Jabugo - Tiro Pichón

Tiro Pinchon  © Michelle Chaplow
Tiro Pinchon was designed by the Sevillano architect Anibal Gonzalez (Click to enlarge photo) © Michelle Chaplow

Tiro Pinchon

This grand 1920s building situated to the north of the village was designed by the Sevillano architect Anibal Gonzalez (1876-1929) chief architect for Great Exhibition of 1929. It is an imposing building in a prime hilltop location. It is said that the King Alfonso XIII, when opening the Grutas de Maravilla caves in nearby Aracena, pointed out the location in casual conversation.

Gonzalez designed the building as a hunting lodge for Don Javier Sánchez-Dalp, Marquess of Aracena, using seven different types of brick inlaid with random-shaped carved white stones. Seville's high society stayed here, especially in the summer to escape the city heat. King Alfonso XIII and Queen Victoria Eugenia returned many times and so did princesses Doña Beatriz y Doña Cristina until their exile in 1933. During the Third Republic the building became the property of Seville city council, to whom the Marquess had secured a loan on the building.

The lodge was requisitioned as a military hospital during the Civil War and then later served as a sanatorium. The Seville city council used it as a summer camp for school children in the 1960s and 1970s - many older Sevillanos still recall wonderful summer holidays spent here in their youth. It was known locally -rather unkindly - as "el manicomio de Jabugo" (the Jabugo madhouse).

In the 1980s the building was derelict and locals claimed it was haunted. Those that went inside reported a strong feeling of another presence - doors moved and voices could be heard. It became a popular place for paranormal investigators who spent much time with their equipment investigating activities. Some reported hearing the sounds of a musical box.



The Seville city hall gave the building to the Junta de Andalucia in 2008, who restored it beautifully at a cost of €3m, and gave it to the Jabugo town hall in 2015. Now reopened as the Centro de Innovación y Promoción del Ibérico y la Dehesa, an investigation and reception centre which hosts delegations and events associated with the jamon industry.

Tiro Pichon is open for tours, however the inside (now offices) is less impressive than the outside. The tour finishes in the 1960s swimming pool extension where there is a display room. Cost 3€. 



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