The south wing of the current building, which used to be a city prison, was turned into the new rooms of the council when the building size was doubled. Consequently it gained an overall aesthetic appearance more appropriate to the social sector that had became the most noble and illustrious sector in the city.
The extension of the building was based on the plans of Alfonso Ortiz de la Jara (a master mason from Caravaca), who respected the former order and style and combined both sides so harmoniously that it seems to be built in one go.
The building consists of a double and open loggia standing on smart Macael (a municipality of Almería) marble columns. Its style is Renaissance, which contrasts with the rich and ornate Baroque of that time. Next to the pediment which crowns the central arch with an iron and projecting balcony there are two sculptures from Juan de Uzeta symbolizing Justice (Justicia) and Charity (Caridad).
The Sala de Cabildos, the former plenary hall has been opened to visits. The secret chapel, which was added to this former hall in 1768, is still preserved. The most remarkable element can be worshipped, which is is the image of the Purísima (one of the numerous Spanish names for the Virgin). Its acquisition and authorship are not precisely known. In this regard, there is a unique fieldwork by Professor Mrs García Gainza, who points out the influence of that sculpted by Alonso Cano in 1655 for the Cathedral of Granada. According to her, it is related to Pedro de Mena's workshop around 1670.
As far as the paintings in the hall are concerned, a small collection of iconography relating to the military history of the city is exhibited.
If booked, Sala de Cabildos can be visited, which nowadays is used for different activities such as weddings receptions, talks, lectures, courses, press conferences, but especially for entertaining and visits.
Renaissance with Baroque crests
17th and 18th centuries
Monday to Friday (working days only) 9.00 am to 2.00 pm