Foto de la fachada de la Casa

Leasing offer

During the months of June and July 1958, Gustav Winter held interviews with important German businessmen and aristocrats who were handed a report of “Castillo de Cofete” with a leasing offer and option to purchase.

Said report highlights the positive aspects of the Canary Islands as a peaceful and quiet tourist destination, which was unusual back then; the Peninsula of Jandía, as a nature reserve, and he said about the locals that they were “kind and ordinary people, farmers, fishermen, they have good relationships with owners, they do a good job, and would be grateful to be hired to work.”

He said that after a day and a half travelling from Germany -by plane from Gran Canaria, then by boat to Puerto Cabras, followed by several hours by car to Cofete- you find yourself “in a sunny spot between the sea and the mountain, away from it all (…) away from thieves and other problems that come with busy destinations (…) a place where you won’t see anybody if you don’t want to. An exclusive spot.”sivo”.

Foto de la fachada de la Casa
La Casa en 1958

Although he introduces it as a castle, he explains that “it is not a real feudal-style castle as you may imagine, with hundreds of rooms, but rather a home that resembles a small French noble-style castle or a small monastery in the mountains. It looks like a castle because it has a tower on the side …the friends who have visited it, as a compliment to such successful construction, call it a castle also because of its location on the skirt of the mountain.”He also added that in Cofete the mountains are not very high (between 500 and 800 metres, tops). “(…) it doesn’t have an endless labyrinth and plenty of rooms as a castle would. It is a modern and spacious newly-built house, that has not yet been lived in.”

He mentioned that the plot of land it is built on has 15 hectares, and plenty of land for crops, as well as a tractor and farming machinery and irrigation systems, and that it is fenced by a 2000-metre long stone wall. There is an interior garden with a fountain, an atrium, arcades, a pond for ducks, terraces, a chicken coop and a tower with a panoramic view. The main building has a 660 m2roofed surface.

He described the different rooms of the house. He enhances the equipment: first-class furniture, a kitchen with an oven to bake bread, several stoves, a fridge and two water heaters. He mentioned a tennis court next to the main building, a stable with two cows and two horses and a garage.

There was really no electricity, or fridge, or water heaters, and there was no tennis court. But it was all part of his plan, had an agreement been signed to lease the house, with a corresponding advance payment in order to purchase the electricity generator, the fridge and the water heaters and build the designed tennis court.

He mentioned a private runway in Punta de Jandía, around 16 km from the house, available, and also the possibility of an airport in the south of the island in the future.

He also talked about the long sand beach, more than 10 km long and only a few minutes away from an ideal place to go for a swim –when the reality was, that it was about an hour and a half walk away, in the western side where is the only calm place in the whole beach of Cofete, around 200 metres of beach constantly sheltered from the coast that is open to the north.

He explained the costs of the project and the construction work in detail: the movement of land, the foundations, building walls, roofs, the duck pond, the columns, the pillars, the price of the materials used, etc. The total amount added up to circa 200,000 Marks at the time (DM).

He carried out a study of the possible purposes of the house:

  1. He promoted it as the ideal place for the owners and board members of a company to hold meetings with absolute privacy, in a peaceful and relaxing destination. “The castle has an area for management to rest with their family and friends.” He mentioned that in the basement there could be a safety deposit to keep documents and valuable objects safely.
  2. It could also be turned into a hospital, since the German economy was going through a boom at the time which was in turn leading to an increase in the number of deaths of businesspeople in management positions due to heart attack. Those people “needed to take a break.”
  3. Or as a hotel for exclusive tourists.

He set up an annual leasing price of 49.580 DM. He also gave a breakdown of the annual costs that maintaining the house would incur “in times of peace”, the costs of electricity, fuel that is necessary for the kitchen, etc., which would add up to 90.580 DM annually or 7.500 DM monthly. He basically said that he was informing of the costs the upkeep of the house would incur, leased by him and used by them. However, he was at the same time offering the possibility to eventually purchase the property.