QR13 PLANTA PRINCIPAL (MAIN FLOOR)

This level of the castell is named the Planta Noble (Noble Floor) and it is one of the most important due to its invaluable artesonados (coffered wood ceilings) and pavimentos (floors) which are conserved in situ. The floors in all the rooms are protected by a double sheet of transparent plastic for their conservation. At this height, there is the Sala La Nova (The New Room) which extends through different rooms of the east and north sections of the building. The Sala Ximeneia (Chimney Room) and the access to the oratorio (oratory).

The coffered wood ceilings of the Noble Rooms have recovered their original appearance and to reinforce them, a new technical floor slab was installed in the upper floor (Andanes [Pathways]) which performs the function of securing them. To ensure that all the visitors may contemplate the coffered wood ceilings as they existed in the 16th century, the most deteriorated areas have been replaced and a series of specific treatments were applied for their restoration and protection.

Based on the studies carried out in the intervention from 2005 to 2007, it was possible to verify that the compositions of the noble level floors of the castell d’Alaquàs were in their original location, occasionally altered by replacements aimed at maintaining the integrity of the floor or floor slab. The presence of ceramic tile works with a Mudejar and Isabelline style in this third level have no known parallels outside of Alaquas among the traditional workshops that worked with these types of floor tiles (Seville, Toledo, Aragon, etc.). Hence, we believe that not only were they executed in Alaquas, as evidenced by their termination with smooth monochrome covers on relief pieces which denote a certain reuse of print designs, but they involve original local designs. It is fitting to relate this fact with the news of the local ceramics manufacturing, “loza ordinaria” (ordinary earthenware) as well as “estannífera decorada” (decorated tin-glaze), which recently has been extensively documented by Professor Pedro López Elum. The use of these elements in the feudal castell leaves no doubt about the dependent relationship of the Lord’s “alfarerías” (ceramic/pottery craftsmen) in this place and his ownership of the pottery, kilns, lands and other rights.

The interest of the ceramic tiles in relation to the specific history of Alaquas resides in the evidence of the town’s Medieval industrial ceramic production, where we have discovered characters such as Ahmed Alami, Jucef Porrota, Pedro Gimeno, etc.  The specific craftsman installation by the “alarifes moriscos” (Morisco builders), executed in compositions assembled piece by piece, expressly adjusted to the composition’s needs, is the expression of the specialised know-how of the town’s male and female inhabitants.

It is important to highlight that these types of floors which have unique relevance due to the fact that no other sites have been conserved in the Spanish State with the technique, extension, typology, chronology and exceptional conservation condition.

 

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