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Villa Winter

Villa Winter

Villa Winter

Villa Winter (Cofete National Park, Cofete) – this two-story structure, located near the village of Cofete (on the Jandia peninsula), and proximate to Pico de Zarza (the highest mountain in Fuerteventura), is not a typical tourist destination (and is only recommended for mystery seekers and nature enthusiasts looking for something different). Given its isolated location, it still merits mention for those passing through this part of the island. This villa was built by German engineer Gustav Winter in 1937 (at a time when Winter once leased the entire peninsula of Jandia from the Spanish government and had it declared a military zone). This villa, which looks more like a military outpost that the luxury homes seen at Ibiza or Mallorca (for example) has a balcony up front, and a tower with a lantern used as a beacon (something unusual for a residential “villa”). The vast basement has walls more than six-feet thick, and a tunnel-like space runs the entire length of the house with just a small window at one end.

 

This residence was shrouded in mystery as to its actual purpose during its early years of existence. A British newspaper alleged that Winter was a Nazi spy. Since Spain was ruled by fascist dictator Francisco Franco (who had a friendly relationship with Nazi Germany before and during World War II), there has been much speculation that this site was used as a way station for Nazi submarines that passed through the waters of the Canaries during that conflict (a rumor fueled by captured Nazi war documents mentioning the site as a possible fueling station for German submarines). An airstrip that existed between the villa and the coast also added speculation that Nazi military aircraft trafficked through there during World War II (and possibly facilitating the exodus of Nazi military officers fleeing their country from the last days of that conflict to start new lives in South America). Admission: donations accepted.