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THE CHAPIZ HOUSE - Cuesta del Chapiz, 22

The reports of the period informs us that the houses were property of the Moorish people of the “Ferí” and “Lorenzo el Chapiz” (family in law of the first ones) families until 1571. That year the houses were taken away from them because the owners had taken an active part in the uprising of the Moors that had been converted to the Christian faith, and after the “Letter of Incorporation” dictated by Felipe II they were transferred to the Castilian crown. The King gave them over to one of his secretaries “D. Juan Vázquez de Salazar” who incorporated them with other properties to a Patronate of lays, familiar, known as the “Patronato Salazar” who was the holder of them until the middle of the past century. Then, “D. Mariano Fernández Contreras” acquired them, and himself and his heirs were the last owners until the State acquired them.

After the Moorish owners had been evicted, these started a decline. The “Patronato de Salazar” added adjacent lands and along with the houses, he started leasing them to different people and institutions, amongst them, the Royal Company of Factories and Commerce of Granada, and these also looked for new leaseholders. This way, the owners of the houses were constantly changing, some with the license and knowledge of the members of the “Patronato de Salazar” and others without it. The houses were converted into neighbourhoods, whose residents, did not only live there but they also had their own businesses and small industries, which contributed to the fact that the buildings were more and more damaged and deteriorated, favoured by the carelessness in some cases and the robbery of others. This is why after going through numerous and different owners, at the beginning of the new century, they were practically reduced to ruins.

Nevertheless, the distinction and dignity of its architecture, mainly seen in its splendid five arched porticoe of the main house, the “Chapiz” house, made the Commission of Monuments get interested in saving it from that terrible state. This Commission started a series of actions, from the beginning of the century, firstly before the local institutions and later directly before the Ministry of Public Instruction. Unfortunately, those institutions did not have the founds needed for this project.

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