Architecture

In the middle of the 19th century, Ronda is the capital of the mountain range that carries her name. Trade with all the people of the region and, above all, with the Campo de Gibraltar transform it into a rich and prosperous city; very representative of the Spanish bourgeois society of the moment. Its climatic qualities, especially in summer, make it the summer resort of the nobility and wealthy classes of Southern Andalucía.

The mansion of the Granadino couple (nowadays the “Don Bosco house“) was always one of the most symbolic buildings of the nobiliary zone of the City. Its architecture was characterized by a great Moorish influence, like most of the houses in Ronda.

On the facade it had a large balcony over the main door and the higher floors featured small windows or mullioned windows in asymmetrical shapes. The entrance door, crowned with the family crest in stone, led to a hallway that gave passage to a large square courtyard with large carpanel arches on Tuscan columns, leading to the main rooms of the house, open to a large gallery in wood. In all the ground floor of the property a large cistern to remedy the eternal lack of drinking water in the city.

At the beginning of the 20th century, “Modernism” came to Ronda at the hands of a great architect from Ronda, from a Genoese father, Santiago Sanguinetti Gómez. The Granadino couple commissioned him to remodel their home, but without completely breaking with the basic elements of the original building. The entrance hall and patio are kept and the rooms are distributed around them. Where the patio originally was open, it is now covered with a large skylight in the ceiling.

The facade is given a certain symmetry and an exuberant decoration with floral and vegetal motifs is added, a beautiful example in iron are the doors leading to the garden. Polychrome decoration, with a great explosion of colours, is represented in the baseboards, tiled benches and planters. The mansion is very representative of this Ronda style where Mudejar, neo-Gothic and classicist elements are mixed, demonstrating the history of Ronda architecture in the last centuries.

Text by José Páez Carrascosa