Archbishop's Palace of Alcalá de Henares

Alcalá de Henares, Spain

The Archbishop's Palace of Alcalá de Henares is now home to the Diocese of Alcalá de Henares. It is located in the Plaza del Palacio and this form part of the monumental set declared World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

The building set dates from 1209. Two thirds were destroyed as a result of a devastating fire in 1939, during the Spanish Civil War. Is preserved is what is left intact after the 1939 fire, the damaged parts were not restored.

In this building came to reside different Castilian monarchs, were held synods and councils, and in here were born the youngest daughter of the Catholic Monarchs and future queen of England, Catherine of Aragon, and the German Emperor Ferdinand, son of Joanna 'the Mad'. In addition, it is famous for being the place where was performed the first meeting between the Catholic Monarchs and Christopher Columbus.

Currently the palace has 16 towers, highlighting the 'Tower of Tenorio'. Entering through the parade courtyard, appears the Renaissance main facade of the building. It is divided into two bodies, being the low of ashlar, with two floors of Plateresque windows that joins an upper gallery of gemanates arches. On the central window is a Baroque coat of terracotta, which replaced the imperial of Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor. The blazon is of the Cardinal-Infante Luis Antonio of Bourbon, son of Philip V, first Bourbon replacing the Habsburg dynasty. This courtyard is closed at south by a cast iron grille, made in Belgium in the 19th century.

In the east wing, where was the 'Hall of Councils', was done in the 19th century a major restoration in its exterior and interior by Juan José Urquijo y Manuel Laredo, following the Neo-Mudéjar style. In 1997 was opened the restored neo-Gothic chapel that replaces the missing Hall of Councils. In the lower floor has made a modern auditorium, replacing the 'Hall of the Queen Isabella'.

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Founded: 1209
Category: Religious sites in Spain

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