IF you fancy a home with some real history, here’s one with its own 150 million year-old cave.
Archaeologists call it an ancient limestone wonder - Steve and Sheigra Lodge call it their dining room.
The entrance to the cave is right next to the front door of their remarkable three-bed home, which they bought in on the Costa Blanca, Spain, six years ago.
And which they’ve now put on the market for just under £300,000.
Visitors gasp when they realise the house has its own natural cave, complete with stalactites and a coral roof.
Steve, 65, and Sheigra, 52, both from Edinburgh, ran Casa Calleja, in Benidoleig, Alicante, until last year as a niche B&B. Now they use the cave for their 1,000-member exclusive dining club, where ex-pats can enjoy fine food in even finer surroundings.
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“We had some Spanish archaeologists come and they were amazed,” said Sheigra, who used to work as a commercial artist. “They couldn’t believe that it was in private ownership and didn’t belong to the government
The modernist house was built in the shape of a guitar in the late 1960s by the local council as a gift for Eladio Calleja, a celebrated classical guitarist who later turned to sculpture and painting.
He had a particular interest in the huge 450m Cave of Skulls - Cueva de las Calaveras – right next door, a popular tourist attraction name after the skulls discovered there in 1768.
The council gave him Casa Calleja as a home, together with an extra-special gift - the adjoining 70 square metre cave.
After Calleja died in the 80s, the house was sold to a British family, but it lay abandoned for many years until Steve and Sheigra spotted it for sale online and saw its potential. That was despite it being so overgrown they couldn’t climb the stairs.
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“The cave is a wonderful, peaceful place,” said Sheigra. “We’ve had people walk in and burst into tears because it’s just so calm.
“A girl from Japan asked if she could sleep in it. We don’t have beds in there but she was happy just to lie down with a cushion.
“We’ve had people doing yoga classes in there, we’ve had a psychic evening and four marriage proposals. We even had a wedding, an English couple. The bride was 80 and the groom was 75.
“It takes the stress away. The temperature’s more or less constant, 18 or 19 in winter, maybe up to 23 or 24 in summer.
“And it’s open at the front with a door and windows, so it doesn’t feel claustrophobic.”
The cave’s floor has been concreted and two third of the ceiling is coral. There are also a few stalactites, and Steve and Sheigra had a little stone pond built to catch the drips.
The main cave measures 13.0m by 5.0m with curved stone seating and cushions and there’s a front cave 3.9m by 2.9m, which seats five.
The design of the house was largely influenced by the artists Cesar Manrique, Gaudi, with splashes of Calleja’s own creativity.
The house is on the market for €325,000 (approx. £293,000). For details visit www.casacallejaforsale.com