Photographs of Castell de Guadalest by A. Murillo y S. Mikalauskas appear on this three-paneled postcard distributed by Ediciones A.M. The Grand House is the sprawling complex on right of the top picture. The castle is on the top of the hill and the bell tower can be seen off to the right slightly lower than the castle. These unused cards were purchased from a small shop in Guadalest. The second card shows some different views and features photographs by Miguel A. Gomez.
The third card shows the bell tower from the level of the walkway and has another photograph by Miguel A. Gomez.
Guadalest is one of the several places we visited with cousins while in Spain last October. The Grand House, church and castle are open to the public for a fee. It was suggested that we go through the house first before continuing up the hill to the church and the castle so we did.
The sheet we picked up at the beginning of the self-guided tour gave information about the family and the house. The house built after the devastating earthquake of 1644 is called Casa Orduña or El Castell de Gaudalest. This same earthquake demolished the buttress of the castle. The Orduña family had Basque lineage. In 1543 D. Sancho de Cardona received the title of Marques of Gudalest. The family served as guardians of the fortress and governors of the estate for almost 300 years.
The village street
This building was covered with flower pots
During the war of Succession in 1708 the house was burnt down and plundered but later rebuilt. In 1756 D. Pedro Antonio Buenaventura de Orduña y Garcia entered the military order of Santiago and became of member of the aristocracy. Throughout the centuries the male members of the family were principally lawyers and military men.
One small section of the library. The books at the left are the ones that were hand bound and contained text done in calligraphy.
Illuminated book with family crest
The Orduña family owns all the belongings in the house. One of the most stunning things was the library with over 1200 books, some hand illuminated, hand bound, and containing beautiful calligraphy. For me these books were more impressive than the other furnishing and artwork as evidence of the incredible wealth of the family.
Another personal treat was discovering these two large family trees prominently displayed on the walls in one area along with a family crest.
Looking down on the Grand House and the lake from the castle
The house itself is also interesting as it sits on an irregular plot with one half on the eastern side supported by and overhanging rock. It was constructed with a combination of stone masonry walls, timber, plaster and ceramic brickwork and has four levels plus a wine cellar. Some of the rooms are either roped off, but can be peeked into, or had locked doors but many were open and could be walked through including the kitchen, the dining area, the map room, state rooms, hall of arches, the entrance hall, the library, an exhibition room of paintings and sculptures and the virgin chamber. In the virgin chamber there is a life size recumbent image in a glass “urn” or coffin. This is loaned to the people of Guadalest for religious processional celebrations in August and at other times always kept in the Grand House.
After exiting the Grand House we climbed up stairs and walked up pathways past the church, the bell tower and up to the castle at the top of the hill.
Looking up at the bell tower
Looking down on the bell tower as we climbed up to the castle
The castle. Notice the castle window above
Looking out of the castle window down to the lake
Part of a small cemetery associated with the church
Inside the small church part way up to the castle
Stations of the cross like this one were positioned all along the pathway up to the church
Looking out toward the countryside from the castle
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