Santiponce Itálica

Heritage

An immense legacy waiting to be discovered

Palace of the Count-Duke of Olivares

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This monumental site in Olivares was made possible by the generosity of the first Counts of Olivares, a cadet branch of the Ducal House of Medina Sidonia that settled in this area of the Aljarafe. The lands have belonged to the powerful Guzmán family since the Middle Ages. The palace was meant to be the summer residence of Pedro de Guzmán, the grandfather of Gaspar de Guzmán, the Count-Duke of Olivares, although it has been modified in the following centuries.

The palace, whose construction began in the first half of the 16th century, with some subsequent renovations, is connected to the town’s main square by two pointed arches, at each end, that span the street below. The two-storey building has a late Renaissance-style, lintelled façade. In the upper level are five balconies with double and triple-arched openings on marble columns, framed by Moorish-style alfiz mouldings. The family coat-of-arms of the Counts of Olivares appears in a marble relief on the façade, held by two harpies. The wrought-iron railings date from the late 16th and early 17th centuries.

Inside is a Genoese-style, collonaded courtyard with semi-circular arches on Genoese marble columns. It was the residence of the Counts of Olivares, and later of the abbots and canons of the Collegiate Church of Santa María de las Nieves.

Most of the building is currently occupied by the Town Hall. It houses an excellent exhibition of accurate replicas of baroque-style costumes made by the sewing workshop of Olivares Town Council.

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