TOWER OF THE TEMPLARS OF CARAVACA DE LA CRUZ

The so-called Torre de los Templars is located in the place known as Fuentes del Marqués, about two kilometres from the town centre of Caravaca; A place very frequented by tourists and caravaqueños who appreciate the benefits of a landscape with great natural richness, abundant arboreal mass and channels of crystalline waters.

The tower and its exceptional surroundings are accessed by a paved road that part of the town of Caravaca itself. Once there, the visitor has ample parking, as well as various units dedicated to the hotel where to complete a pleasant visit. In addition, the entrance to the interior of the tower is today possible thanks to the establishment inside the centre of interpretation of the nature of the fountains of the marquis.

Origin, form and function

The origins of this construction are somewhat confusing and should be placed around the 16th and 17th centuries, when it is possible that the current tower is built on an older one. It seems that his contemporary name would already receive him by Remembrance century of the command of the order of the Temple, established in Caravaca by the crown of Castile during the first years since the reconquest. The current work would be related to a rural exploitation, in the opinion of Navarro Suárez, a state-type, who would take advantage of the excellent water resources of the place.

It is a work of quadrangular plant, of generous dimensions, on whose door a characteristic inoculum is opened. Its walls, raised with well carved ashlar, and its great vains, already denote the little – or null – warlike character of the tower.

The Tower of the Templars is declared well of Cultural interest by the second additional provision of law 16/1985, of 25 of June of the Spanish historical patrimony.

 

Architecture

The building is inscribed in a quadrangular plant, and its elevations can be divided into three bodies. To the left of the main entrance there is a small terraced building that houses the stairwell of the tower. To its exterior, in the main façade, four openings are opened: the door, crowned by a glass, and two windows that mark the two upper floors.

Inside, it stands out in the ground floor a stay dug in the rock, with vaulted ceiling, which may have had different uses (chapel, Reflectorio.). And although the first floor is accessed by a staircase that departs from the ground, the entrance to the upper floor is carried out by the outside, from the hill, taking advantage of the level of the rock on which the whole building was built.

The walls of the tower were erected with solid limestone ashlars locked with lime mortar, and finally the roof was made in four waters using Arabian tile.

 

Tower Germ

There are different hypotheses about the origin of the Tower of the Templars. It is possible that before the present there was in the place some type of fortification linked to the control of the existing sources, as well as to the fields that it could irrigate.The construction of this primordial tower could have been carried out during the second half of the thirteenth century, perhaps coinciding with the dominance of the order of the Temple on the Caravaqueñas lands in the years immediately to the reconquest, and from there it inherited its name. However, Navarro Suárez warns that this name could be received already during the nineteenth century.

 

Uses of the building

Outside as it was, it seems clear that the current tower could hardly have had a pure warlike character, and rather it would have to be linked to a seigniorial exploitation based on the place, which took advantage of the abundance of water. Thus it could arise-according to the author mentioned-towards the end of the XVI century or beginning of the XVII, this building so characteristic, more aimed at the residential use, apparent, of some character of the nobility Santiaguista with roots in Caravaca. And some data point to the fact that it was, indeed, a place of abode of Don Rodrigo de Moya, Warden of the fortress of Caravaca and one of the great oligarchs of the area in the seventeenth century. However, in the eighteenth century, the property of the tower and its surroundings was of the Marquis de Uribe.

 

Views from the tower of the Templars.

Source:http://www.regmurcia.com

 

 

THE HOUSE OF THE COUNTS OF SANTA ANA OF THE TOWERS, BEFORE QUESADA, (POPULARLY OF THE VIRGIN.)

At the end of street Rafael Tejeo imposing rises popularly called “House of the Virgin”, one of the most beautiful and emblematic of the caravaquena of the Baroque civil architecture buildings. It owes its name to the niche that houses the image of Nuestra Señora de las Angustias or conquests, copy of the patron saint of Granada, which overlooks benefactor to inviting passers-by to pray a salve giving therefore 80 days of indulgence from his dressing room.

The House, which belongs to the lineage of the counts of Santa Ana de las Torres, has a long history and it has been changing its appearance from the 16th century until the middle of the 18th century when Don Andrés de Quesada Fernandez de Cordoba and his spouse Doña Antonia de Robles Miñarro and T Abellán OMAs reformed in very essential parts the former factory with the appearance that today we can admire and which fortunately has just undergone changes.

 

His factory has some peculiarities that distinguish it from other houses of his time not only in the whole of the region, but within the same city, some deliberately sought and others imposed by the above extension; Thus, before the typical house caravaquena (where normally the murcian porch is replaced by hallway that opens directly or through a door to the imperial staircase) here are, a rectangular courtyard, which allows access to the various rooms by means of a double set of stairs mutually opposing: the main and called staircase of the supplier (under whose hollow the ditch that caters the needs of the House and irrigated orchards is located) which on the one hand allows free movement without meetings between the family and employees and, on the other hand, the direct communication of the service to the main rooms located on the first floor and the rise of Eskimos to the false where the grain, avoiding dust and dirt in the rooms designed to house was kept.

The façade-based brick is one of the few that retains the farthingale and has magnificent rococo railings. In terms of niche or camarín de la Virgen is, both on the inside as it is on the outside, one of the pieces of the region more delicate Bill. Its crystals tasaron 116 real and 200 large lanterns that gave light to the image; as well as 10 others that distributed by the facade they burned continuously. The image itself was valued at 640 Reals and is copy of the patron saint of Granada. We ignore its author even though we know that the Builder of the House had account with the sculptor Francisco Fernández Caro, we do not know if for the execution of this image or any for the chapel of the House of the Penicas.

Weapons of the lineage are represented at the top of the stairwell. At that time was no longer frequent placement of shields on the front but was a constant inside placement – as we can see in other houses of Caravaca – already were polychromed plaster (as in the adjoining the San Mamés, House of the Melgares de Segura (, House of Doña María Girón, etc.), cabinets (House of the counts of Reparaz) or, as in this case, mural painting in which fortunately has been preserved and remains as the only sample of so many other shields caravaqueños that have disappeared under the successive painting restorations (2).

To understand the reason for the establishment of the Quesada in Caravaca must explain that in this family it falls, by absence of male offspring, the Majorat of the Moya, ancient noblemen of Beas de Segura who settled in Caravaca as governors of the Castle and fortress, named by the Marquis of los Vélez, House to which they were closely linked. This role was played continuously by Knights of this surname in a manner hereditary quasi during more than 200 years.

 

The governors were appointed by the King through the Commander. Among other privileges and obligations assigned were defense and custody of the Castle and Holy Cross with its shrine, taking over that he was in good saves all the reverence and veneration as possible, not allowing to leave the relic of its place rather than in very forcible cases or in cases stipulated festivities and processions, forcing don’t innovate anything, as well as guard and holding one of the three keys of the sanctum.

 

Source: Of the Peña Velasco, conception. “The retable Baroque in the ancient Diocese of Cartagena”. University of Murcia, 1992. PAG. 295.