Tourism in Comarca del Jiloca (Teruel)

Ancestral homes

casa burba ret (Copy)The term of ancestral home has been closely related to the noble estate. They were houses that belonged to ancient noble families in the Comarca del Jiloca.

The richest areas of the Jiloca valley and the Gallocanta lagoon, there were a few noble families, (barely a dozen), concentrating a great economic power and legal privileges, constituting the noble elite. All these families built in their towns big stately houses, of a monumental character, which helped to perpetuate their memory and lineage. The use of high quality materials to build them like stone and bricks, and the inclusion of interesting architectonic elements have enabled many of these mansions to be preserved up to our times.

escudo ret (Copy)At the other end of the spectrum, the servants, sometimes simple day laborers, that lived in popular houses, with no great aspirations.

They used to mark the houses with their family coat of arms, thus turning them into ancestral homes. These noblemen were usual in Báguena, Burbáguena, San Martín del Río, in the Pancrudo area and also Fonfría and Cucalón mountain ranges. They represented the prototype of the poor nobleman reflected in the Spanish Literature of Golden Age, the ones who showed off to be born rich but hadn´t any money. Some of these buildings and their coat of arms have been preserved, but some others, made on poor quality materials, disappeared as time went by.

The ancestral homes of the richest families became a power emblem and symbol of ideas endorsed by themselves such as the honor, fame, knowledge, , good, etc. The palaces, either from kings, nobles or small rural noblemen, are always social symbols, a reflection of the power of those who build them and the growing gap separating the rich from the poor.

patio ret (Copy)The structure of the ancestral houses, at least for those who could afford it, was perfectly adapted to the social appearance game. Most of them had a facade which showed the influence of a model of the Renaissance Aragonese house-palace: A three storey buildings with a monumental facade, floor with balconies and windows where the forging work stands out because of their high artistic quality, and a gallery of rounded arches. The carved wood eaves culminate the final set.