Mansion of La Quinta Roja

La Quinta Roja  Mansion

Built at the end of the 16th century and totally destroyed as a result of the volcanic eruption that devastated the town and port of Garachico in 1706, LA CASA DE LA QUINTA ROJA, is a superb example of traditional Canarian architecture. An urban mansion rebuilt in the 18th century respecting the same layout plan of the mansion that preceded it.

The mansion that has survived to this day presides over the main square of the never sufficiently photographed town of Garachico, for many, the most beautiful village on the island and the one that was until the fateful eruption the most important port and the third largest town in population in Tenerife.

The mansion presents many of the elements that characterize the great urban stately mansions of Tenerife, prior to 1850. Local raw materials were used in its construction, such as “blue” basalt stone for corner pieces, some lintels, staircases. Originally it would have, not now, a “chasnera” slab for part of the patio floor and hallway. What it does still have now is a large quantity of tea wood, the heart of the Canarian pine, of extreme quality and a reputation for its resistance and beauty, which has been used in all carpentry work: doors, windows, lintels, floors of the upper floor, ceilings, balconies and galleries of the patio, this house being one of the best examples of traditional architecture that are preserved.

However, it would be missing to see in such an egregious construction, some blazon, some noble shield of the owner family, in this case the Ponte family, descendants of Mr. Christopher da Ponte, who was a Genoese banker and one of the main funders of the conquest of the island of Tenerife and founder of the town and port of Garachico. A branch of descendants of Mr. da Ponte was distinguished with the dignity of the title of Marquis de la Quinta Roja in 1689 being Charles II king of Spain, hence the current name of the house.

In the absence of coats of arms, what this extraordinary mansion in Tenerife does have is magnificent carpentry work, among which the four main windows of the facade that look out to the square stand out, all of them with shutters carved with different geometric motifs. Also noteworthy are the elegant fluted columns of the courtyard topped with Ionic volute capitals, all of them on wooden plinth seated in turn on a stone base, not to mention the extraordinary viewpoint that crowns the building and that has a magnificent wooden coffered ceiling that serves as the roof of what is today one of the most outstanding living rooms of this great Tenerife house converted a few years ago into a highly recommended charming rural and heritage hotel.

Photos: www.quintaroja.com