Villa Winter – Exposed Part 1

THE INFAMOUS VILLA WINTER

COFETE, FUERTEVENTURA

EXPOSED PART 1

By Luisa M Follano

How much do you really know about this infamous house and are the Nazi conspiracy theories really true?

Villa Winter

Villa Winter is a villa situated near the village Cofete, on the peninsula Jandía in the very windy southwestern part of the island of Fuerteventura, Canary Islands. The villa was realised by Gustav Winter, a German engineer born in 1893 in the Black Forest. It was built in 1946 and has two floors, a tower in the northwestern part of the villa and a balcony in the front…. and a lot of other features which we will uncover for you over the next few articles.  Since around 1915, there is evidence that Gustav Winter worked in Spain and was active on many different projects in Fuerteventura and Gran Canaria. Some which are common knowledge and others which are still shrouded with secrecy.

Is Villa Winter hidden or just remote?

The villa is built in a very remote part of the island with only a dust track leading to it. If anyone has tried to visit the villa by car, then you will know that the track is precarious to say the least, with only a very few passing places, lots of fallen rocks,  potholes and really steep sheer drops that fall away to the Atlantic Ocean. In recent years, those nice people in Hollywood very kindly upgraded part of the road to help get all the trucks and filming gear on site, ready to film, Exodus with Cristian Bale. But, they did not go all the way, so if you are going to visit then a 4X4 and a good head for heights is needed. Also, it is worth noting that if you are planning to visit by hire care… then beware… as the route to the villa is considered as ‘off road’ so if you do have any kind of damage or accident it is unlikely that your insurance will cover it… so be warned!

Exploring Villa Winter

Disclaimers aside, the Villa Winter is a fascinating place and one that I personally was really keen to visit. Luckily, as Editor of The Voice Fuerteventura magazine I was in a good position to get a look around. So along with a few other keen explorers armed with cameras and metal detectors, we set off on our ‘access all areas’ adventure. Over the years I have received countless messages and emails about the villa winter and the Nazi conspiracy theories, so was already aware that many of our readers also shared my fascination, so we thought we would share our experience, including our photos, ideas and our own conspiracy theories with you over the next few months. So, this is the first instalment of what we are calling Villa Winter Exposed.

Written Fact: ‘The history of the villa is the subject of several conspiracy theories, often involving Nazis.’

[ Source Wikipedia.org ]

Villa Winter and Escaping Nazi’s?

So, according to Wikipedia, the Villa Winter has something to do with Nazis’s. Remember, these are not my words, however, depending on who you speak to, nobody really knows what went on in the Villa Winter, although there are many theories, however if the current disputes over whether to destroy it or preserve it are anything to go by, we may never really know. Many people have tried to uncover the secrets that this infamous house holds (or hides) but very few have been privy to what lies inside its walls. There have been many rumours, yet little facts and due to the nature of the conspiracy theories, some people do not wish for the truth (whatever that may be) to actually be revealed. On top of that, you need to consider the personal issues which are effecting the disputes too, as sometimes humans can unintentionally ruin what was originally good or even compelling evidence and render it useless, if it is no longer in context or has been contaminated in some way.

From this, you can already see that there are a lot of ‘if’s’ and ‘but’s’ to consider and human intervention, but as soon as you set foot on this site, all that goes out of your head and you really do become engrossed in a conspiracy theory like no other. And, the  more you explore the more questions you uncovers. To me, there is no doubt about it, this is a strange place, set in a strange location, that was in use in during a strange time and has very strange history. So much so, that my inner-investigator went into overdrive and I became consumed with finding out more.



 

So was Villa Winter just a family residence?

If so, then it was built in a virtually inaccessible location.

Why? For family privacy ? ……. or is there more to it?

…..is there really any truth behind the conspiracy theories?

REMOTE AND INACCESSIBLE

As you can see from the photos, the Villa Winter lies in a remote location, and getting to it is almost impossible. The road that leads to it, is also becoming more and more inaccessible, day by day as erosion takes its toll. The house itself is also in a very bad  state of disrepair and dangerous for anyone that wants to look around unguided, especially as many of the upstairs floors are unstable and are now unable to bear any weight. It is also a private residence and NOT a tourist attraction or museum and therefore the argument regarding its upkeep and who should fund its maintenance is also in question, especially as it sits on private land and inside a natural park. This means you will not be able to get inside and any attempt to do so is considered trespassing on private property.

