Apologies for the lack of posting recently; after my mad month in June I was lucky enough to go on holiday to Spain with my mother, for some well-earned R&R.
The one active day of our holiday we went to visit a beautiful house in the town of Novelda, called Casa-Museo Modernistsica. Mum had visited before but I had never been and had heard how beautiful it was.
The house was built by Antonia Navarro Mira after she inherited a significant sum of money from her father when she was 40. She bought up six houses next to one another, knocked them down to build her mansion.
She employed the architect Pedro Cerdan Martinez Murcia to design her dream home in a modern style, with a stylish exterior and interior that had all the mod’ cons!
The house was finished in 1903 and held the wedding of Antonia’s youngest daughter Louise for its first big event.
The house was occupied up until the Spanish Civil War in 1936 when the family left for Madrid, taking with them their furniture which was of significant value.
After the war the house was used as a school for girls run by nuns, who painted the walls white. In doing this, they preserved the original decoration of the house. The house was opened as a museum in 1980.
Whilst we were visiting the house and admiring its beauty a group of children came into the house and started singing in the Entrance Hall, which filled the central foyer with wonderful sounds. I think it was to do with a festival taking place and everyone stood round in a circle joining in by clapping along to the rhythm of the song.
This little impromptu act really brought the house to life, and it made me really want to bring more music to Hardwick. When we had a flash-mob singing the Eglantine Lamentation in the High Great Chamber it was beautiful and i would love to do some more similar thing, especially when we have our Living the History group in the Hall!
The Casa-Museo Modernista is such a stunning building, amazing interior decoration, and beautifully maintained still. Antonia’s story reminds me so much of Bess and Hardwick’s story too, I love imagining these visionary women taking their passion, going out into the world and leaving their mark on it! I would recommend it to anyone in the area! I hope I can visit it again, and that the atmosphere is just as alive the next time I go.