House of Shells (Casa de las Conchas)

end of 15th century

The front facade decorated with shells

Built at the end of the fifteenth century by Rodrigo Arias de Maldonado, a knight of the order of Santiago, this city palace is decorated with more than 300 scallop shells.. The shells on the front of the house allude to that order since the scallop shell is traditionally associated with St. James--Santiago.
This building is a good example of the secular Gothic style, with clear influences from Italian civic architecture.

The Maldonado coat of arms

The Maldonado coat of arms appears on the walls and around the windows. It features five fleur-de-lis and is supported by angels, lions, and other creatures and is sometimes circled with laurel. Note the colonette-style window, known in Spanish as ajimez, and Gothic grilles over two of the windows.

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© 2005 Mary Ann Sullivan. I have photographed (on site), scanned, and manipulated all the images on these pages. Please feel free to use them for personal or educational purposes. They are not available for commercial purposes.

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