OWNER FAMILY
The Hospedería, located in the centre of the village, is the result of the union of several houses that were typical of the stately life existing in Grazalema during its industrial heyday years, around the first half of the 19th century. Remodelled several times, it keeps its patios, the back entrance (nowadays with a wrought iron gate), the facade –that keeps its original porticoes, one of carved stone, where you can see bullet impacts as mute witnesses of past wars, and another made of coated bricks that adorn the entrance from top to bottom, and that is typical in houses of noble families. Among the old bars, there is a bar with a family crest of the original owners, which is used nowadays as the company logo. In the main portal you will be able to see the traditional tile entrance and the nail doors; all reflecting the typical architecture preserved over almost two centuries.
These houses used to have several uses: apart from being family homes –several families lived together during the post-war period- they had room for the annual slaughter of pigs, a store for salting and preserving the products coming from the pork, as well as stables for horses or donkeys that were used as means of transport or in agricultural tasks. When the textile industry was at its height, in these houses some machines were installed in order to prepare the wool that would then be used to elaborate the coveted “Grazalama blankets”, mill wheels that moved the water to wash it, bathtubs to dye them, etc. Even a small chocolate factory was installed there. In addition, some of its dining rooms were used as soup kitchens during the Civil War. The backyard was used for the cavalry and actors’ meetings of the film “Carne de Orca”, shot in Grazalema at the beginning of the ‘50s.
When all types of industry disappeared and after the post-war period, the house started to be used as an inn, with bed and food for those who needed to come to Grazalema for work purposes (teachers, doctors, merchants, etc.). From the ‘60s, the first vacationers arrived, well recommended by the doctor to treat respiratory diseases, or to fulfil the wish –in the case of the wealthy population- to spend the summer in a cooler and more tranquil place. This was how extensions and remodelling were started to be performed in the original house. Since the beginning of the ‘80s, Grazalema also started to be a point of interest for those tourists who were interested in studying or enjoying the nature, having already been declared this area as the Sierra de Grazalema Natural Park and Reserve of the Biosphere.
In 1982, because of retirement, the Hospedería changed its ownership and started to belong to the García Family. Jacinto and Francisca, and their 4 teenager children. He was an emigrant in Germany during 20 years, and decided to come back to his home town and sell the house that he had built with a lot of effort so that he could give the signal for the purchase of the Hospedería for the sake of the future of their children. All of them managed the Hospedería until 2000. From that moment, almost all the siblings being married and the parents retired, one of the daughters, Caty García, together with her husband Rafael and some of their loyal employees who were already working for them, decided to keep running the business, although after some time and much to their regrets they had to rent the restaurant, since it was too much load and responsibility for them, considering that Francisca had been a cook who was totally dedicated to the homemade and slowly prepared food. Nowadays they are proud to keep on working with the same enthusiasm with which they started as children, currently also with the help of their 3 children.
Their aim is to improve their services every day and to maintain the helpful attitude that characterizes them; trying to make their guests participate in the life of the village people and their families, and help them enjoy the benefits of the environment around them, and therefore provide a stay as pleasant as possible.
During all these years, the house gradually became equipped with more facilities, expanding it and remodelling it in 1986 and 1994. Today, apart from the 20 rooms with 5 shared bathrooms that used to operate until 1994, it has 16 double rooms with private bathroom and central heating (some of them with air conditioning too); as well as a large dining room next to one of the patios; a living room with a fireplace, TV and Wi-Fi internet connection (where a small library is located, as well as board games to enliven your cold or rainy afternoons). Besides, the business has been expanded into another building, already totally remodelled, with 6 apartments. They are totally equipped and located in the same main street but at the height of the San José church, in the upper part of the village, which has a special charm and spectacular views.