Finca El de Conde or La Paz
On the Old or Maigmona road, between Sant Joan and Mutxamel, we find the entrance to the El de Conde estate, delimited by large buttresses of plastered masonry, imitating ashlar. In the past, the Major irrigation canal crossed the enclave. To access the house you had to cross a stone bridge. Today the canal no longer exists, and the few remaining trees are barely surviving in the razed garden. That orchard embraced the building to the south and east, allowing the large lintel windows to be opened to let the breeze pass through the trees of the wet garden, thus calming the dry and warm air of Xaloc or midday. Now it would be necessary to draw the blinds to take refuge from the scorching wasteland, if it were not for the fact that no one lives in the house anymore, and only the walls house the memory of those days when its inhabitants gave meaning to this land of joy.
That garden was one of the most recognized in the Alicante Huerta, it had an area of about 25 tahúllas, more than two hectares today. From the gate to the main façade of the house there was access through a rectangular esplanade, formed by a row of large cypresses that acted as a natural barrier, separating it from the garden located to the east. To the west, we found a masonry wall next to the house, forming a path that led to the stables.
The main neoclassical façade still preserves the robust door framed by ashlars, along with the well-ordered and symmetrical windows. The arcaded porch has Ionic columns that extend as a parapet on the first floor, forming the noble terrace. The arcaded porch has Ionic columns that extend with the parapet on the first floor, forming the noble terrace. The interior of the house is accessed through a large rectangular hall, divided by three carpanel arches located parallel to the main door. From the hall, various anterooms and bedrooms open on both sides. Located at the back of the hall we find the staircase, which is illuminated by a central square lantern. The lantern can be seen from the outside, it is the tower with a hipped roof of curved emerald green tiles. The light enters through the small windows, illuminating the central body of the house.
The east façade has a similar composition to the main one, but attached to the complex is a patio delimited by an archway. The archway connects with another built body, without a doubt one of the biggest surprises of the town. It is a small theater or concert hall that had independent access to the house. A French engraving from the 19th century shows the gardens, facades and the theater, attesting to the splendor of those times characterized by summer nights, recreation and fun.
French engraving of the Finca El de Conde or La Paz where, in addition to its gardens, you can see the theater
Life on the farm took place on each of the three floors of the house. The family naturally enjoyed the rooms located at midday. The first floor housed the rooms for domestic and social coexistence. It is not unusual to find an imposing hall in a building of these characteristics. What is less common is for the mansion to have an engraver’s and cartography office or room, decorated with paintings, frescoes and lithographs. This gives us an idea of the sensitivity and solemnity of the inhabitants of the mansion. In addition, on this floor there was a small chapel with a marble altarpiece and altar, cream-colored walls and marble floors.
But it is impossible to imagine day-to-day life on the farm without the people dedicated to service. The servants were in charge of fine-tuning the machinery of the house. Pleasing their lords meant attending to their domestic and representative needs, which meant making an extra effort when receiving guests, for whom some rooms in the villa had to be prepared. Many of their tasks were carried out in the north wing of the building, where the guard’s house, stables, warehouses, corrals and garages were located.
Also to the north is the large kitchen, which can be accessed by a service staircase. The regiment of employees was accommodated on the third floor, where their bedrooms and quarters were located. Today no one polishes the gentlemen’s glassware anymore, or puts the trousseau to perfection. The living rooms do not exude the appetizing smells of the delicacies that escape from the kitchen. No sign of the horse handlers, gardeners, maids or servants. Everyone enjoys an eternal day off. The Count is not at home. Nobody expects it anymore either.
Did you know that...?
The building was originally built in the 16th century, although its current appearance is a consequence of the renovations carried out in the mid-18th century, and the 19th and 20th centuries. Originally it was an agricultural farm, although it later became a recreational farm.
Regarding the ownership of this villa, it is known that it belonged to the noble family of the Counts of Casa Rojas and the Marquis of Bosch. The Rojas were Castilian descendants of the Burgos estate of the place of Rojas, although this branch comes from those who settled Jerez de la Frontera and Cádiz, later moving to Alicante and Valencia. He was Mr. José Pedro de Rojas y Recaño, the 1st Count of Casa Rojas by Royal Decree of December 18, 1789.
On the other hand, the Bosch family comes from Cocentaina, and before that from Catalonia. After excelling in the conquest of Játiva, they settled in Alicante. The Marquisate of Bosch de Ares was created by Charles III on February 28, 1689.
By 1924 the property belonged to the Mr. Marquis of Algorfa. The name of the town with the nickname “La Paz” is associated with the well-being that could be enjoyed both in the residence and in its gardens.
Currently the property is crossed by the demarcation of the municipal areas of Sant Joan d’Alacant and Mutxamel. The Sant Joan City Council has begun the procedures for the expropriation of the property and its future conservation.