Casa de Pilatos - History

History casa de pilatos

The initial construction of the palace was begun by Pedro Enríquez de Quiñones (1435-1492), IV Chief Governor of Andalucía, a noble title bestowed by the King, and his second wife Catalina de Rivera, founder of the Casa de Alcalá, and completed by their son Fadrique Enríquez de Rivera (1476 - 1539), First Marquess of Tarifa.

In 1518 Don Fadrique departed on a Grand Tour of Europe and the Holy Land. Two years later he returned, enraptured by the architectural and decorative wonders of High Renaissance Italy. He spent the rest of his life fashioning a new aesthetic style of palace, which became very influential.  Don Fadrique's palace was called the Palacio de San Andrés, but from 1754 was referred to as the House of Pilate because some considered that it resembled Pontius Pilate's home in Jerusalem.

After Don Fadrique died without leaving legitimate heirs, the estate passed to his nephew Per Afán Enríquez de Ribera (1509-1571). Per Afan was made 1st Duke of Alcalá in 1558 by King Philip II, as well as Viceroy of Naples, where he acquired numerous marble antiques. To display his collection, instead of modifying the existing palace, in around 1568 he commissioned Neapolitan architect Benvenuto Tortello to build the three loggias that we see today in the Large Garden, with their arches, niches and grotto to house the Roman statues and Renaissance copies.

The palace has been added to over the years, and rooms have been named along the theme of the Passion of Christ: Hall of the Praetorian, Chapel of the Flagellations. The Large Garden and surrounds were a major addition. It was declared a National Monument in 1931. Whilst the palace still serves as the permanent residence of the Dukes of Medinaceli. The palace is owned and managed by the Fundación Casa Ducal de Medinaceli, which also owns grand buildings around Spain.



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