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Researchers of the UPCT request protection for historical inns in ruins like the one in Librilla (30/08/2018)

A foreign tourist defined in the eighteenth century the Casa de Postas de Librilla, today in a state of ruin, as "the most beautiful view in Spain"

Experts in Architectural Heritage of the Polytechnic are compiling a catalog of sales and travel itineraries in the Region

The Casa de Postas de Librilla, a historic inn built by the Duke of Alba in the 18th century, threatens ruin.

This is alerted researchers of the Polytechnic University of Cartagena (UPCT) in an article published by the yearbook History 'Memory and civilization' of the University of Navarra.

The large building known locally as "The Stables", located at the entrance to the town from Murcia and next to the old national road N-340 is, in fact, an old inn.

"The main façade responds to the patterns of neoclassic architecture promoted by the academies of Fine Arts", emphasizes the researcher Rosario Baños Oliver, who is doing the doctoral thesis 'Sales and Inns of the Region of Murcia', directed by professors Francisco Segado Vázquez and Juan Carlos Molina Gaitán and financed by the Juanelo Turriano Foundation.

The building of the inn is cataloged with a degree of protection 2 by the PGMOU of Librilla, which stipulates that both the original volume and the load-bearing structure must be preserved, as well as the arrangement of bays in facades and the ornamental and compositional elements. significant, such as the shield or the ironwork.

"Despite these provisions, the state of the inn in Librilla is regrettable, in a state of total abandonment," the authors describe in the article.

These experts in Architectural Heritage of the UPCT are doing a research work to identify each of these buildings before the twentieth century that are still in the Region and its relationship with travel itineraries.

"The ultimate goal is none other than to identify these unique buildings and contribute to the knowledge and enhancement of this architectural typology, in order to ensure its preservation and conservation," they explain.

"They were essential pieces of the heritage of public works", they argue, so they ask for their inclusion in the National Industrial Heritage Plan.

"Of the inns that are still standing, there are few that are cataloged despite their relevance.

This is why it seems necessary to study these real estate in order to protect, conserve, identify and promote and disseminate its importance in the transport of passengers, the road network and the history of the territory and the mobility of the people ", adds Rosario Baños, who before starting the thesis did the master's degree in Architectural Heritage of the UPCT.

One of the survivors of the numerous sales and inns raised over the centuries along the Spanish road network is the Casa de Postas de Librilla, whose construction was promoted by José María Álvarez de Toledo and Gonzaga, Duke of Alba, Marquis of Villafranca and the Velez and lord of Librilla.

Despite the fact that most of these buildings are anonymous, that of Librilla was executed between 1765 and 1779 by architects and master builders following the parador models that were projected in the different academies of Fine Arts

Travelers' opinions

Researchers have reviewed the literature on inns in Spain, collecting very negative testimonies of the first tourists who toured the country and the Region of Murcia.

Of the Inn of Puerto Lumbreras, Jean Peyron said in 1772 that in his bedroom "everything is done without proportion and with bad taste".

Around the same time, Juan Martinez Ordoñez called no more than "pigs" to the innkeepers of Archena and John Carr complained about a "mattress plagued with fleas" in Totana.

However, this last traveler described the Posada de Librilla as "the most beautiful sight in Spain".

The sales and inns were located at crossroads of a certain entity and at certain distances from each other, since any trip that required more than a day, would require a place for rest and refreshment of travelers and, above all, their animals.

The posts were stations arranged along the main roads in order that the actual mail will arrive as quickly as possible to the Court.

The transcendence of these constructions was such that they came to be collected in the geographical dictionaries that emerged in the nineteenth century in order to know and register the territory.

In addition, due to the concern for the existence of good catering establishments, it was possible to create the figure of an inspector who traversed the sales and inns, analyzing the quality of the establishment.

Source: UPCT

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