Antonio Prats Costa, the father of the current owner, and former Guardian of Can Frare, whose sacrifices kept this magnificent old finca together. (Photo taken c.1960, during the advent of tourism in Ibiza)
Can Frare is approximately 350 years old, built towards the top of a hill, overlooking its own extensive agricultural land.
The Prats Family have lived in Can Frare for almost 200 years, originally living exclusively off its 120 000 square metres of farm land. Many of the neighbouring houses to Can Frare are still owned by other members of the family. Historically, substantial areas of land, especially in the San Antonio region, were given the Prats family in recompense for their role as soldiers in the re conquest of Ibiza from the Moors. There are only 12 original Ibizencan names and each one is associated with a specific place, like the Costa family come from Santa Agnes, the Prats come from San Antonio.
The name Can Frare itself translates as “The house of the monk” and was given to the house several hundred years ago. The story goes that one of the children of the family was gravely ill – and the parents swore an oath that if the boy survived, he would grow up to be a monk. The boy survived & the name stuck ever since.
The house is Listed as a House of Architectural Merit and is built from traditional materials such as sabina wood & thick stone walls, whitewashed with cal. It has a 5 metre high ceiling in the 20 metre long living room, which keeps the house cool and fresh, even without the airconditioning. The walls are built of stone and are several feet thick.
Traditionally, the inhabitants of the finca lived exclusively off this very land – using fire wood from the forest behind the house, water from the natural well, cultivating olives, figs, oranges, lemons, vines, growing their own vegetables & keeping sheep, bees, goats, horses and a pig. All the land was cultivated by hand, with the help of horses for ploughing.
The variety of the domestic livestock, which all needed their own shelter, and the need to store agricultural products, explains the large size of Can Frare – which is c.500 square metres.
Can Frare still has the original grain mill, which is now a second living room.
Slowly Can Frare is being reconnected back to its past – we are putting our efforts into making the house sustainable again.