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The Becerra Palace

 

casa de los becerra

 

 

palacio de los becerra

 

The official headquarters of the Mercedes Calles - Carlos Ballestero Foundation is located in one of the most emblematic buildings of the historic city of Cáceres, the Palace Becerra. It is a building of late medieval origin yet in an excellent state of preservation. It was acquired by the marriage of Ballestero-Calles and renovated between 2001 and 2006 in order to create spaces for exhibitions and other cultural events.

Becerra Palace is a strong-house, a medieval building that serves two main functions: as the residence for noble families that also incorporates defensive elements, such as the watchtower. But why would the occupants wish to protect themselves if Caceres already had a powerful wall? After the city was finally taken in 1228 it was repopulated with families from the Christian kingdoms who by facing their houses with each other created a defensive system of dwellings. When Queen Isabella the Catholic ended the wars at the end of the fifteenth century, the cacereño buildings were transformed from sturdy medieval houses to become Renaissance palaces with profusely decorated façades, wider apertures and, in general, greater comforts.

A good example of this process is Palace Becerra. It is not easy to date the origins of this fortified house, though its beginnings can be found somewhere in the C12th. It was the family home of Becerra, and as is apparent in its exterior walls, is the result of constant expansion and improvement by successive generations of occupants.

A defensive vestige from its past is the corner tower, although it is devoid of battlements and barely protrudes from the front of the palace, it gives an idea of the importance of the property. By the fifteenth century, the building had begun to take on a more residential character, and by the sixteenth century the current facade had been constructed: simple and elegant, with a large stone plaque emblazoned with the crest of the Becerra lineage on both sides.

Unlike other palaces, the façade of the Becerra Palace is an original example from the sixteenth century with little alteration, 

 

 

 

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