Known as the Admiral’s Hall, this beautiful hall was part of the first headquarters of the Casa de Contratación (House of Trade), established in 1503 by Queen Isabella I of Castile to regulate trade in the Americas after the discovery of the New World. This organization had broad powers, including approval of voyages, licensing navigators, collecting taxes, and acting as a court of law to settle trade disputes.
Although this hall was part of Casa de Contratación, it got its name for a different reason. It was the headquarters of the Tribunal del Almirantazgo de Castilla (Admiralty of Court of Castille).
Situated on the eastern side of the Patio de la Montería and next to the glamorous Pedro I Palace in the Real Alcázar complex, Casa de Contratación is an unremarkable Renaissance-style building. By its appearance, it is hard to imagine that the decisions made here changed the course of history.
When this hall was part of the Casa de Contratación headquarters, many famous (and infamous) explorers from Spain and the neighboring countries visited this hall for a variety of reasons.
Here are some examples:
Christopher Columbus met Queen Isabella met after his second voyage to the Americas in the hope of getting funding for his future expeditions.
Ferdinand Magellan, an explorer from the rival Portugal who changed his allegiance to Spain, visited this hall to convince the head of Casa de Contratación to approve his expedition to the Moluccas.
Amerigo Vespucci, an explorer from Italy responsible for naming America, worked here as the chief pilot to train the navigators and was also involved in licensing them before they went on voyages to the New World.
The Admiral’s Hall is in active use; Occasionally, conferences are held here. As you can see, it is decorated with exquisite paintings from many famous artists. Here is a brief description of the paintings that you see in the image:
Center – The inauguration of the Ibero-American Exposition of 1929 by Alfonso Grosso
Left – Queen María Cristina de Borbón-Dos Sicilias painted by Carlos Blanco in 19th century
Right – Antonio de Orleans – Duke of Montpensier by painted Franz Xaver Winterhalter in the 19th century.
Casa de Contratación pages
– Admiral’s Room
— Last Moments of Fernando III the Saint, a masterpiece by Virgilio Mattoni
— King Louis Philippe I of France
— Queen Maria Amelia de Borbón-Dos Sicilias
— King Fernando VII of Spain
– Hall of Audiences
— Model of Santa Maria
— Virgin of the Navigators
Seville Pages and Posts
– Real Alcázar of Seville: Casa de Contratación (House of Trade)
– Real Alcázar of Seville: Pedro I Palace – A masterpiece of Mudéjar art and architecture
– Seville Cathedral: An awe-inspiring architectural marvel
— Sala Capitular – The Chapter House of the Seville Cathedral
— Sacristía Mayor – The Main Sacristy of the Seville Cathedral
– La Giralda: A harmonious blend of Moorish and Renaissance architectural styles
– Las Setas of Seville – A modern artistic structure in a historical city
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