The aim of this short section is to name the different owners of the house since the 15th century up to now. In this broad period, Viana Palace has had up to 18 owners. There are many of them, and that is why we have decided to divide this time in 5 periods.
In the first period the main characters were the Figueroa y Córdoba, masters of Villaseca. This was the longest period and we can find seven owners:
- The primogeniture was founded by Gómez Suárez de Figueroa in June 1492, but he died without heirs.
- He was succeeded by his nephew, Bernardino de Figueroa y Córdoba.
- Gómez de Figueroa y Córdoba, first master of Villaseca by royal grant in 1559. He bought a neighbouring house, where the Courtyard of the Cats is today, although he lost it in a lawsuit against his own daughter in 1561.
- Luis Gómez de Figueroa y Córdoba, second master of Villaseca. He is the current responsible for the layout of the Main Courtyard or Reception.
- Gómez de Figueroa y Córdoba, third master of Villaseca. He carried out the works in the Courtyard of the Bars.
- Luis Gómez Bernardo Fernández de Córdoba y Figueroa, fourth master of Villaseca. He gained back the ownership lost by Gómez de Figueroa y Córdoba, adding again the Courtyard of the Cats to the palace.
- Gómez Fernández de Córdoba y Figueroa, first marquis of Villaseca thanks to Felipe V. He died without heirs and he was succeeded by his nephew.
The main characters of the second period were the Fernández de Mesa, marquises of Villaseca. There were four owners:
- Alonso Fernández de Mesa y Argote, second marquis of Villaseca.
- Diego Fernández de Mesa Argote y Fernández de Córdoba, third marquis of Villaseca. He died without heirs and was succeeded by his brother.
- Pedro Fernández de Mesa Argote y Fernández de Córdoba, fifth marquis of Villaseca. He was succeeded by his daughter Ana Rafaela.
- Ana Rafaela Fernández de Mesa y Argote. The marchioness was responsible for the great reforms carried out in the palace along the 18th century, such as the creation of the Historical Archive of Viana, the Courtyard of the Archive or the remodelling of the Courtyard of the Madama. The marchioness married Fernando Cabrera Gómez de Cárdenas y de la Cerda, count of Villanueva de Cárdenas, thus uniting the marquisate and earldom, inherited by their son Diego Rafael.
The third period had the Cabrera, marquises of Villaseca and counts of Villanueva de Cárdenas as main characters. There were four owners:
- Diego Rafael Cabrera y Fernández de Mesa, seventh marquis of Villaseca and count of Villanueva de Cárdenas. In 1814 he incorporated the Torres Cabrera’s house to the palace, thus making its surface bigger. The integrated spaces today occupy the Garden, the courtyards of the Pool, the Well, the Gardeners, the Chapel and the Gate.
- Fernando Rafael Cabrera y Pérez de Saavedra, eighth marquis of Villaseca.
- Juan Bautista Cabrera y Bernuy. He died without heirs and named his wife María del Carmen as heiress of his property.
- María del Carmen Pérez de Barradas y Bernuy. The marchioness married for the second time Teovaldo Saavedra y Cueto, first marquis of Viana, and son of the famous writer from Córdoba, Duque de Rivas. The marchioness did not have heirs either with Teovaldo. For this reason, it was the marquis’s nephew, José Saavedra y Salamanca, who inherited all their fortune and titles.
The main characters of the fourth period were the Saavedra, marquises of Viana. There were three owners, until the arrival of the bank Cajasur:
- José Saavedra y Salamanca, second marquis of Viana. He was a soldier and King Alfonso XIII’s personal friend, he insisted on transforming the palace into a museum, acquiring several collections, such as the tiles, leather, the library…
- Fausto Saavedra y Collado, third marquis of Viana. He died without heirs and he named his wife Sofía Amelia as heiress of his property.
- Sofía Amelia de Lancaster y Bleck, third marchioness of Viana. She is responsible for a great deal of the current appearance of the palace, as she brought numerous works of art and pieces of furniture from her palace in Madrid, such as the tapestry of the Hall of the Gobelins. She sold the palace to Cajasur in 1980.
The fifth and last period had as a main character the bank Cajasur, its current owner. Shorty before Fausto Saavedra y Collado’s death, the marquis and marchioness tried to sell the palace in France. It did not take long before the news got to the public and it created a popular uneasiness, as they feared the property would be split and sent out of Córdoba. But soon, the marquis and marchioness got to an agreement with Cajasur, and in October 1981 Viana Palace opened its doors to a city which did not know anything about it, despite having lived with it for several centuries.If you are not sure what to do in Córdoba, we recommend you visit Viana Palace hiring one of our guided tours. Choose to do high quality sightseeing with qualified staff. Do not hesitate, ArtenCórdoba is the best option.
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