Infant Palace, Guadalajara

Infant Palace, Guadalajara
Infant Palace, Guadalajara

The Palacio del Infantado in the Spanish city of Guadalajara is one of the most representative examples of the coexistence of style and artistic influences that inhabited the Iberian Peninsula. Built in the 15th century by the Second Duke of the Infantado and declared an Asset of Cultural Interest in 1914, the palace is currently one of the most outstanding monuments of the first Spanish Renaissance.


The building was ordered to be built in the second half of the 15th century, around the year 1480, by Don Iñigo López de Mendoza y Luna, second Duke of the Infantado in the same place where his father had built a manor family a few years earlier. In this sense, we owe this construction as the Duke's desire to highlight and consolidate the fame and power of his family. The works were entrusted to the French architect Juan Guas (1430 – 1496), one of the most outstanding architects of the well-known Toledo Gothic style in which the last echoes of Gothic aesthetics are mixed with the new artistic conception of the Renaissance. The works were carried out with great haste and only three years after its start, the palace already had a façade and patio and by the end of the century the work was completely finished.

Currently we cannot observe the original work of Guas since in the following century, around 1569, the Fifth Duke of the Infantado carried out a series of reformsarchitectural that sought to give the palatial complex a more Renaissance character in imitation of the Escorial complex that Philip II had commissioned from Juan Bautista de Toledo and later from Juan de Herrera.

The main façade is one of the most outstanding parts of the palace. It is a facade with clear Moorish influences that tell us about the Muslim past that had such an influence on Hispanic art; the access door is off center giving direct access to the palace courtyard. While the main door is flanked by thick columns and multiple heraldic elements, the rest of the façade has been decorated with diamond points. In this area, multiple openings were opened in the subsequent remodeling, especially highlighting the cresting that finishes off the façade and whose windows illuminate the library decorated in Renaissance style.

On the other hand, we must highlight the courtyard of the palace known as Patio de los Leones. It is a rectangular courtyard with two floors that forms the backbone of the palatial complex. The arches of the galleries are mixtilinear ogee on the lower floor and even more complicated on the upper floor with new inlets and outlets. For their part, the columns that support the arcades with simple Doric columns that go unnoticed due to the ornate decoration of the patio in which multiple heraldic elements have been combined, such as the coats of arms of the Mendoza and Luna families.

In the surroundings of the palace there were splendid gardens that also evolved alongwith the palatial complex and a square located in front of the entrance door that has now been lost.

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