Fundación Casa Ducal de Medinaceli
The Casa Ducal de Medinaceli Foundation, non-profit private cultural institution
The Ducal House of Medinaceli Foundation was established in 1978. It is a private cultural institution created by Her Grace Victoria Eugenia Fernández de Córdoba y Fernández de Henestrosa, the 18th Duchess of Medinaceli, with the aim of conserving, restoring, reintegrating, studying, promoting and disseminating the historical heritage, both tangible (immovable, movable and documentary) and intangible (traditions, faith, rituals,…), that have come to be tied to her House over time.
This Foundation has been able to successfully reunite a significant part of the historical heritage tied to the Medinaceli House and to other additional properties still surviving today across all of Spain and it is characterised by its architectonical diversity. Among them, 14 national monuments, which include both Renaissance palatial architecture (Casa de Pilatos in Seville and Palacio de los Cobos in Úbeda) and Baroque palatial architecture (Palacios de Medinaceli in Soria; Palacio de Oca in Pontevedra and Palacio de los Acebedos in Cantabria). Examples also include some fortresses (the Torre-Fortaleza de San Miguel das Penas y de Torés in Lugo, hospitals and funerary buildings among others. The extraordinary collection is formed by more than two thousand pieces displayed in the four buildings open to the public: La Casa de Pilatos in Seville, the Hospital de Tavera in Toledo, the Palacio de Oca in Pontevedra and the Sacra Capilla del Salvador in Úbeda. In terms of paintings, there are pieces by Sebastiano del Piombo, José de Ribera, Luca Giordano, Gaspar Van Wittel, El Greco, Zurbarán, etc.
This huge heritage is portrayed and documented in its Archives. Since Carolingian Catalonia (the 9th century), the archive has been formed by the progressive accumulation of Houses and Estates spanning the diverse kingdoms of the peninsula. There is documentation containing all of the territories that make up Spain today, as well as a good part of Europe due to the positions held by many members of the Ducal House in the different territories belonging to the Spanish monarchy.
The singularity of the Foundation project lies in the fact that its resources do not depend on third parties, but thanks to foundation profits resulting from cultural and tourist access to the patrimony. It is focused on heritage preservation through a holistic approach rather than simply renovating monuments or unique works of art. It involves protecting landscapes, the surrounding environment and both tangible and intangible assets which uphold the heritage and give it meaning.