Casa de las Cadenas (Cazorla)

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Casa de las Cadenas (Cazorla)

The Casa de las Cadenas is situated on land that was once occupied by the house belonging to the Marquess of Camarasa, and still contains a stone plaque that was once part of the old building. This house provides an insight into the architecture of this type that you will find in the park’s towns and villages; an architecture that consists of large manorial houses and which bears little relation to the rest of the structures found in the park. It is the result of the selling-off and privatisation of public property that took place during the 19th century, when a number of major property-owners gained possession of large tracts of land in the mountains.

In Beas de Segura you can find two different examples of architecture of this type in Calle Feria, while in Orcera there are a number of interesting houses in Calle San José and Calle Genaro de la Parra. In Puerta de Segura and Siles there are also some examples of this type of architecture, which is often called "regionalist" but essentially seeks to incorporate elements from earlier periods into the design of these houses.

The evolution of architectural styles can be observed in the design of the house, with Moorish architecture giving way to a Neo-Mudéjar style and later to Renaissance and baroque details. The new landowners who lived in these houses were attempting to legitimise their position by adopting the visual hallmarks of the medieval or Renaissance periods, as a way of forging a connection with concepts of aristocracy and thereby justifying their position of power. These buildings are inextricably linked to the events of the 19th century, a time of great changes and a period in which the mountain ranges that make up the natural park became part of the newly established province of Jaén. This century also saw the creation of mechanisms and forms of governance for the region that were of an entirely different nature to those that came before, such as the feudal Settlement of Cazorla and the Commandery of Segura. It was the century in which great fortunes were made and in which the number of families living in poverty grew exponentially, all presided over by a constitutional regime that was utterly alien to the great majority of citizens.

The Casa de las Cadenas is a three-storey house with a compact, solid appearance, and features a number of Renaissance-style details such as semicircular arches. One particularly large arch bears the coat of arms of the Godoy family, the first recorded owners of this dwelling.

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