Palacio del Infantado - History and Facts | History Hit

Palacio del Infantado

Guadalajara, Castile-La Mancha, Spain

Palacio del Infantado is a fifteenth century palace in Guadalajara built by the Mendoza family.

Peta Stamper

07 Apr 2021
Image Credit: CC / José Luis Filpo Cabana

About Palacio del Infantado

The Palacio del Infantado is a Renaissance style palace in Guadalajara, Spain, designed by Juan Guas under the orders of the second Duke of the Infantado. Palacio del Infantado has stunning architecture, a museum of fine art and archaeology, and contains the tomb of doña Aldonza de Mendoza.

Palacio del Infantado history

The Infantado Palace was built in the former location of the houses of the first lord of the House of Mendoza, by his son, Íñigo López de Mendoza, at the end of the 15th century. The facade was completed by 1483, and the monument to the Mendoza family was a splendid Gothic building with coffered ceilings and reflecting their great wealth.

In the 1560s, the fifth Duke of the Infantado began further work on the palace, giving it a Renaissance makeover after the then-king Philip II’s residence near Madrid. The Renaissance additions opened new windows, covered old ones, removed Gothic spires and decorated rooms with Italian fresco paintings. A ‘mythical garden’ was also built next to the palace.

By the 18th century, the palace had become home to the widow of King Carlos II, Mariana de Neoburgo, who died in 1740. In the following centuries, the Mendozas abandoned the palace in Guadalajara to march with the Court.

At the end of the 19th century, the fifteenth Duke sold half the palace to the City Council, which was given to the Ministry of War as a military school for orphans. Unfortunately in 1936, during the Spanish Civil War, the palace was bombed and it was not until the 1960s that reconstruction began. The Mudejar coffered ceilings were however, lost forever.

In 1972, the Guadalajara Provincial Historical Archive and Public Library were moved into the palace but did not stay long, as in 2019 the current Duchess of Infantado was allowed her right to use the buildings.

Palacio del Infantado today

While the archives remain, the Palacio del Infantado is now also home to the Provincial Museum of Guadalajara, open to the public. Visitors will undoubtedly be impressed by the west-facing facade, one of the jewels of civil Gothic art. The prominent decorative diamonds throughout the facade and the continuous gallery of alternating balconies and gates, reflect the Andalusian Moorish heritage.

Stop by the museum of Guadalajara to see the collection of over 200 works including paintings, sculptures and antique furniture dating from the 15th to 20th centuries.

Getting to the Palacio del Infantado

Located in the centre of the busy city, it is easiest to use public transport to reach the Palacio del Infantado. Catch the ASLA Bb, L4 or R2 buses to the nearest stop, Ingeniero Mariño, 4 minutes walk away.