Granada City Hall’s current building, located in the centrally located Plaza del Carmen, is an interesting place that over time has gone through numerous transformations, trials and tribulations. Its story began as the home of the convent of the male Carmelites.
Initially, a first arcaded cloister was built, an area that does not exist any more referred to as the “old cloister” which took up the area where the Plaza del Carmen currently is. A main cloister, called the “new cloister”, was larger than the first one. This is the only part of the convent’s building that has been preserved, and now now holds City Hall’s courtyard.
After the confiscation of the building, the church was demolished. As for the convent, it was ceded in 1848 by the State to the Municipal Government for the purpose of moving the Casa del Cabildo to it. Due to the lack of funds for undertaking the renovations on the building, the Municipal Government made the decision to knock down the old cloister in order to reduce the costs of the change, placing a new representative square in the space the old cloister previously took up.
At the start of the 20th century, the municipal architect Modesto Cendoya led the remodelling of the façade, in keeping with design standards of the time, and built the majestic stairway that provides access to the first floor.
The equestrian statue of The precise moment was placed on the middle of the roof. This beautiful sculptural group of polished patina-finished bronze sitting atop the main façade of City Hall was entrusted to Guillermo Pérez Villalta to commemorate the fifth centenary of the Municipal Government of Granada. The piece depicts a horse in motion with three of its legs on golden spheres and a nude rider mounted on the horse’s hind-quarters, wearing a blindfold and holding a fourth sphere in his right hand.
The piece was conceived as a symbol of happiness, representing the achievement of a moment of triumph, of perfect, yet fleeting, balance. A moment you are only aware of when it has already gone by and the blindfold covering our eyes falls. The material execution of the piece was done by sculptor Ramiro Mejías.
This monument is a part of our guided tour “Places of Isabel la Católica in Granada”, only available in Spanish.