Casa de Pilatos is a merchant’s palace dating from the last quarter of the 15th century and the largest private residence in Sevilla. It sprung from the union of the Enríquez and Ribera families and is said to the the ‘prototype’ of an Andalucían palace. The name can be traced back to Don Fadrique Enríquez de Rivera, the First Marquis of Tarifa. During his first trip to Jerusalem, Don Fadrique discovered that the distance from his house to a small temple at Cruz del Campo was exactly the same as the distance between the former house of Pontius Pilate and the Golgotha.
In 1520 Don Fadrique returned from a two year long trip through Europe. His encounters with Renaissance architecture in cities such as Rome, Venice and Florence had such an impact on him that he decided to drastically alter his residence and turn it into the Rennaissance-style palace. His ideas had a large impact on the architectural scene in Sevilla.
Visitors can wander through the ground floor with an optional audio guide or enjoy a guided tour of the upper floor, which contains a collection of Medinaceli portraits among other paintings.
On the ground floor is the Patio Principal, home to large sculptures of the Greek goddesses, Ceres and Minerva, and a Genovese marble fountain that stands in the centre of the patio. Above is a Gothic balustrade, Renaissance arches and Mudejar panelling demonstrating the harmonious blending of styles. Near the patio is the Preator’s Study, where a copy of the Bearded Woman (the portrait of 52 year old Magdalena Ventura with her husband and child) hangs on the wall.
The next patio, El Grande (The Large Patio), was originally an orchard. In the corner of the patio is a small, dark grotto with a pond, a fountain and a full-length marble statue of a sleeping nymph. Near El Grande is El Chico (The Small Patio), which has a beautiful garden with a fountain and a statue of a young Bacchus. Around the garden are other statues and a small fountain.
TOP TIP: A visit to Casa Pilatos will not usually take all day, so you can plan another activity for the afternoon. It was not very busy when we visited so there was no need for us to book tickets in advance. Ticket price – Ground Floor: 6€, Upper Floor: 8€. Guided tours of the upper floor run from 10:00 to 17:30 and last approximately 30 minutes (in the summer they also run tours at 18:00 and 18:30). The ground floor is open from 9:00 to 18:00 (19:00 in the summer).*
- Information sign at Casa de Pilatos
*Information as provided by Seville-Traveller at time of posting.