Bringing the Past to Life
This original Baroque seventeenth-century manor survived many transformations, until it was acquired in 1990 by its current owners, who entrusted it to the talented hands of internationally-renowned and prestigious architect Rafael Manzano Martos, who undertook the complete rehabilitation of the house, acquired in full ruin status. Mr. Manzano recovered the original splendor of the building, respecting the plans, style and distribution of the old house. After the restoration the building has been protected by the Especial Protection Plan from the Historic Conjunto from Sevilla by they interest historic an arquitectural. The house-palace San José is probably the most beautiful and exceptional in the area. The detailed restoration greatly respects the original construction; the columns, arches and beautiful finishes make every day spent here a remarkable experience.
The first building was built nat the time of the birth of Sevilla, near the Temple of Diana, a long structure that went from what is now the Church of San Nicolás all the way to the beginning of Calle Mármoles, where three of the original columns still survive in their original location. Two more columns were moved to build the monuments to Hercules and Julius Caesar, situated at the Alameda de Hércules.
With the passing of time, the house became the respectful residence of a Jewish family, and the neighborhood became the Jewish Quarter. In 1492, by order of the Reyes Católicos, the Jewish were ordered to convert to Catholicism or leave, and thus began a new transformation of the area. Probably the house leans directly on the zone of ancient northwest wall of the Judería, that separated the Jewish neighborhood from the rest of the city on the branch between the Calle Conde de Ibarra to Mateos Gago. The number 7 of this street, which changed its named to San José, was rebuilt with respect to its slightly irregular geometry, making use of the roman columns in the patio, which rest on lead discs. The front of the house was kept as a little orchard and farm.
At the beginning of the XIX Century, a new facade was built and removing the little alleys that gave access to the different property areas. The front of the building became pretty much what it is today, with two large doors accessing the street, one for carriages and horses, the other for the owners to access on foot or dismount in the patio. The illustrious Sevillian figure, Maese Farfán, was born in this house in 1869. Francisco de Paula Farfán Ramos (died in Seville in 1935) was recognized for his journalistic work and research, as well as being a renowned cabinetmaker and embroiderer. He authored the canastilla, the ornately decorated wooden frame of the Semana Santa processional float of el Cristo del Calvario, and together with his daughters, realized the the embroidery work on the Semana Santa processional float for la Virgen de la O (in 1931), and that of las Cigarreras (in 1926).
A few meters from here, on the roof of Calle Mármoles 13, arround 1855, stood the photography studio of the great-grandfather of the current owner, Luis Tarszeński, Conde de Lipa, a Polish Captain exiled from Poland’s November 1830 Uprising, who learned photography from inventor Louis-Mandé Daguerre in Paris. Later he became photographer to the Queen Isabel II of Spain.
Across the street from Casa Palacio San José is the XV Century Convent of the Mother of God of Piety, where legendary Sor Bárbara, known as “Daughter of the Giralda”, served as a nun. The block was given by Isabel la Católica to the congregation of Madres Dominicas for a church and convent, which still remain active today.
The number 7 of San José Street was rebuilt in 1992 respecting its slightly irregular geometry and taking advantage again of the Roman columns of the patio, supported by lead discs. It has an area of 1,000 square meters, organized on three floors, a large semi-covered roof and three large terraces. There are five independent apartments distributed around the two beautiful interior courtyards that provide a pleasant temperature all year round, and an excellent natural light to all the rooms.
After the restoration the house has been protected by the Special Plan for the Protection of the Historic Area of Seville for its historical and architectural interest, especially the facade, the first bay. the entrance hall, the patios, stairs, roofs and with special interest the “overalls” of the facade.
The current owners entrusted the rehabilitation to the academic architect of Fine Arts and professor of the Hispalense University, Dr. Rafael Manzano Martos, who was curator of the Reales Alcázares de Sevilla, with interventions in the Alhambra in Granada and in almost all the cathedrals of Spain. He has recently been awarded in Chicago with the Richard H. Driehaus Prize for Classical Architecture, considered the Nobel Prize for Architecture. The Cathedral of Seville, the churches of San Marcos, Santa Marina, Santa Maria la Blanca, Santa Maria de Marchena, the Palace of the Dueñas, the Museum of Contemporary Art, the Itálica Museum in Santiponce, the Collegiate Church of Osuna, The hotel Alfonso XIII and many other important buildings of the Andalusian landscape, have been the object of the architect intervention.