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.

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