Sunday, 18 July 2010
After adult shool had finished the year's curriculum, there were 2 weeks of cultural activities, one of which was a visit to Casa Santonia, a very old house in the centre of town.
Originally, the family owned a lot of land, buildings and vinyards in the area. There were about 30 of us from school, and we were given a full introduction to the history of the property. Unfortunately, this was all in valenciano, and much of it was too quiet to be heard! Thankfully, we were then able to wander around at will, exploring and discussing freely.
The house is currently being converted into a museum. The huge ground floor is primarily one big open space, where previously the animals would have been wintered. The kitchen too was in this area, retaining the wonderful tiles and ceramics from 18th century. On the main staircase, each riser had a different picture in the tiles.
On the first floor, the main living area, the walls were painted around 1810, depicting the seasons, the universe, the four known continents of the time, and two huge scenes, one of Cadiz and a hunting scene. The house was believed to have belonged to a family of Freemasons, making it the most unique temple in europe.
The cellar still has the original buried jugs and water course, and the courtyard maintains some original features. There is still very much work to be done, but it is certainly worth preserving.