SEGOVIA_Casa de la Moneda: An Introduction to the Building's Historical Background
AN INTRODUCTION TO THE BUILDING’S HISTORICAL BACKGROUND
With the characteristic sobriety and elegance of Herrera’s building designs, the Royal Mint epitomizes the industrial heritage of the Spanish Renaissance period. Built by order of Philip II and planned by architect Juan de Herrera, the new factory was a model of efficient administration and cutting edge technology involving the production of coins. The Museum’s main concern lays, therefore,on the appropriate working methods, technology, and systems applied in the coining processes. The building is a result of the long tradition of numismatic manufacture in Segovia, and it reflects the continued existence of its maintained industrial activity for more than five centuries.
A UNIQUE ENVIRONMENT
The construction of the Royal Mint demanded a particular set of orographic conditions. Philip II wanted to build an enormous complex that would represent his power and his prosperous empire. A privileged setting was chosen consequently on the Eresma riverside, in the outskirts of the quarters of San Lorenzo (St Lawrence) and San Marcos (St Marcus). In this handsome location, populated since Celtic-Iberian and Roman times,some religious buildings already existed with vegetable gardens, workshops and small mills. The new Royal Mint absorbed three medieval edifices: Santiago’s and San Gil’s churches, eventually demolished in the 19th century, and a paper and wheat mill. The structure of this mill was partially used for the construction of the Small Mint, housing the machinery to work gold and silver coins.
La Casa de la Moneda