The beautifully designed and richly decorated building, shown above and in the next two images, is located in El Valdés, a district of the city of Moclinejo in the coastal area in the south of Spain. El Valdés has some 530 inhabitants.
This singular architecture was built single handedly by Antonio Montañez.
Life and works
Montañez was born in El Valdés in 1951. At the age of 19 he started working as a carpenter. In the marriage he entered into in 1976, he would have two children.
His carpentry workshop grew into a large company of 2000 m2 in the field of furniture and kitchen furnishings, located in Alhaurin de la Torre and named Cocinas Montañez. It had more than 40 employees in 1990. However, due to the credit crisis, which arose in the summer of 2007 and reached a peak in the autumn of 2008, Montañez had to sell his company to be able to pay the employees.
From 2011 to 2019 he was Councilor for Culture in the municipality of Moclinejo.
Creating a singular architecture
In 2003 Montañez bought a terrain in the built-up area of El Valdés.
Here he wanted to realize a dream that told him to build a beautifully shaped, high-rising building, as creatively decorated as possible. His dream also had to do with what he saw happening when residents renovated their homes and produced containers, lining the streets full of remnants of wooden floors, bars, windows and other items. Over the years he gathered an extensive collection of these discarded items, which he could now draw on to realize his creation.
Montañez managed to realize his dream in just one year and in 2005 the Casa Museo Axarquia, was inaugurated. Initially intended as a weekend residence, it became a museum, but then with facilities to eventually stay during the weekend.
The name of the museum refers to a region near El Valdés called Axarquía, a name dating from the time of Moorish rule, which in Arabic means Land in the East (as Algarve means Land in the West).
|a decorated staircase|
The house has a floor area of approximately 300 square meters, spread over five floors. The 19th century materials with which the museum is equipped, give visitors the feeling that they are stepping back into earlier times.
Montañez put a lot of love and attention into the construction and the furnishing of the interior. The rooms in the house are richly filled with antique furniture and all kinds of items which he collected over about forty years, such as gramophones, cameras. a jukebox, typewriters.....
And furthermore, there are about 200 works of art, created by about 30 regional painters, ceramists and sculptors. All furniture and decorative items contribute to the stylization of the interior.
One of the rooms in the house is richly stocked with bottles of wine bottled by wine producers in the Andalusia region.
On a square near the house a children's playground has been created, with all kinds of colorful and decorated equipment, a gift from Montañez to El Valdés.
As said, for Montañez the Casa Museo has the character of a weekend house. The museum is in principle open to the public on every first Saturday of the month, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Barring special circumstances, Montañez will then be present to welcome visitors.
Montañez' house in Torremolinos
It isn't entirely clear in which year Montañez started decorating the facade of the house in Torremolinos, 45 km west of El Valdés. where he lives with his family. Images on Google Streetview show that decorations can already be seen in 2010.
The second video in the documentation, made in 2023, shows that the house in Torremolinos has a facade provided with a colorful set of decorations. Other than with regard to the museum Axarquia, the internet hasn't reports about the realization of these decorations.
|the house of Montanez in Torremolinos |
as on the video made in 2023)
* Website of the Casa Museo
* Article (June 2019) in regional journal La Opinion de Malaga on the occasion of Montanez' resignation from the Moclinejo City Council
* Article (June 2021) about the Casa Museo by Javier Almellones in newspaper Sur
* Video (YouTube, 1'08", 2015) by Canal Andalucia Turismo with views of the Casa Museo
* Video (YouTube, 12'35", July 2023) with a view of Montañez' decorated house in Torremolinos