Domestic architecture in 16th century Seville: San Salvador

María Núñez-González


This study is based on historical documents belonging to the most important ecclesiastical institution in Seville during the 16th century. The Cathedral’s archives have been consulted, with special focus on the section devoted to books of written descriptive records of houses (called ‘apeos’) that belonged to the Cabildo (Chapter) in 1542. These records not only documented the physical distribution of the houses with measurements in Castilian yards of the different parts of the house, but also described the more qualitative features of the interior architectural design. The main purpose of this study is to characterize the typical Sevillian houses from historical documents of the period focused on the collation of San Salvador. By way of a novel methodology, the following steps have been developed: first, an architectural analysis; second, a typology of houses based on functions, dimensions, construction, lay-out, etc.; third, a detailed glossary of architectural terms listed to permit a rigorous understanding of the domestic architecture in 16th century Seville; and finally, an example of every documented record has been drawn. Among the most significant conclusions is that the Sevillian dwellings of that period reflected the Islamic terminology, architecture, construction and lay-out typical of Andalusia, but with distinctive features of Sevillian housing.


Seville; 16th century; domestic architecture; apeo; glossary

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