Real Chancilleria and Royal Jail

The establishment of the Real Chancilleria (Royal High Court) in Granada was a part of the programme promoted by the Spanish monarchy for settling the city, after the conquest, with prominent public institutions.

Prior to its establishment, the Catholic Monarchs had sponsored an important judicial reform through which the Royal Audience of Castile was divided into two chanceries, one with its seat in Valladolid and the other in Ciudad Real. Legal authority was distributed between both chanceries, and the move of the chancery from Ciudad Real to Granada did not occur until 1505.

Initially it was established in the Alhambra, but emperor Charles V, during his stay in the city, ordered it moved to the city as well as the construction of the current building.

The Real Chancilleria, symbol of Christian Granada

The Mannerist-style façade of the Chancilleria is an exceptional contribution to public architecture during the reign of Philip II. To make it a reality, a call for tenders was organised. The façade, conceived as a genuine symbol of power, reflected the presence of the Crown in the city.  It is organised into two horizontal sections for two stories and seven vertical panels. The façade was finished of by a large entablature with a stone balustrade on it with a pyramid finish, five on each side of the main entrance. On top there s an iron cupola that protects a clock. The result is an admirably elegant and beautiful façade.

The courtyard, attributed to Diego de Siloé, has half arches held up by high Tuscan pillars made of white marble. Of a total of sixteen medallions on the portico, twelve contain representations of masculine figures from Antiquity, most of them Roman generals and emperors, while the four remaining ones are feminine figures, three of them Roman matrons.

The great stairway provides access to the upper floor that, just like the façade, was created during the reign of Phillip II.  Today, the building is the seat of the High Court of Justice of Andalusia.

The Real Chancillería is included as a part of the route for our Granada Must-Do Tour.

 

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