A History of the Casa Palacio de Carmona from 1510 till today.

Castillo con Escalera, Leon Rampante, Aragon y Flor de Lis Shield of the Casa Palacio de Carmona

A History of the Casa Palacio de Carmona from 1510 till today.


A chaplaincy is an institution formed by a document with testamental function in which a benefactor assigns some rents, buildings or farms, so that a chaplain will offer a series of Masses for his soul; The chaplain is entrusted by the document to use the rents of the assets, or if insufficient, the proceeds from the sale of the asssets, to pay for the various costs of offering these Masses: the wax for the candles, the wine, …. and the chaplain.

Martín López de la Cueva was an important clergyman of the church of Santiago in Carmona, and was also the hospital administrator of the Cardenal of Sevilla. He was an immensely rich man, who owned a large number of farms and buildings in Carmona, and who created one of the most endowed chaplaincies in the entire history of Carmona.

Among the assets of this chaplaincy was the Casa-Palacio. The first document that mentions the houses in the chaplaincy of Martín López de la Cueva is from 7-10-1514.
But the chaplaincy is earlier 1510.

The house then was a palace. All the houses of more than 500 meters were then called palaces. The Casa-Palacio then paid an annual tax of 1000 Maravedies for principal.


By the year 1530, a member of one of the families of the nobility of Carmona of the late fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, a family who had several main houses in Carmona and were Mayors ( regidores perpetuos) at the end of the XVth C., Don Gutierrez Méndez de Sotomayor had bought from the chaplaincy of Martín López de la Cueva these palace-houses to make a foundation of his “Casa Solariega” manor house.


Castillo con Escalera, Leon Rampante, Aragon y Flor de Lis
Shield above the door to the Casa Palacio de Carmona,
Granted to Lazaro de Briones by King Felipe II on 10.5.1560
Arms For Lazaro de Briones
Don Felipe. For what is brought on by you, Lazaro de Briones, from the town of Marchena, which belies in our kingdoms, it has been provided to me a relation of your deeds that there may have been tewenty years, more or less, that you, with the wishtoservethe Emperor, my Lord, of glorious memory, went on to the provinces of Perú, where you served in whatever was offered in said time, as our good and loyal vassal, as also that the city of Cuzco was sieged by Mango Inga and other indians, being one ofthe spaniards that was within it, as about the alterations that had ocurred in that land, in particular being with the captain Joan Piçarro, in the conquest of the fortress of said city of Cuzco, against the indians that had it sieged, where you did what you had to; and that at the time in which Gonzalo Piçarro revolted in such provinces, you got together with the captain Lope de Mendoza,and went with him to join with the captain Diego Centeno, who had raised the flag in our service, and you were at the battle of Guarina that was given to said Gonzalo Piçarro, where the said Diego Centeno was thwartedand those who followed him: and continuing in our service, you accompanied him until he joined the graduate of la Gasca, who now is the Bishop of Palencia, President that he were of the Royal Audience of that land, in whose company you went, and stayed until the said Gonzalo Piçarro was thwarted and justice was made of him and those that followed him, you being present at the battle where he was taken prisioner, serving as gentleman of the artillery of our field; and that said designation had been given to you for the confidence and satisfaction that was required; and that in such said as in other things in our service, in which you have spent a great sum of gold peso: as everything you said was reflected in and seemed to be certain upon the presentation that was made to Us in the Council of the Indies; it was begged of Us that in remuneration for your services, and so that of you and them remained perpetual memory, we ordered given to you a shield made of two parts,in the right hand a fortress in gold colour on a blue field, with three towers ontop, and from the one in the centre and tallest of them come out a red flag, and leaning on it a wooden ladder, and in the other part of said shield, a rampant tigre, with folden eyes and nails, in a red field, and on top of it a closed helmet, on top of which the head of tigre with its hands, hung from the helmet with its nails,with its feathers and dependencies in gold and blue foliage, or however our mercy were, etc… Given in Toledo on May 19th, 1560.

