Address: San Ildefonso, 1
Phone: 95 41 4 01 28
The Carmona Museum and Interpretation Centre is located in the 16th century Marqués de las Torres palace-house, where the Mudejar-style decorative plasterwork on the balcony mouldings are particularly worthy of note.
This house is an excellent example of palace architecture in Carmona.
The main central courtyard has a square floor design and the rooms are organized around it, over two floors.
Hanging on the stairs, there is a remarkable painting of the Virgen Grace.
Points of interst
This first room contains stone tools used by the first documented human beings to settle in the area we now know as Carmona.
Between the Neolithic and the Chalcolithic periods, the inhabitants who lived in the Vega plain moved to the highest areas of the Alcor escarpment, to enable them to control more of the surrounding area. In the first showcase we can see tools, containers and other objects, retrieved from excavations of the huts and shelters which formed the settlement here during the Copper Age and later the Bronze Age.
In the 8th century B.C. a fundamental change took place in Carmona: an organized town with streets and houses was first developed. The main cause of this fundamental development was the progressive arrival of more and more Phoenician merchants who brought their culture and products from the east by sea, greatly influencing the development of the whole Guadalquivir plain. The contact between the original indigenous culture and the foreign ones gave rise to the Tartessos people. In Carmona, this culture has left prominent remains such those found in the Saltillo Site, so called because they were found during an excavation undertaken in the house of the Marques of Saltillo.
In this room, one of the innovations brought by the oriental settlers can be seen: a potter´s wheel, whose introduction resulted in a profound change to the local economy in the period.
Here we can see an example of what a Turdetani – the pre-Roman people who inhabited the area after the Tartessians – building might well have looked like. Their houses had masonry foundations made from local rock. The walls, consisting of stone plinths and an upper section composed of sun-dried adobe bricks, were built on these foundations. The walls were plastered and painted in red and white, and the floor of the rooms were made of compressed earth; the outdoor zones, the courtyards or patios, were covered with flagstones or boulders brought from the Alcores hills.
An animal-drawn Turdetani mill.
This room allows us to immerse ourselves in the Carthaginian culture, which dominated Carmona from its conquest in the year 237 BC until the Romans took the town at the end of the Second Punic War (201 BC). On entering the room, directly in front, you will see various items in a glass cabinet – stone “bullets” fired from slings, spearheads and arrowheads… all of which are evidence of the violent confrontations that took place between the two Mediterranean empires. On another of the walls, the Carthaginian moat from the Gate of Seville fortress is depicted.
This is the Roman room. The archaeological remains kept here give us a useful insight into the glorious period the town enjoyed under Roman rule, mainly from the rule of Augustus onwards. Here there is a wide range of Roman remains : flagstones which were used to pave the main streets: the base of various columns, discovered in important places such as the Roman forum, the centre of public life under the Romans – and which was located in what is now the San Fernando or “arriba” square – as well as other building materials.
This room is dedicated to the “Domus”, the typical Roman house.
A scale model shows what a Roman home, a “domus”, would have looked like, based on information obtained from various excavations of adjoining sites.
The contents of this room reflect the Romanization of Carmona, dating to the High Roman empire between the first and second centuries BC.
In addition to various architectural elements and the statue of Nereus that adorns a fountain, there is also a multi-coloured mosaic with an allegorical figure representing summer, a black and white mosaic with geometric figures which would have been the floor of a room, as well as a fragment of an “opus sectile”, (a mosaic-like technique using larger pieces of marble etc., which were cut and inlaid into floors and walls).
In this room two models are exhibited representing, respectively, a hypothesis of what Roman Carmo might have been like, and what the present town looks like. In addition, to other Roman architectural remains, and the videos of the reconstruction of the Gate of Cordoba and the Domus from nearby María Auxiliadora street, there is a black and white geometrical mosaic decorated with scenes of vegetation which was originally the floor of a fountain from another domus, from which, in the middle, the lead pipe from which the water emerged, has also been preserved.
Moving up to the second floor of the Museum, this room gives us an idea of what Carmona was like in medieval times.
Remains from the Visigoth period are quite scarce and are limited basically to the liturgical calendar located in the Patio de los Naranjos courtyard in the Santa María church, as well as several tombs excavated in different parts of the town. Nevertheless, there have been many more discoveries dating from the 8th century onwards, from the Muslim/Moorish period. Pieces of pottery and various objects corresponding to the Muslim period, recovered from construction sites and even cesspits, are exhibited in glass cabinets here.
In the main glass cabinet we can see a complete set of domestic utensils composed of clay jars, oval shaped clay storage pots and their supports, spice racks, earthenware bowls, pots and pans, … These pieces, which have been laid out evoking the design of a kitchen, date to the Almoravide epoch, which is to say between the end of the 11th and start of the 12th century.
The glass cabinets in this room allow us to picture both the development of architecture in Carmona and the daily life of its citizens, from the Christian conquest of the town in 1247 until the Baroque period.
One of the most interesting items on display is the seal or stamp of the Town council, dating to 1303, being a copy of another document signed by King Ferdinand IV that same year in which the privileges granted to the town of Carmona are specified.
This room is devoted to the evolution of the town in the 19th and 20th centuries. Some of the elements on display, such as the model located in the middle of the room, or the photographs hanging on the walls, help us to appreciate what town life was like back then.
This is a small room containing old images of the town and illustrating some of its local traditions.
The following rooms, which are also dedicated to the contemporary period, intend to capture and transmit this part of the town´s history via the work of two painters with very close ties to Carmona.
This room is dedicated to the painter José Arpa, born in Carmona.
A room dedicated to another locally born artist, Carmen Vega.
Room 18 and the gallery which goes round the central patio are given over to illustrating changes in the urban landscape.
THE CHIMNEY ROOM
The so-called Chimney room Is located on the top floor of the house, directly above the hallway and is reached directly from the gallery above the patio. Its construction dates to the profound alterations undertaken in the palace-house in the 18th century, when new rooms and the façade giving onto San Ildefonso street were added as well as the alteration of the building from its original Mudejar air to one with a more Baroque feel. The Chimney room opens onto the main balcony, and, as a formal dining room, it is one of the most emblematic spaces here.