A majestic gate welcomes residents and visitors. Through a cobbled path, surrounded by dense vegetation, we access the atrium where the main building and a small hermitage from the 18th century are located. The façade of the house is a cast of typically nineteenth-century elements, as shown by its sophisticated slit openings or the decoration of its jambs and lintels. But without a doubt its most unique components are the sloping roofs, topped with ceramic cresting, which features a carved wooden tower and a continuous balcony, with a hipped roof covered in zinc.
The house has three floors with large windows and terraces from which to enjoy the gardens, so that the magnificent exterior landscape participates in the interior rooms. Gardens are conceived as a place of calm and delight. They are articulated by a set of flower beds delimited by paths and enfilades. Iron pergolas form a continuous vault of bushes, accompanied by sculptures and fountains. There are numerous monumental trees, among which several centuries-old specimens stand out: an araucaria, a false pepper, a Canarian pine, an Aleppo pine, various stone pines, a bougainvillea that is approximately 100 years old and a ficus that is more than 130 years old. This entire complex forms an environment that the visitor caresses thanks to the contrast of its chiaroscuros, the sound of water and birds, the aromas of spring and the shaded spaces where they can protect themselves from the sun during the hot seasons.
In the western part are the service houses with their unique facades colored in almagra red and albero yellow. The hermitage is located to the east of the property, being consecrated to Our Lady of the Rosary. In the mid-19th century, they married D. Ramón de Campoamor y Campoosorio, Civil Governor of Alicante, and Mrs. Guillermina O’Gorman, a lady belonging to a wealthy Irish family living in Alicante. The hermitage was not definitively included in the property until the 40s of the 20th century; the door that borders Miguel Hernández Avenue is still preserved today.
The estate has witnessed important events in the history of Sant Joan, going through times of splendor and decline. Today the complex is used to hold events and celebrations, called April Gardens, which offers the possibility to any citizen with certain resources to enjoy the bourgeois pleasures of the 19th century for a few hours.
Did you know that...?
During the 18th century, the Abril estate initially belonged to canon D. Abril. His sister Mrs. Margarita Abril He ended up inheriting it, and later his son D. Antonio Ferrándiz y Abril did so. Subsequently, in the first half of the 19th century, Mr. Jaime Maisonnave, a famous wine businessman, and his wife were co-owners of the mansion. Mrs. Leonor Cuyatar. In 1863, after the death of his mother, his first-born son, D. Eleuterio Maisonnave y Cutayar, inherited the property, who would be mayor of the Alicante City Council between 1869 and 1873. After his death in 1890, the property was sold to his friend D. Rafael Beltrán Ausó, deputy to the Cortes, senator and lawyer from Alicante and later passed to his son, D. Rafael Beltrán de la Llave, who was born in the house.
Once the Civil War began, the property was requisitioned by the Republic to install a children’s colony. The project directed from Madrid by Mrs. Dolores de Rivas Cherif -wife of the president of the government and president of the Second Spanish Republic, Mr. Manuel Azaña Díaz- consisted of evacuating and sheltering Madrid children. One of them, Lauro Olmo, was sent along with about 70 boys to this farm. Here they were supervised by various teachers from the Pedagogical Missions, such as Mr. Manuel Giner de los Ríos, who prepared them for entry into the Alicante Institute.
In the 70s, the municipal architect of Alicante, Mr. Miguel López González, directed the remodeling works. For a few years now, the property has been converted into a service space for leisure and events, Jardines de Abril, which has allowed the complex to remain in an acceptable state of conservation.