Yo el Rey. I the King.


A Drawing of the Carmona Skyline by Anton van den Wyngaerde, 212 x 765 mm
A Drawing of the Carmona Skyline by Anton van den Wyngaerde, 212 x 765 mm


The Casa-Palacio appears in the dowry document that Juan de Briones Quintanilla, second son of Lázaro de Briones Mallén(1518-1576) an ennobled Army captain, grants his wife Leonor de Atienza, with whom he married in 1586. This document also mentions the tribute of 1000 Maravedies p.a. which is assigned to be paid by the owner of the Casa-Palacio.


In 1641, Leonor Atienza, widow of Juan Briones Quintanilla, bequeaths the Casa-Palacio to her son Bartholomé Briones Quintanilla.

The Casa Palacio de Carmona's whitewashed Façade in an undated photograph circa 1960.
The Casa Palacio de Carmona circa 1960.

In 1649, Seville suffered a plague that decimated its population from 120,000 to 60,000. At this date, calcium carbonate was mixed with water and used as a disinfectant on buildings by painting them entirely, outside and inside. The plague remitted in 4 months, but the annual practice of encalar, whitewashing, stuck to this day. We can only especulate that the Casa-Palacio was first whitewashed then, even the corner of ashlar-blocks on the right. Marta Medina restored the façade to its original colour in 1990.


On October 7, 1726, D. Fernando de Briones Escobedo as owner of the Casa-Palacio, grants a deed of recognition of that principal of 1000 Maravedíes.

In 1783, the Casa-Palacio appears inhabitad in by Bartolomé Quintanilla y Arce in the census kept at the Santa María de Gracia Paris, below:

Padrón de San Blas, 1783


In 1785, Garcia Porres, Marques de Castilleja del Campo, owning several other properties, and living in Seville and not being able to live in the Casa-Palacio, and seeing that the taxes that the house had to pay were greater than the amount of rent that he received from it, thought to sell the Casa-Palacio so that he could pay off the principal of the tax and eliminate it. In order to do this he had to get permission from the lord of the town, and since Carmona was a town of “realengo”, this meant that the lord was the King of Spain, and he had to get the Corregidor Loarte to make a formal petition at the court in Madrid, which granted the permission for the sale in a public auction and the cancellation of the tax with the proceeds of the sale.

With the arrival of the permision, the mayor of the town sent two stonesmiths and two carpenters to value the house so as to set the starting bid in the auction. The house was valued at 95.000 Maravedíes and the auction set for the 22.1.1786.

The main person interested in bidding was the house’s then occupant, Don Bartolomé Quintanilla and Arce, who had rented lived there with his wife, Maria del Carmen Briones. Thus the auction received only one bid, from Bartolomé Quintanilla, and the price remained at 95.000 Maravedíes. Later documents reflect the act of taking a trunk full of silver coins totalling the 95.000 Maravedies the couple of hundred meters from the house to the Town Hall.


In 1809, the Casa Palacio appears as inhabited by María del Carmen Briones Quintanilla, the widow of Bartolomé Quintanilla y Arce:

Padrón de Santa Maria, 1809

The Casa Palacio was inherited by Bartolomé’s and María del Carmen’s son, Manuel Quintanilla Briones. Manuel’s daughter, Doña Maria del Carmen de Quintanilla y Melgarejo (Carmona 1798 + Carmona 20.08.1866), married Miguel Lasso de la Vega, who later on October 27, 1821, Miguel Lasso de la Vega redeems this amount, and the consumes finally this tax.

