KING FERDINAND THE CATHOLIC DIED IN THIS HOUSE CALLED SANTA MARIA, ON JANUARY 28, 1516.
Fernando el Católico Tourist Complex
It is a building that sits on the grounds of what was once the house of Santa Maria, known for being the house where the king died. It consists of four rooms with interesting audiovisual projections, trying to recover original parts of the old house and recreate the scenarios with all kinds of details. Each of these rooms tells us a part of the king’s life, from his birth to his death in Madrigalejo.
He died in a house that existed since the 14th century, it was called the house of Santa Maria because it belonged to the church, specifically to the congregation of the Hieronymite friars of Guadalupe. The original farm occupied one hectare of land, practically the entire block. At the time of the disentailment, in the 19th century, it was dismantled and only the memory remained.
For some time now, part of this land has been recovered and transformed for use as an interpretation center and tourist information office. It is included in the Network of Interpretation Centers of the Province of Cáceres.
It has an important part dedicated to the Ethnographic Museum and another to a small archaeological collection with original materials. There is a reproduction of the Verraco de Madrigalejo, the original is in the Archaeological Museum of Cáceres.
The most attractive and original is the room where the king died, which is what we call Santa Maria’s house. In one room, which is now renovated, we do know that it is the room where the king died because it was called the room overlooking the river and that was the only room in the house of Santa Maria that had a location facing the river Ruecas.
original is the coffered ceiling, the walls, the general structure of the room. It underwent a major renovation when it was declared an Asset of Cultural Interest. The decoration is made with tiles from Talavera de la Reina. They explain the events that take place in the room and the importance of the reign of the Catholic Monarchs.
The king died here because he was traveling from Trujillo to Guadalupe. The royal road passed through Madrigalejo and in the vicinity he felt a deterioration in his state of health. Considering that he was almost 64 years old, an elderly person who was quite ill and died by chance. He was brought to die in one of the best houses in town, under the tutelage of the Hieronymites of Guadalupe.
There is also a facsimile copy of the will of the Catholic king, the original is kept in the Casa de Alba. It also symbolizes the important fact that we want to highlight, which is the unification of the kingdoms through the signing of the document. The room recovers an important part of what was once the house of Santa Maria, recreating the atmosphere of the time.
There is a legend that tells that a sorcerer told him that he would die in Madrigal, but he related it to Madrigal de las altas Torres. Since then, he did not pass by there, however, he did not notice that Madrigalejo, also has the same root.
Another story that has survived to the present day is that the king died from an excess of aphrodisiacs, because he was an old man who was married to his second wife, a young woman who wanted an heir at all costs. And it is true that at certain times aphrodisiac substances were administered to him, but the king died because he was sick because he had many other health problems that could make him worse.