Gentleman’s room

This is a recreation the room of the family head of the house: the writer’s grandfather, Juan de Cervantes, a graduate of Law, who in 1538 left his wife and moved to Cordoba. The writer’s father, Rodrigo de Cervantes, who found himself in charge of a large household, would try to make ends meet with his poorly-paid job.

The bedrooms, as such, are not described in literary references, but information about their layout has been gleaned from paintings: one area would have been occupied by the bed, and the rest by benches, and tables draped with fabric. Inventories of the epoch attach more importance to the fabrics covering the tables and beds than to their actual structure.

Beds normally had a wooden structure or base, large headboards and columns or pillars for the curtains and canopies. The most ornamented component is the headboard, with its arches and spindles.

Chests and trunks, the most frequent furnishings in early 16th century Spain, are set out in this room with an item which is highly representative of the epoch of Cervantes: the writing cabinet or bureau. Also termed bargueño or papelera, the bureau was used for storing papers and documents; it has a distinctive prismatic structure that incorporates drawers, lockers and their keys; it might have a hinged lid, and if so, that would also have its own lock; it had myriad ornamentations, little doors, and assorted drawers. The bureaus in this room are 16th century.

Skip to content