Headquarters of the Andujar City Hall
The current City Hall is located in the building that was built between 1620 and 1631 for Comedy Theatre, a function it held until 1680, the year in which the city council undertook not to perform theatrical performances in the city on the recommendation of the Trinitarian nun Sor Lucia Perez de Yañez, for whom "the exile of the illicit comedies and performances and the annual celebration of the day and festival of the eighth of the Inmaculada Concepcion" would be more than advisable measures to rid the population of the terrible plague. The consequences of the plague of 1680, six thousand victims, according to the chapter records, (1) and the dedicated economic and social situation that AndUjar was going through from that moment were more than enough reasons for the theatrical performances to be stopped. From this moment, this building would be used for other tasks, mainly for the accommodation of troops, and with this, its deterioration would be propitiated.
Three floors make up its beautiful facade: in the first a porch and in the second and third a gallery as a lookout for the bullfighting celebrations of the time. The building is finished with a graceful balustrade, articulated with pillars topped with pinnacles, which are made to coincide with the columns of the portico. This facade presents a clear Italianate orientation and can be located within the most classicist mannerism, although its chronology is already on the border with the baroque. From its construction it became the most emblematic building of the local civil architecture. In 1668, Lorenzo de Magalotti, narrator accompanying Cosme III de Medicis on his trip through Spain and Portugal, stands out above all other buildings when he states: "But the most important house in the city is a three-order building of galleries and with stone columns, which in the two upper parts are double in each arch".
The Lisbon earthquake of 1755 would affect the structure of the building, leaving it in a sorry state and not operational for its former function, as recognized by the city's mayor, Don Manuel Francisco de Irivarri, in 1778. From 1787 the capitulars expressed their intention to move to the old Comedy Theatre, due to the poor condition of the town hall in Santa María Square. In the municipal session of May 22 of that same year, authorization was read to repair the Comedy theatre, whose cost amounted to 121,600 reales de vellon, an amount that was far exceeded because the expenses had not been correctly budgeted. The author of the remodeling project was Juan de Mata MartInez, a native of Andujar and professor of architecture, although his project would be retouched at the Royal Academy of St. Fernando by Manuel Martin Rodriguez, nephew of the architect Ventura Rodriguez. Juan de Mata Martinez would also be responsible for executing the half relief in stone with the allegorical figures of Justice and Peace, which is located on the balcony arch, for which he collected 200 ducats.
The remodeling altered the viewpoints when a neoclassical facade and an adjoining room, which is conceived as the corregidor's dwelling, were built between arches nine and twelve. The new central body is a rectangle organized on two floors and topped by a triangular pediment. In the first, the door with a semicircular arch and run padding. Five powerful corbels support the cantilever of the second floor balcony. The vain of the balcony, in correspondence with the one of the door, of half-point flared and spill in the jambs. Above the vain, a relief of Justice and Peace, and flanking paired pilasters of Ionic order. The clock of the pediment was added in 1920.
In the interior only the two-story patio is preserved from the primitive building. The arches of the ground floor rest on columns of Tuscan order on plinth. Each of these arches are made to coincide with two on the main floor, whose columns lack a plinth. This relationship also occurs in the facade of the building and in the atrium of the Palace of the Segundos de Cardenas. This patio serves to distribute the different municipal dependencies that do not correspond in anything with the primitive planimetry.
To the left of the patio there is a magnificent "Empire style" staircase from the late 18th century, in which Santiago de Calatrava intervenes and is decorated with a beautiful tile base, probably from the beginning of the 20th century, which is resolved in the Traditional white and blue tones of local pottery. The cubic space of the staircase is topped by an elliptical vault on pendentives with lantern and decorated with a framed inscription that alludes to the history of the building and a canvas of 1780 in which the coat of arms of Carlos III is represented; that of the city, lower left, and that of arms of Don Manuel Francisco de Yrissarri, corregidor of the city, in the lower right corner. The magnificent rock crystal chandelier that adorns the room was a gift that Count la Quintería made in the years in which he was in charge of the city hall during the dictatorship of Primo de Rivera. Explanatory chart of the construction of the building Detail of the staircase and canvas with the coat of Carlos IV.
The building has undergone a major renovation between 1997 and 2000, recovering all the splendor of yesteryear and adding a new body to its rear, characterized by functionality, simplicity of forms and continuity of space.
A.H.M.A. Municipal Act of March 27, 1681
Association of Friends of the Patrimony of Andujar
Beginnings of XVII century
Andújar Town Hall
Plaza de España, 1
953 50 82 00
Monday - Friday: 8:00 - 15:00 h.