The Casa de Carmona ocuppies a XVIth century palace that has been in the same family – as far as we know – since it was built – and that has passed through inheritance successively, 7 times since the property registry of Carmona begun operations in the early 1800s. The propiertors listed in the registry of property were called Don Manuel de Quintanilla y Briones, his daughter Doña Maria del Carmen de Quintanilla y Melgarejo (Carmona 1798 + Carmona 20.08.1866), her daughter Doña María de Gracia Lasso de la Vega y Quintanilla (Carmona 08.12.1814 + Sevilla 05.06.1889), who married Pedro SOLIS Y DESMAISSIERES (born in Cadiz 1883), who became Teniente Hermano Mayor de la Real Maestranza de Sevilla, the highest aristocratic position in Seville, her daughter Miquelina de Solis-Beaumont y Demassieres y Lasso de la Vega, who bequeathed the palace to her grandchildren Ignacio Romero de Solis-Beaumont (b. 20.10.1937) VI Marqués de Marchelina and his 12 brothers and sisters, Teresa, Pedro, Jose, Matilde, Micaela, Diego, Angela, Reyes, Cecilia, Luis, Enrique y Gracia Romero de Solís-Beaumont.

The following picture represents a large, famous painting of the great uncle of Don Ignacio de Romero Osborne y Ruiz del Arco (b1903 d.1985), who married the owner of the Casa de Carmona palace, Miquelina de Solís y Lasso de la Vega, V Marqués de Marchelina- a painting which has been in the Romero de Solis family by descent.

El Marqués de Arco Hermoso y su Familia, de caza en su Hacienda de San Jose de Buenavista en 1838
El III Marqués de Arco Hermoso y su Familia, de caza en su Hacienda de San Jose de Buenavista en 1838, Oil on Canvas, 220 cm x 260 cm
The above was the grandfather of Don Ignacio de Romero y Ruiz del Arco, V Marqués de Arco Hermoso y III Marqués de Marchelina, who married the owner of the Casa Palacio de Carmona, Gracia Lasso de la Vega.

Don Jose Ruiz del Arco y Ponce de Leon (b.1793 d.1857), III Marqués de Arco Hermoso, 1er Alcalde constitucional de Sevilla en 1935-36, en su finca la Hacienda de San Jose de Buenavista en Dos Hermanas, con su esposa y tres hijos, criada y perro, fue Abuelo de Don Ignacio de Romero y Ruiz del Arco (b. 1858 d. 1915), V Marqués de Arco Hermoso y III Marqués de Marchelina, que se casó con Doña Gracia Lasso de la Vega y Quintanilla, a su vez fue abuelo de Don Ignacio Romero de Solis, VI Marqués de Marchelina.

The Marquesado de Marchelina has the rank of “Grandeza de España”, a title given by Queen Isabel II on 25.09.1858 to Ignacio Romero y Cepeda, Ortiz de Abreu, Osorno y Fernández Landa, who lived in Osuna, in the province of Seville, a member of the military recognised for his defense and conquest of Cartagena de Indias. The marquesado makes reference to the “Cortijo de Marchelina”, in the municipality of Osuna, which was the farm property of the family.

In the early XIXth century, following the Napoleonic wars, the Mayorazgo legal institution, the primogeniture which entailed the inheritance of a patrimony by the eldest child, was abolished. This single rule effectuated that inheritances would be divided equally among children. Vast wealth would be divvied up by 3, then 4 children, such that in two to three generations, the economic power of the aristocracy whas effectively abolished. Maria del Carmen Briones Quintanilla was at the outset of the XIXth century, the largest landowner in the province of Seville, holding more then 50 properties and more than 5000 hectares. In just 4 generations, her fertile lineage divvied up such vast wealth equally among their 3, 4, 5 children each generation, such the VIth Marqués, inherited the Casa-Palacio directly from her grandmother, and sharing it with his 12 brothers and sisters, and with no income-producing farms to maintain the Casa-Palacio.


