Palace of Marqueses de Moctezuma
The palace, which is located in the heart of the old town centre in the Plaza del Gigante, is a building whose lintel, like many others in this area of Ronda, features two noble coats of arms: on the left are the imperial arms of the Moctezumas, while the coat of arms of the Rojas family stands on the right. In the centre, the initials A and M, representing "Ave Maria" can be read. According to a study by Sebastián García, these coats of arms were probably created in the XVIII century.
So, the building bears testimony to the presence in Ronda of the heirs of the Aztec emperor, making the town a symbol of the union between Spain and Latin America. The Ronda Moctezumas were the only male heirs of the last Aztec emperor, Moctezuma II. Carlos V granted them their own coat of arms, which was the same emblem used by their successors in Ronda and which can be seen on the front of this palace.
The exact date of construction of this emblematic building in not known, though certain aspects of its decoration and structure indicate that it must have undergone several alterations, producing an eclectic construction dominated by XIX-century elements.
Particularly worthy of note is one of the two patios around which the palace is laid out, an open area flanked on two sides by a lintelled gallery with plinth-mounted columns on ground level and balconies above, all adorned by the plants and fountain so typical in Andalusian patios and leaving space for the façade, the highlight of which is a magnificent Neo-Gothic arch which leads to a chapel built in the same style, where a commemorative plaque indicates that the last of the Moctezumas were laid to rest here. Among them was María Teresa Holgado Vázquez de Mondragón y Moctezuma, the founder of the Caja de Ahorros de Ronda savings bank, one of the mainstays of the present-day financial institution, Unicaja.
The palace’s main room, known as the Salón Mudéjar, features magnificently-preserved panelling that ranks among the finest in the province.
Inside, it houses the Museo Peinado, which belongs to the Unicaja Foundation. (see MUSEO PEINADO).