Bishops’ Palace , first Literary University, is placed in a great building from the 16th century. This was the first site of the University of Granada, built by Emperor Charles V in 1526. Its founding took place in the context of a conflictive relationship with the moriscos in the Kingdom of Granada, accepting the teaching route as an effective way to integrate them.
In 1767, the university moved to the old college of the Society of Jesus. Today the building is part of the Faculty of Law.
The first building was then turned into the site of the Curia, the ecclesiastical court with bureaucratic, administrative and judicial functions. To that end, necessary renovations were carried out and it was connected to neighbouring the Archbishop’s Palace.
The University of Granada was conceived from the start according to thinking of Alcalá de Henares, as a general university studying associated with a hall of residence. Of its three façades only the main one, facing the cathedral, is architecturally important, given that the side was functionally opened to the Plaza de las Pasiegas at the end of the 17th century, and the façade of the Colegio Catalino only had a small door, given that the Granada council was not very inclined to let the students leave through it and get distracted by the racket in Plaza de Bibarrambla.
Distribution of the rooms in the Curia
In general, and despite the changes in use over its history, the building has kept its internal organisation, except for the connection with the Archbishop’s Palace, as in the 18th century both buildings were connected and a secondary staircase was built. The ground floor of the building had the classrooms for Grammar and Law and Canons to the left. To the right of the hall, another Grammar classroom in the eastern corridor and the Grand Hall. On the first floor there was a hall of secret acts or General Alto and library, the rectory, the cloisters hall and philosophy-, medicine- and theology classrooms as well as the chapel.
This large complex of rooms shows a rich repertoire of Moorish panelled ceilings. Finally, as a historical way of remembering of the post-secondary evolution of the building, it is worth mentioning the recovery of some of the cheers from students after receiving their degrees, featured on the walls surrounding the galleries of the courtyard.
The Curia and the Archbishop’s Palace are a part of the route for our Granada Must-Do Tour