Los Balcones de Zafra
The core of the building dates back to a Roman villa in Segeda. Main entrance under a double-height porch followed by two rows of marble columns ending in a large arch and a space containing the vaulted well with the two entrances facing each other from the original house. The entrances are framed at the top with exposed granite stone, the framed roofs carrying rainwater to the inpluvium or pond.
In the Arab period, the space of the entrance porch was closed off and a narrow building was built parallel to the façade with the same dimensions, making the area around the well under the vault and the porches between the columns into a passable street.
In the 15th-16th century, Riojanos from the Cameros mountain range and Navarros from the Arellano area closed off this Arab alleyway to form a cellar with large jars made by the master builder Suárez using a technique consisting of introducing iron pyrite to give them greater consistency and a minimal circular base as the bottom of each jar.
At the same time, they consolidate the urban design of the Plaza Grande, forcing the new houses to be built with porches with arches 3 metres wide and the existing houses, such as ours and the parallel one mentioned above, to add space for the same arcades that can be seen today without exception throughout the Plaza Grande.
The house consists of two wells and another, larger and more accessible one, with a large water flow, all dug in the rock, under two large brick arches. This last well may have been used as a well, waterwheel or bath depending on the period.
The building's façade was finished off in a major modern work in the mid-18th century, raising the ceilings of the first floor, as was then the norm throughout Europe.
The architect who undertook the renovation masterfully maintained a design that absorbed the visual impact from the centre of the square. In the same way, other buildings in the surrounding area were renovated with the same characteristics and impact.
The Plaza Grande was also the bullring until the middle of the 19th century, when a new one was built on the outskirts of the city.