Today there's a trend toward vintage décor, but in the 19th century it was all about the influence of faraway lands, such as Oriental and Arab designs. During the reign of Isabel II, rooms decorated like the Alhambra were a must, such as the Salón Árabe you can still see in the Palacio del Marqués de Salamanca in Vistalegre, and in the Palacio de Laredo, in Alcalá de Henares, though other elments were unfortunately destroyed in the mid-20th century. Painter, restaurateur, architect, decorator and mayor of Alcalá Manuel José Laredo y Ordoño was the brains behind this small palace (from the outside it looks more like a small castle), from the late 19th century with Gothic and Moorish styles. The false doors, mirrors and stunning rooms provide a welcome surprise for visitors. The small garden that welcomes you in the Museo Cisneriano is also lovely, with its pond, bridge and archaeological ruins found in this area of Alcalá. Feast your eyes on the Salón de los Reyes with its arched ceilings (one of the oldest planetariums in the world, which represents the sky as conceived in the 14th century), its minaret, the Arab room, the mirror room, and the mottow of the Nasrid Dynasty of Granada ('Sólo Dios es vencedor'; 'There is no conqueror but God') engraved on a wall.
|Venue name:||Palacio de Laredo. Museo Cisneriano|
Paseo de la Estación, 10
Alcalá de Henares
|Opening hours:||Tours: Mon-Fri noon-6pm; Sat 10.30am, 11.30am, 12.30pm, 1.30pm; 4.30pm, 5.30pm, 6.30pm, 7.30; bank holidays 10.30am, 11.30am, 12.30pm, 1.30pm, 4.30pm, 5.30pm, 6.30pm, 7.30pm|