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Al Jafar, part of our historical Leopard Collection

THE HISTORY OF AL JAFAR

Al Jafar has a long distinguished history that dates back over 1000 years. As its name suggests, it had Arabic origins and was initially the residence of the Emir Jafar (989-1035), a patron of the arts and sciences who is regarded by historians as being the "Lorenzo the Magnificent" of the Arabic Renaissance in Sicily.

The castle has been in the family of the present owners since 1335 when a Royal Knight, Lancelot, moved in. The last descendent of the family to live there permanently was Enrico "the Lion" (as Garibaldi nicknamed him), also known in historical circles also as the "Hero of Three Worlds" thanks to his participation in the Crimean War, the American Civil War (on the side of the Union) and the Risorgimento in Italy.

His daughter, Maria Teresa founded a religious order, the "Povere Figlie di Maria SS Incoronata", and transformed the castle into an orphange for abandoned children.

The present owners restored the castle in 1990, marvellously managing to maintain the original structure and ensuring that each stone, parapet and crenellation lives on to tell its story.

Like any castle worth visiting, Al Jafar has its own supernatural legend complete with ghost! It is, so the legend would have it, home to a magic, hidden treasure that can only be found by completing a series of tasks. First it is necessary to pluck a pomegranate from one of the trees in the garden. Then you have to go down to the stables at exactly midnight. Cutting open the pomegranate, you must then count every single seed. Only then will the Saracen ghost appear and lead you to the fantastic treasure!

There is, however, one other catch....first you have to book Al Jafar!

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