Reception room

This space recreates the noble room, or the room of wealthy households aspiring to nobility, and it maintains the medieval tradition of reserving a special seat for the highest-ranking person. Seating continued to be an indicator of hierarchy. It is furnished with seats with armrests, better known today as friar chairs, because they survived until recent times in ecclesiastical circles. These chairs, introduced into Spain in the 16th century, were placed at regular intervals against the wall, and were usually made of wood with a leather or textile back, which was secured with metal tacks.

Another feature of drawing room furnishings were bufetes – small desks. These were usually draped with velvet or damask cloths, the smaller versions being known as bufetillos de estrado, or drawing room tables. Another typical feature was the brazier; filled with coals or embers, it was the means of heating the rooms. To combat the smell of combustion, they would also burn aromatic herbs and erraj or olive pits, which eliminated any unpleasant smells.

Lighting was provided by an iron, floor-standing candlestick in the style of the epoch.

In wealthy and noble homes, walls on the ground floor were covered with guadamecíes during the summer months partly to impress visitors but also to provide some insulation from the heat outside. Guadamecíes are ram hides which have been tanned and embossed, and either gilded polychromed, or left in their natural colour. On show in this room there are several hangings of tooled hide, handcrafted with a repetitive hot-stamped motif after a 16th century original in the Museu de L’Art de la Pell [Museum of Tanning Art] at Vic (Barcelona).

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