The Reception Courtyard was designed to create the main entrance to the palace. Being visible from the square onto which it opens, and along with the façade, was to impress and to demonstrate that the palace was home to the nobility. The harmony between architecture and gardening of this courtyard have turned it into one of the most popular images of Viana. El Reception Courtyard did not have access to the square in the 15th century and this situation was enforced by a clause in the purchase contract of 1421. The palace was accessed through the current Courtyard of the Orange Trees. Centuries later, the fourth owner of the palace and 2nd Lord of Villaseca, Luis Gómez de Figueroa y Córdoba (who died in 1609), married a Cordoban noblewoman called María de Guzmán y Argote. This raised the status of the family and he decided to convert the medieval house he had inherited into a renaissance mansion, more in keeping with their social position and the era. The order was therefore given to construct the corner façade – since this was the only part of the palace opening out onto Don Gome Square – and the Reception Courtyard, allowing the public to see part of the palace. The courtyard is surrounded by a portico of 16 Tuscan columns and a two-storey building with its window frames painted the classic “Viana blue”. Curiously, when the courtyard was built, two of its porticoes were just architectural screens to hide parts of the house cut off from the palace or that they did not own. The Reception Courtyard therefore does what it was originally designed to do, creating an exquisite antechamber for the rest of the palace. It is a sober area in which particular care has been taken to impress without going over the top, seeking to find a balance between the renaissance architecture of the structure and the flowers used to add colour. Architecturally distinctive The Reception Courtyard has a trapezoidal shape, adapting to the plot available at the time. Since it is accessed through a corner, it has the peculiarity of lacking the column that would normally be built there. The absence of this column means that there are better views from the square and the carriages could enter the courtyard. Stables The stables next to the Reception Courtyard are the result of Renaissance changes made by the 2nd Lord of Villaseca. These rooms are commonly found in a reception courtyard or entrance courtyard in stately homes and they are designed to house the palace’s carriages and horses. In Viana there are 3 areas divided by arcades of Tuscan columns. The stalls have been conserved. In the stables, visitors can see a wedding carriage with its paintwork restored by Joaquín Sorolla. Also of interest are a covered sedan chair and a saddle. (18th century).


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