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Palacio de Villalón. Thyssen Museum

A gem of domestic architecture, at No. 10 on Calle Compañía

Housing the Thyssen Museum, Villalón Palace is considered one of the gems of Málaga's domestic architecture from the Renaissance. Constructed in the 16th century, it's located between 6-10 Compañía Street and 4-8 Martyrs Street, nestled within the historical city centre close to Plaza de la Constitución, its main facade facing the former street. In the Temboury archive, this house is referred to as Mosquera Palace, suggesting it could be the same building that over time has been owned by several aristocratic families. Since September 2000, it has been owned by the Ayuntamiento de Málaga (Málaga City Council), and it's the most emblematic building of the Thyssen Museum.

Archaeological remains from the late Roman period as a fish salting factory suggest occupation, and its subsequent integration into Muslim urban planning. However, the first recorded occupants appear in the distribution books of Málaga, 1493. The plot where the palace stands was given by the Reyes Católicos (Catholic Monarchs) to the Portuguese Arias Pinto, tutor to the children of the Duke of Braganza, who had arrived in Castile in 1484, and then in Málaga on 13th April 1488, receiving this property, previously occupied by others, in November 1489. The original building was likely expanded shortly after, according to García Ruiz, with the addition of a house-storey crossing Martyrs Street, also previously owned by another proprietor.

Villalón Palace History

The Villalón Palace was built in the 16th century and has undergone numerous transformations over time, adapting to the tastes of the period. The changes made in the 1960s did the most damage to the original structure. The building was commissioned by the influential Fernández de Villalón family, natives of Setenil de las Bodegas (Cádiz), who were conquerors and settlers of Ronda. In the 18th century, due to the marriage in 1707 of Catalina Victoria de Villalón and Mendoza to Gaspar de Bracamonte y Zapata, the IV Marquis of Fuente El Sol, the building gained significant prestige, with the family crests (Villalón, Mendoza, Narváez and Zapata) added, along with the Marquis's crown, to the main facade.

The family line ended due to a lack of descendants, and the building remained uninhabited until the 19th century. It was then occupied by Avelino España from Yanguas Soria, whose family owned it until the 1940s, selling it to Trinidad Romero, who set up a fabric shop. In the late 1950s or early 60s, commercial firm Álvarez turned it into a glassware and pottery shop, and conducted a renovation that completely disfigured the building. In September 2000, the city council of Málaga acquired it through expropriation, intending to use it as a Museum of City History, but it eventually became the home of the Málaga Thyssen Museum.

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