The VIth Marqués de Marchelina, Ignacio Romero de Solís, Osborne y Lasso de la Vega(b.20.10.1937 – ), the eldest of 10 children, inherited the palace while in his twenties, in 1973, from his maternal grandmother, Gracia Lasso de la Vega, in pro-indiviso together with his 12 brothers and sisters. The 13 Romero de Solís were the following:

1 Da. Teresa (married Joaquin ALARCON DE LA LASTRA DOMINGUEZ, Conde de Galvez),
2 D. Ignacio (married Gerarda de Orleans-Borbon)
3 D. Pedro (maried his first cousin Angela Maria SOLIS Y TELLEZ-GIRON. Duquesa de Arcos, daughter of his mother’s Micaela’s only brother, Pedro SOLIS Y LASSO DE LA VEGA. Maestrante de Sevilla. y Angela Maria TELLEZ-GIRON Y DUQUE DE ESTRADA. Duquesa de Osuna. XVI Dq.de Arcos.)
4 D. Jose ROMERO DE SOLIS, married Maria Elena ABAROA
5 Da. Matilde ROMERO DE SOLIS. married Mr. RAMOS.
6 Da. Micaela ROMERO DE SOLIS. married D. Pedro TORRES.
7 D. Diego ROMERO DE SOLIS married Da. ROS RAMIS.
10 Da. Cecilia ROMERO DE SOLIS married Jacobo CORTINES Y TORRES
11 D. Luis ROMERO DE SOLIS married Maria Luisa GUIJARRO

Having grown up in the 50s and 60s in Seville, with no farm or business that would keep the family in Carmona, many of the Romero de Solís, further to being aristocrats, evolved as Authors (Ignacio, Pedro and Diego), University Professors (Pedro in Sociology, Diego in Aesthetics) all three with long lists of publications(Pedro – List of Publications, Diego – List of Publications ) businessmen (Enrique) … and some would marry and leave Seville and live in Madrid. The Casa Palacio was inhabited occasionally by some of the brothers and sisters, more notably Matilde, and Pedro, who lived with Meye Maier (b.1945,d. 2010) a few years in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

Mercedes Maier de Allende

Meye Maier de Allende
Meye was an amazing person in her own right – she grew up in a world of Balenciaga and Dior, became a model for Elio Benhayer, a journalist for the New York Times, and a somewhat elusive and free spirit, came from her native Bilbao down south to Seville, to marry the Duke of Segorbe, Ignacio Medina y Fernández de Córdoba and live at the Casa de Pilatos. Six months into her marriage, she met Pedro Romero de Solis and left Ignacio to follow the love of her life, which took her to the Casa Palacio de Carmona, a task of humility in comparison to the Casa de Pilatos, and of herculean effort to maintain by herself and her work. Meye was a hard-working self made woman, designer of night dresses, embroideries and lingeries, of perfumes and gardens, and a strong character with wit and laughter, a decisive lady who left her husband of six months, the Duque of Segorbe and the Casa de Pilatos in Seville, to follow the love of her life, Pedro Romero de Solis and move into the Casa Palacio de Carmona – a task of humility to move into a crumbling palace – and a herculean task to maintain it while being the caring mother of Camila and Pedro as well sophisticated basque gazelle in the south, who carried in her the elegance of her mother’s Balenciaga dresses, and a beauty second to none.

Meye lived at the Casa Palacio in the late 70s and 80s, while in her thirties, and in what is now the Restaurant Gracia she had her workshop of seamstresses. With what she made selling the most beautiful white gowns and embroidered blouses, she raised Camila and Pedro and maintained the palace. When the Romero de Solís sold the Casa-Palacio, Meye bought her own house in Carmona. She would return to organize the wedding of her daughter Camila in 2007.

The reality of the Romero de Solís brothers and sisters with the house is that there was no-one of them that wished to buy it from the rest and make it their project, and in the meantime, the house would require maintenance or deteriorate. The Casa Palacio took an income to maintain that it did not produce, and as had happened 200 years prior, the house was prime for a new story.

