A property with 600+ years of history, totally renovated in 2007 to become a comfortable and modern home.
By 2003, we had already been visiting the area of Terres de l'Ebre for sometime since Xavier, as a writer and journalist, had been writing a lot about these lands and its people. In one of our escapades we visited Horta de Sant Joan and fell in love with the town, one of the most picturesque villages in the Terra Alta region. The surrounding mountains and mediaeval alleyways in the old quarter give it an almost magical feel: the porticoed church square, the Town hall -a Renaissance building adorned with cornices and large windows-, the old prison, the late Gothic church of Sant Joan Baptista, with a groined vault and polygonal apse or the different medieval buildings, like the House of Manel de Joaquim, Pessetes House, El Pa Hotel and the House of la Comanda, a palace with a unique tower. No wonder Picasso himself spent several summers in this lovely town. He summarized this influence years later, with the quote: "Everything I know I learned in Horta"
Soon we were looking for a property there and we found our perfect nest in an old townhouse which had served as a fortified watch tower in the defense of the walled town in the Middle Ages. During the 14th century, due to the geopolitical situation and its proximity to the possessions of Castille, a wall was built to protect the town and several defence buildings and watchtowers were erected. One of these watchtowers IS OUR HOME. The property needed some serious revamping to become a comfortable and modern home and in 2006 we started the renovation which lasted for a year. The house is built with a typical medieval-style thick natural stone wall (16-24 in/40-60cm) which provides great insulation, both in summer and in winter as well as a very quiet environment. Each floor is just the right size to divide the house in different areas: living, working... Initially we wanted to use this property as a second house but we were so in love with the town and the house that we finally decided to move to Horta de Sant Joan where we've enjoyed life since. Now, due to unforeseen family circumstances we need to move back to Barcelona so we are looking for someone willing to BUY this magnificent property and enjoy, as we've done all these years, of a great surrounding in a perfect cozy HOME.
A medieval fortified watch tower of the town of Horta de Sant Joan (circa 14th century).
Central heating, fully equiped kitchen and baths, new electrical installation, DSL...
Rural yet close
Lots of things to do & see at a stone's throw away: hiking, climbing, vineyards, beaches...
The perfect place to disconnect from your busy life or to start a new one!
Your new home, a holiday retreat, even your own business as a small rural guesthouse.
Dossier regarding the renovation in 2007 available to the new owners.
A few pictures...
Layout of the house
A townhouse of +3600 sq ft (336 sq m) with lots of possibilities
The ENTRANCE of the house has a thick old wooden door typical of the constructions of the Middle Ages that provides a glympse of the magical interior of a former fortified watchtower. The door leads to a small hall that separates and protects, with a glass and wood door, the rest of the house from the weather. Then a large hall, with a table and a library, distributes the access to two spatious bedrooms, one DOUBLE and one SINGLE both fitted with built-in closets and a full BATHROOM with a classic glass shower enclosure. At the end of the HALL, the stairs with wooden banister provide access to the upper floors. As in the rest of the house, the thick stone walls typical of the medieval buildings protect the interior from the outside temperatures. Even so, all the rooms and the hall are fitted with radiators connected to the oil boiler located in the basement.
The first floor, or main floor, is where we spent most of our time. It consists of a spacious KITCHEN with a table for two people and a fully equipped kitchen model "London", with a dark granite worktop with almost 16ft (5m) of working space, upper and lower wood cabinets, dual kitchen sink, extractor PANDO UNE EN 60335 with wooden hood, SMEG butane gas plate with 5 burners, built-in BALAY 3HF501N oven, ARISTON MBL1821C refrigerator/freezer and TAURUS T-4021 washing machine.
The lounge or LIVING ROOM and the DINING ROOM share a spacious 430 sq ft (40m2) in which, in addition to radiators, there is also a fireplace that in winter produces a very cozy feel. This floor, like the others, has large windows which makes the rooms very luminous as there are no other buildings attached to the house on three sides, allowing a nice outside view of 180 degrees.
The second floor is occupied by a large HOME OFFICE of 385 sq ft (36 m2) with large shelves on two of its walls, a BATHROOM with a classic glass shower enclosure and a large glass wall with sliding door that gives access to a TERRACE with spectacular views. This is the most luminous room in the whole house, with lots of sunlight from sunrise to late afternoon. It also has a wall-mounted air conditioner.
The little cute attic hosts the MASTER BEDROOM, with a double bed and a large built-in closet. Two strategically located small windows in one of the walls provide a beautiful view of the night sky from the bed.
BASEMENT AND ADJACENT LAND PLOT
The basement -which we hardly use- has 970 sq ft (90 m2) and several separated areas. It hosts a gasoil heater OERTLI CURN 154 21,0-27,0 kW with a 34 US liquid gallon (130 litres) boiler and a 185 gallon (700 litres) reservoir which feeds all the radiators of the house. The basement has an independent ENTRANCE from the rest of the house located in the street beneath it.
The adjacent land plot, 970 sq ft (90m2), is part of the property. It has a moderate slope where we initially wanted to create a large leveled terrace that would connect with the house but ultimately we did not do so. The vegetation includes an almond tree that bears fruit in spring and many agaves.
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About us, the current owners of the property
Helena is a retired Sales Executive of a major Spanish health insurer, previously entrepreneur on several ventures and Xavier is a writer -essayist and biographer- and journalist in Catalan language, with over 40 published books in his career. Both born and bred in the urban environment of Barcelona, they have quickly adapted and enjoyed this quieter rural life in sunny Horta de Sant Joan for the past 10 years.
If you think that, like us, can be allured to this magical town and wish to prospect the purchase of our home, do not hesitate to contact us to arrange a visit to the house and the lovely town of Horta de Sant Joan. While you can reach Horta de Sant Joan both from Reus or Barcelona -where you have the closest international airports- by a combination of train+bus or by taxi (also direct bus here), we strongly recommend hiring your own car (airports: Reus or Barcelona) which will allow you to discover the magnificent surroundings of Horta and its region, the Terra Alta, at your own pace.
Call today at +34.609336148 or Email at firstname.lastname@example.org
And Enric, my son, will gladly respond your questions in English and will arrange a visit for you.