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Palace of El Infantado

Palace of El Infantado

Civil architecture

Opening hours: Tuesdays to Sundays from 10 am to 2 pm (16th of June to 15th os September). Joint admission including Museum and Los Leones Courtyard

Direction: Plaza de España, 13, Guadalajara.

Telephone: 949 213 301

Web: Visit the website

The most beautiful building in town, the Palace of El Infantado, stands in España Square. This palace has been classified as unique among those of its kind by the vast majority of specialists that have taken part in its study, acknowledging its great contribution to universal art.

Thus, the 27th of April 2001, the Town Council’s plenary session of this town agreed to start processing its appointment as World Heritage Site. This goal was reached in the 77th meeting of the Spanish World Heritage Council held the 2nd of October 2015 in Madrid.

Juan Guas (1403-1496) reached his artistic mature period during the design if these relevant houses, after its long career as the master of some major temples in Ávila, Segovia and Toledo, and working as an architect for the Catholic Monarchs. Here, in Guadalajara, he was able to design a palace with utterly innovative elements. It was the result of, on the one hand, his long experience in masonry areas of northern Europe, where he originally worked, and on the other hand, of the influence of al-Andalus’ master builders in space distribution and decorative programs. Besides, he also incorporated the classicist solutions set by the Italian treatise writers in the century of Quattrocento.

In this way, the curtain wall in the main façade responds to the models that were set by Filarate in his work Trattato d’architettura (1465) and to his works erected in Milan. Yet, contrasting with the regular order of Filarate’s patterns, Juan Guas creates an innovative disposition with diamond points in order to define a rhomboid-shaped weft –“sebka”– with great dynamism, which beats the monotonous linear disposition rooted in the Italian canon.

Another point of conjunction of tendencies is the façade, inspired in the stylistic line presented in the Mudejar palaces of the 14th century, which denote the Iberian style of Moorish taste and workmanship. In this way, the façade includes an entrance between columns, a heraldic lintel, a pointed arch and confronted figures placed in the spandrels. All these elements are profusely decorated with resources that come from the European gothic style –spheres, interwoven and geometric decorations, vegetal elements, tracery and rosettes- and the Spanish Mudejar style- epigraphs and mocárabes, also known as stalactite decorative motifs-. Another innovative item was the prolongation of the façade, breaking the traditional limits, including the incorporation of a great coat of arms held by two colossuses.

Courtyard of Los Leones

Inside the palace, the Courtyard of Los Leones stands surrounded by gothic schemes; thus, creating a combination in which decoration beats the architectonic values and the general effect is given priority in contrast to the quality of each detail. However, confronted figures are also included –lions and griffs-, an iconography taken from the most oriental Islamic tradition. The result is an exquisite reiterative view.

Gardens of El Infantado

As well, the creation of a large garden is an original twist, as that kind of spaces were exclusively found in palaces from al-Andalus or monasteries used by the castellan monarchs as their eventual residence. Further, another key area is the gallery which opens the Palace of El Infantado to the west, known as “antique factory”, with semi-circular arches that stand upon elliptical pillars.

Guadalajara Museum

Nowadays, inside the palace, the exhibition spaces of Guadalajara’s Provincial Museum can be found. As well, it is possible to contemplate the ancient rooms of Battles and Atalanta, whose walls are covered with frescos by Rómulo Cincinato. This Italian artist was part of a team created by the Fifth Duque of El Infantado in order to carry out an astonishing remodelling of the main houses between 1569 and 1580.

In short, the Palace of El Infantado has been elevated to the highest point of universal architecture thanks to the combination of artistic styles and the participation of relevant artists. Consequently, it is identified as a masterpiece of the human creative genius, as it has been credited with its inclusion in the UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List.

Opening hours and tickets

Accessibility

  • Separate entry for wheel chair users.
  • Lift access to the upper floor. Ask for assistance.
  • WC with facilities for the disabled.

How to get there

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