The manic summer season is over and gradually things are settling down. As you probably are aware almost all Spanish are on go slow during August and everything moves even slower. Slowly but surely normal life is resuming.
A few people have asked me about the story behind the red house in Arrieta. I took a photo of it yesterday between showers.
Many people travelling in the north of the island happen upon this house, known locally as The Doll’s House. Its real name is Casa Juanita and the story is a sad one.
This curious building is situated along the coast in the Northern village of Arrieta, it stands out from the small white typical buildings with its painted red and blue bricks and a garden complete with grass. You can find this property next to the old fishing harbour and a small beach with sea pool.
The house was built by Don Juan de Leon Perdomo in 1916. He was a local from Arrieta, before he emigrated to Argentina in the early 20th century. He made his fortune there selling wheat and met and married Juana Alemán. The couple had a daughter in 1904, and they named her after her mother, although she was always known as Juanita.
Juanita contracted tuberculosis when she was a few years old, and the couple’s doctor advised moving somewhere with “good air,” ideally by the ocean. They decided to move back to Arrieta in 1915, and Juan commissioned the build of a house, modelled on Juanita’s dolls house.
Once completed, they named the house Chalet de Arrieta and moved in.
Juanita had five happy years there, before succumbing to her illness in 1921