Palau Ducal Gandia
Attractions in Gandia - The Palau Ducal
The Palau Ducal Gandia - In the northern Costa Blanca town of Gandia there is a grandiose Gothic palace that is well worth a visit if you are in the area. Located in Calle Duc Alfons el Vell the Palau Ducal (Duke’s Palace) dates from the 14th Century (though much extended and renovated over 7 centuries) and was once owned by the Dukes of Borja (better known as Borgia). The palace boasts a variety of architectural styles and has a glorious history.
There are guided tours available and this is the best way to see the entire building. The palace is famous for its stunning ceramic tile mosaics, one of the best being in the Galeria Dorada (Gold Gallery), where there is a representation of the four elements - earth, air, fire and water. Finished at the beginning of the 18th Century the Galeria Dorada was done in commemoration of the canonisation of Saint Francis (the 10th Duke). It consists of 5 succesive rooms and looks out onto the Cistern Courtyard.
The 18th Century Sala de San Miguel (Saint Michael’s Assembly Hall), also called the Eagles Assembly Hall, was the main hall of the palace, it has a wooden ceiling dating back to the 15th Century and is elaborately decorated with a stunning frieze depicting eagles. Saint Francis Borja supposedly slept in this room though the claim is unsubstantiated. The main chapel has an amazing blue, vaulted ceiling adorned with gold stars.
Much older is the Salón de Coronas (Crown Assembly Hall), dating from the 16th Century and having a wooden ceiling. The name of the room comes from the numerous crowns which decorate the ceiling. Formerly a chapel the Oratory is lavishly decorated with murals and an amazing marquetry floor.
The Patio de Armas (Arms Courtyard) is the impressive courtyard with preserved 17th Century balconies.
The Cámara de la Duquesa (The Duchess Chamber) is where, according to legend, Saint Francis of Borja was born (28th October 1510) it is a large room with arches.
The Sala de Los Cerdena (Sardinia States Hall) has a 16th Century wooden ceiling with several interesting faces carved onto it. The Sala Verde (Green Hall) dates from the 16th Century though the tile decoration is in a baroque style and from the 17th Century, further changes were made during the 20th Century. The room is now dedicated to The Society of Jesus (Jesuits) who have owned the palace since 1889.
The Aposento de la Torrecilla (Lodging of the Little Tower) is also known as the Grandmother’s room in honour of the Duchess Maria Enriquez (grandmother of Saint Francis). This room is part of a tower that was at the centre of the original palace and thus the oldest part of the structure. It has a spiral staircase and a fine example of 14th Century Arab paving. The room also contains alterpieces in Gothic and Renaissance style.
There is a multimedia exhibition within the palace which gives an overview of the history of the palace and of the Borja family.
The opening times of the palace are:-
Monday to Saturday - 10.00 - 14.00 and 16.30 - 20.30
Sundays and Holidays - 10.00 - 14.00 only
For details and prices telephone:- 962-871-465.
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