Priego de Córdoba – Slaughterhouse and Market
Slaughterhouse and Market – Priego de Córdoba
The Slaughterhouse and Market (Carnicerías Reales) is located in the San Luis and Santiago Street, next the Castle, to the San Pedro Church and to San Juan de Dios Church, just few minutes from the Town Hall, right in the monumental center of Priego de Córdoba.
This building, once a slaughterhouse and meat market, was built between 1576 and 1579 by order of Priego town council. It was, therefore, a municipal project and had nothing to do with the monarchy, despite the fact that it has been known inappropriately as “real” (royal) for some years now.
Its architecture has a simple design, very much in line with the Renaissance style. Its basic floor plan is square, made up of a colonnaded patio, finished with four corner towers, open at the base. Two of them have two corbels below the eaves of the roof, in the form of fantastic, decorative human heads, probably designed as proptection fror the building and the activities carried out within.
Each side of the patio has three round arches, supported by strong, rustic columns which conform the corresponding colonnaded galleries that run along the perimeter. This was where the stalls were set up for the sale of meat.
The architectural project is attributed to Francisco del Castillo, a renowned architect trained in Italy, while the participation of Juan de la Monja as serveyor is confirmed in documentation. He transported the grey-blue limestone used for the columns and façade from the quarries of nearby Alcaudete, while local tosco stone or travertine was used from the rest of the building. The tosco arces were originally plastered and decorated with a range of painted vegetable motifs and geometrical designs, as can still be seen on the inside of one of the three arches closest to the entrance.
Heading down a magnificent spiral staircase, which has no central pillar in order to allow easy movement of meat and butchers alike, we come to the lower floor or semi-basement. With its vaulted brick ceiling, this was the site of the slaughterhouse and where the dead livestock was carved up prior to sale. Here you can see the stone slabs to which animals were attached during slaughter, as well as the mark left in the stone by the rubbing of ropes used to immobilise them. The slaughterhouse was cleaned making use of water from a channel that runs parallel to one side of the building.
However, the greatest artistic merit of the Carnicerías Reales building, is to be found on its façade. Access is via two dressed, banded pilasters, with broken entablature, a founding inscription, and a triangular indented pediment finished with pinnacles and a coat of arms that is ellegible on account of being chipped, but which belonged to the Marquises of Priego. This is where the building exhibits the most Italian, mannerist influence in its design, with parallels to be found in Roman constructions by master architects such as Vignola or Giulio Romano.
Fuente: Tourist Brochure Ayto. de Priego
Abbattoir et marché du XVIème siècle. Portail de style maniériste. Bâtiment à plan carré avec cour centrale, formée d´arcades sur colonnes avec des tours aux angles et un bel escalier en pierre en colimacon.