The Marqués de Marchelina and his brothers and sisters decided to sell. The Marques then contacted a childhood friend, Marta Medina Muro, who had studied Art History, spent her life in the rehabilitation of buildings and the organization of international art exhibitions (El Greco de Toledo, Goya en las Colecciones Privadas de España …) and was as well acquainted with many notable people who he thought may have an interest. So he called her and told her that they were putting the Casa-Palacio for sale, to ask her if she thought she could know anyone interested. So Marta Medina responded that first she needed to see the house, that she had never been, so she travelled the 500 km from Madrid to see it. When she saw it, she said – I have found a buyer – I’ll buy it myself, and she did.


The sale: Ignacio Romero de Solís, and his 12 brothers and sisters, on July 10, 1987, sold the house on Plazuela de Quintanilla nº1, and the square on which it sits – now called the Plazuela de Lasso, to Marta Medina Muro Benjumea (b.1944).



After 5 years of rehabilitation and many anecdotes, on 23rd March 1991, the Casa Palacio de Carmona opened as a Luxury hotel, with 33 bedrooms, the same it has today.
The rehabilitation was a tremendous success, earning many prizes and appearing in more than 200 magazines, bringing aristocrats, artists of all kinds, celebrities to see it.

Its decoration, colours and concept were immediately copied throughout the south of Spain – a plethora of whitewashed houses, haciendas, small hotels, were all of a sudden painted terracotta and built anew like mushrooms grow in September. And just for one of these details, none of these copies took into account that at the Casa Palacio de Carmona there are 5 different shades of terracotta, and the original architectural forms to match them, since 1510.


The resonance as a destination, however a financial success did not make, and in 1994, Marta Medina in 1994 sold Casas de España, S.A. to her son Felipe Guardiola Medina (b.1969), who, with much luck and much work, was able to turn operations profitable by 1996, refinance and make the Casa Palacio de Carmona also a financial success.

Ignacio Romero de Solís now lives in Cadiz with María Medina Muro (b.1945), sister and only other sibling of Marta and also a renowned landscape architect. At the Casa Palacio de Carmona she designed the Plazuela de Lasso and the Andalusian Garden by the pool.


The Marques of Marchelina, D. Ignacio Romero de Solís, Salvador Guardiola, Felipe Guardiola, D. Pedro Romero de Solis
The Marques of Marchelina, D. Ignacio Romero de Solís, Salvador Guardiola García-Verde, Felipe Guardiola Medina, D. Pedro Romero de Solis, at the Salon Azul of the Casa Palacio de Carmona, on the 24th of October 2015, for the celebration of the wedding of the Marquéses de Salvatierra, Don Rafael Atienza Medina y Antela Arjona.

The current Marqués de Marchelina is a celebrated author, notably of his recent novel, Palmagallarda.

Ignacio Romero de Solis

Un naufragio. El naufragio de una clase social es lo que evocan y recrean estas páginas. A las puertas de una horrible guerra, la guerra civil española, una familia aristocrática afincada en la milenaria ciudad de Recuerda asiste sin percatarse al ocaso de su linaje. Los fastos y agasajos del pasado se apagan para los Palmagallarda, al tiempo que la Historia, protagonista revolucionaria, trastoca escalafones y alumbra nuevas élites y nuevas servidumbres. De la manera en que debe de hacerlo una novela, con fina observación, voluntad de estilo y afán de trascender la anécdota para llegar al fondo de la condición humana, los personajes y acciones que aparecen reconstruyen una época y aportan motivos para reflexionar sobre el amor y la felicidad, la lealtad, el odio y la altanería, el sexo y sus muchas máscaras… Testimonio histórico y retrato literario. Ignacio Romero de Solís (Sevilla, 1937). Periodista, escritor, traductor y crítico gastronómico.


Marta Medina Muro lives in Madrid and runs the Casa de Madrid, a 7 room bed and breakfast near the Palacio Real.

Felipe Guardiola Medina has run the Casa Palacio de Carmona from 1994 till today, and in the meantime has lived at the Casa Palacio in Carmona (1994-1997, 2003-2004, 2009-2016) and at other periods in Seville, Massachusetts and Yorkshire.

The facade of the Casa Palacio de Carmona
The Casa Palacio de Carmona today.