Like ourselves, some have managed to gain access over the years and been allowed to photograph certain areas such as The History Channel and Canarian TV. However, until now, (First Published in The Voice Fuerteventura 2015) no-one has been allowed to ‘access all areas’ and photograph and record the house and its surroundings in details (albeit somewhat hindered by red tape and unstable buildings,) in order to try and uncover some of its secrets. The team here at The Voice Fuerteventura are the first and we are sharing our findings with you.

 



ACCESS ALL AREAS

We have been allowed access all to areas and have photographed every nook and cranny both inside and out and are now continuing in other locations around the area to try and unearth other secrets and make sense of what we are seeing. We also have a very well informed and knowledgeable source that will remain confidential but who knows the property better than anyone else, to guide us.

UPDATED IDEAS

When we originally published our Villa Winter Exposed articles back in 2015, we were limited by space as the pages were physically printed, but now we are using our online platforms more and more, it means we can bring you all the unseen photographs and share the more in-depth investigations, theories and information with you. Back then there was too many things to cover in one article and far too many questions that need to be answered, in a non-biased and fact based manner, that what we could share was limited. But now that we have a digital format, we will be uncovering different parts of this fascinating house in bite size chunks, so that you can see all the areas in more detail and have the opportunity to ask questions. This way, you can make up your own minds as to what, where and who the Villa Winter was designed for and used by, and wether you believe the conspiracy theories or not.



THE HIDDEN AREAS

These articles will include photographs of all the different areas including the so called “hidden bedrooms” the strange and unnerving “kitchen” which is where many believe face altering surgery was performed. The lower areas which we have nicknamed “the cells” the tower which looks out on to a helipad, the secret symbols and artefacts and anything else that we think you as readers would like to see. We also have a personal interview with the family that have stood guard over the house for 85 years and all the personal stories that they have to tell.

GET INVOLVED!

In return, we want your help. We know many of you are budding and even retired or professional historians and some will have much more knowledge about this house than we have and so we ask you for your opinions. What do you think was going on? Can you add any accounts to this investigation? Do you have evidence that this is just a house and nothing more? Do you know where the secret tunnels are? Were there U-boats moored just off the coast? What photographs would you like to see and what questions would you like us to ask?

Please let us know what you think and get in touch… as between us all. Maybe we can really uncover the secret history of The Villa Winter once and for all! Who knows? 

Please leave your comments below.

(First Published in The Voice Fuerteventura 2015)

Photos by Luisa M Follano & Simon Waldram with The Voice Fuerteventura

4 thoughts on “Villa Winter – Exposed Part 1

  1. This has been an interesting read. I have been to the Canary Islands in winter. I like how warm it is down there. And I also love to learn about the country as much as I can. I had not heard about Villa Winter. And the connection with Nazis makes sense. But until the truth comes out, all we can do is speculate. I would like to go and take pictures of the house the next time I visit the Canary Islands.

    1. Hi Ann, unfortunately it is not that simple. The journey to the house is really difficult and getting close, you only really get a look at the high outside courtyard walls – however they also have a story to tell which I will cover in a post soon. So keep an eye on our next posts as we will be publishing the photos and you can have a proper look at the areas we call the cells where they believed the prisoners were kept whilst their identities were stolen, the kitchen where the face altering surgery as believed to have taken place and the hiding places which have no visible doors! There is also a graveyard. Was that for the workers or a way of getting rid of the bodies whose identities were stolen??? So much to uncover, I would love to hear your thoughts as you read more. 

  2. This is an extremely interesting subject, Luisa and one I would like to learn more about.
    I am not a historian in the true sense, nor have I been aware of the Villa Winter all these years. However,
    I do enjoy reading stories of long-ago times. So, discovering your post online grabbed my curiosity.

    The year 1946 was the year that World War 2 ended. Such troubled times had been experienced by populations globally.
    My immediate thought when reading this article was that the Villa Winter is a building that contains mysteries of unpleasant happenings. Therefore, purposely left isolated with intentions and hope that it would deteriorate and be forgotten forever!

    Alternatively, there could be an absolute reversal of my first notion. With the construction of the Villa Winter in the mid-1940s, it may have been intended as a haven for rebuilding peace, harmony and pleasure.  A home far distant from the destruction that had ruined buildings, broken the hearts and souls of millions. One that would allow a family, maybe an extended family, to rebuild their lives.

    I look forward to learning more about this amazing story.

    1. Thanks for your comments Valerie. This really is an interesting villa and once you see the next few posts, I think you will start to rethink your happy families idea.. but we will see. Thanks The Ed 

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