The Palace of the Counts of Santiago was one of the last noble residences built in the citadel.
It was the residence of the aposentador-mor of the Royal Household from the 16th to the 18th century, more precisely until 1755, when the palace was completely destroyed by the fire that followed the earthquake.
The king’s aposentador-mor was an official of the Royal Household who was responsible for making all accommodation arrangements for the king when he was travelling. Like other important roles in the Royal Household, it was a position assigned to a nobleman. It was usually hereditary, that is, it passed from father to son, except when it became vacant because there was no offspring.
The Palace of the Counts of Santiago de Beduído, aposentadores-mores of the Royal Household, consisted of the old houses of the bishops’ palaces. Naturally, these old buildings were renovated and expanded over the 250 years they were occupied.
Although the palace was completely destroyed by the fire that followed the 1755 earthquake, some structures that archaeologists identified as ground floor rooms were preserved under the rubble.
These include access areas, stables, a kitchen, pantries and storerooms. It is also possible to see part of the stone floor of the access area. Well as a room where part of a door and a window have survived, with three different floors, corresponding to work carried out in the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries. There are also the remains of a stone staircase that led to the upper floor and the underground pantry, accessed by stairs and with a domed roof, which was used to store food in a cool place as, at that time, there were no refrigerators.
Archaeologists have found several objects lost amongst the rubble, such as porcelain imported from China and faience and glass deformed by the heat of the fire, which can be seen in the Museum Centre. . In addition, there are the fragments of the tile panel (featuring angels intertwined with plant motifs) that covered the wall of one of the rooms, dating from the 17th century.