Palacio de los Golfines de Abajo | Attraction Guides | History Hit

Palacio de los Golfines de Abajo

Caceres, Extremadura, Spain

Lucy Davidson

30 Mar 2020
Image Credit: Shuttershock

About Palacio de los Golfines de Abajo

The Palacio de los Golfines de Abajo is an impressive, mostly Gothic, stately home in the historic Old Town of Cáceres that served as the lodgings of royalty whenever they visited. It is partially open to the public, and its rustic façade is one of the most notable in the old town quarter.

History of Palacio de los Golfines de Abajo

The Old Town of Cáceres, which was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1986, is home to two impressive medieval palaces which both share a common feature: the Golfines family. One of these is the Palacio de los Golfines de Abajo, situated at the lowest point in the Plaza de Santa Maria. 

The Golfines were powerful and managed to persuade the Catholic monarchs to issue them with a license to found a mayorazgo, which allowed the family to maintain patrimony and power. Construction on the palace thus began in around 1510 or 1511 by the Golfines after they settled in the city after its reconquest.

The ornate Plateresque exterior façade is made up of a central stone body and is flanked by two different sized towers. The tower on the left bears the only Catholic monarch coat of arms in Caceres, which speaks to the significance of the Golfines’ close relationship with them. The tower on the right bears the Golfines’ coat of arms.

Inside, the Salon de los Linajes is notable for its polychrome coffered ceiling and a complete family geneaology.

Palacio de los Golfines de Abajo Today

The Museum of Palacio de los Golfines de Abajo now allows visitors today to learn about the lifestyle of aristocratic families in medieval Caceres.

You can take a tour of the two-story palace, starting by exploring the four rooms on the ground floor. The four rooms house art from original tapestries and portraits right up to modern items owned by the last member of the Golfines, Tatiana Perez de Guzman el Bueno y Seebacher, who died in 2012.

On the first floor is a collection of 16th century reliquaries, a hunting room with a collection of hunting trophies and guns, and the intimate parlour, where the Golfines would have hosted their closest family and friends. The Documents Room is also filled with a fascinating array of documents which trace both the family lineage and the history of Spain.

Getting to Palacio de los Golfines de Abajo

The stunning town of Caceres was made a UNESCO world heritage site in 1986. Made up of a combination of Gothic and Renaissance architecture, the cobbled medieval streets, fortified houses, and palaces make it a wonderfully historic hidden gem.

Caceres is a 3 hour drive from Madrid, primarily along the main E-90 road. Within Caceres, the Palacio is a 4 minute walk from the very centre of town.

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