Saturday, February 24

The stately home of Huerta del Conde in Cáceres will open to the public for weddings and congresses

Located in front of the Cáceres courts, the stately home of Huerta del Conde does not go unnoticed among those who circulate along the Ronda de San Francisco. Nor does its immense garden go unnoticed, in the heart of the city center and next to the Ribera del Marco, with an area of ​​one hectare of land.

Soon it will be possible to see its interior, since this building whose origins date back to the 19th century will open to the public to host weddings, congresses and other events. It will also permanently house a restaurant that will remain open throughout the year.

The project arises from the alliance of the owners of the house, the Gutiérrez-Ulecia Vigara family, with the couple formed by chef Benjamín Caballero and Susana Mateos, owners of the B-nomio restaurant (located in the Rodeo neighborhood), who will move to this location. Both parties have joined forces to shape a project in which they will invest two million euros, destined to carry out the appropriate reforms and furnish the facilities with furniture.

The project as such is ready, the promoters detail, and it will shortly be presented to the City Council to obtain the pertinent permits. The forecast is that the works on the restaurant (with capacity for 80 people inside and one hundred in the garden) will be completed by Christmas. And that the first wedding banquets can be held from the month of April 2023. “We have a year of works ahead of us,” estimates Caballero.

Juan Carlos Gutiérrez-Ulecia, a member of the owner family, specifies that this initiative is accompanied by a prior audit that has addressed the characteristics that such a project must have in the middle of the Ribera del Marco corridor in terms of, for example, soundproofing. “We are going to meet all the requirements that a license of this type is going to require,” he advances.

inhabited so far

Until now, the stately home of Huerta del Conde has been inhabited by the marriage formed by Carmen Vigara and José Julián Gutiérrez-Ulecia, renowned architect from Cáceres who died on September 9 and author, among other projects, of the Príncipe Felipe football stadium.

A long time ago Benjamin had his eye on the Huerta del Conde. The first time he entered, he remembers, he was working as a clerk for the Torre de Sande restaurant. Juan Carlos’s family ordered some stuffed turkeys and he went to take them. He had a crush. Years later, he proposed to the architect to exploit the site. “Talk to my widow,” José Julián always replied, who refused to open the Huerta del Conde to the public during his lifetime. It was he who carried out the last great reform carried out in this building and in its garden.

According to the data that appears in the Inventory of the Archaeological and Ethnographic Heritage of the Ribera del Marco Urban Corridor, prepared by the City Council, this stately home is built from previous buildings such as an old oil mill, a farmhouse, stables … The current building is the result, therefore, of several reforms. “It is one of the most extensive in plan that can be found in the city of Cáceres”, describes the municipal document, prepared in 2011. It has a surface area of ​​2,500 square metres.

From its main facade stands a semicircular doorway crowned by a granite coat of arms, split with the arms of the Jordán de Urríes and Ulloa families. Columns, tiles and wrought iron gates complete the exterior attractions.

The inventory stops at one of the great treasures inside the building. This is the greenhouse for tropical plants, with a heated pool, which is located in the old patio of the house. Part of the structure comes from an old theater in Madrid. It was acquired after the fire at the Teatro Novedades in 1928, located in the Latina neighborhood, in which 80 people died.

Another of the strong points of this stately home is, without a doubt, its large one-hectare garden, visible from some of the paths of the Ribera del Marco and now also from the access of the Ronda Sureste that is attached to the land. Large banquets are expected here (more than a thousand people fit). The interior rooms will have capacity for 500. The building also has a chapel.

To the left will be the future restaurant. On the right, tropical greenhouse. / George King

A construction linked to the nobility of Cáceres

The Huerta del Conde house has been linked to the Cáceres nobility in its origins. Thus, in the historical reference that includes the Inventory of the Archaeological and Ethnographic Heritage of the Ribera del Marco Urban Corridor prepared by the City Council in 2011, it is indicated that in the middle of the 19th century the owner of the garden was Gonzalo María de Ulloa y Ortega- Mountaineer, IX Count of Adanero. He died unmarried and without issue and the property passed into the hands of his younger brother, José María, who was a deputy in the Cortes and a senator.

Jose Maria had four children. The youngest, Matilde de Ulloa y Calderón, was married at the end of the 19th century to Ramón María Jordán de Urríes y Ruiz de Arana, Viscount Roda, predecessor of the current owner of the Torre de Sande and the Castillo de la Arguijuela de Abajo.

The current greenhouse was used as a dance hall and a meeting point for part of Cáceres society during the first half of the 20th century.

The Gutiérrez-Ulecia Vigara family, current owner of Huerta del Conde, acquired the property five decades ago. Previously it had been the residence of another well-known family from Cáceres, the Chacón family, whose descendants currently manage Conyser, the city’s cleaning service concession company.

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