Countries<Spain<Comunidad Valenciana<Carcaixent< Palacio de Montortal

Palacio de Montortal(Carcaixent)

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The Montortal Palace is located in the Plaza Mayor, the civic center where the most representative buildings are located. Its construction is linked to the wealth provided by the silk industry in Carcaixent. The city had a great economic growth in the Modern Age due to the cultivation of mulberry trees and the silk trade. In the 18th century it was one of the main silk production centers in Valencia.

The house that we contemplate today must have been built at the end of the 18th century and was the object of a great structural and decorative reform in the 19th century that gave it its present appearance.

It is popularly known as the "Palacio de la Marqueseta". The noble reference refers us to Mª Antonia Taléns Mezquita (1783-1858) who, although she lived in the house, never had such a title but the nickname was attributed to her because she was the daughter of the first Marquis of La Calzada, Vicente Taléns Garrigues. He was the one who ordered the house to be built.

She is our local heroine, well known for the event that appears on the tombstone on the façade. According to tradition, on June 13, 1813, at the time of the War of Independence against the French, Maria Antonia's intervention before General Harispe prevented the French army from taking serious reprisals against the population.

The building was acquired by the Town Hall in 1988 and was restored in its original structure and decoration, and inaugurated in January 1993.

The palace presents a composition of a noble house integrated within the urban fabric. The construction consists of three typical levels: ground floor with a double doorway, lobby and service areas; the main floor for the noble rooms and the upper chamber where the silkworm breeding was carried out.

The visit to the Palace allows us to make a tour of its history, and shows us the decorative pieces and the most significant rooms. The interior decoration, the mural paintings and the ceramic collection stand out, where we can find serial pieces such as the pavements, soffits and panels decorated with different scenes and, especially, the magnificent kitchen.

On the first floor we can see the Roman Pedestal of Ternils and documented ceramic panels such as the Martyrdom of San Lorenzo, which comes from the Huerto de Carreres. It is a tondo (a round shape) and is the only panel of these characteristics documented in Valencian tilework. It is signed by José Sanchís. Another panel originating from the Palace is the Apotheosis of San Lorenzo, signed by Juan Bru, a contemporary of Sanchís. Both were made in the Royal Factories of Valencia.

The main floor is the most interesting. The pictorial decoration of the walls and ceilings is outstanding, especially in the main rooms and a curious room called the "fumoir" (smoking room). The decoration comes from the eighteenth century and, above all, is the result of the nineteenth century remodeling carried out by students of the Academy of Fine Arts of San Carlos. The ceramic decoration is also admirable. Almost all the rooms have a ceramic floor as a carpet with a series of floral motifs from the Royal Factories of Valencia.

But the star piece of the house is the kitchen. It is the last exponent of Valencian neoclassical kitchen, from the early nineteenth century, which is preserved in situ. It has very graphic decorative ceramic panels with scenes of local customs and where a series of domestic utensils appear. Among the different panels, the one with the scene of the gallant provider stands out, where the costumes of the characters refer us to typologies and clothing typical of the Valencian etiquette of the time.

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