The farm is located in an important street of the medieval urban network, Sol Street, which communicated the parish of San Román and Santa Lucía, bordering the orchard with estates located on Enladrillada and Marteles Streets. The house is inserted in a rectangular plot of large proportions that was part of a larger one that still has gardens. It must have been one of the first installations on the edge of the old road to the Puerta del Sol, so its plant has a very regular perimeter that differs from the rest of its surroundings.
We lack historical news about the origin of this house and we do not even know the explanation of its popular name: "House of the Arab King". In this sense, in 1839, González de León expressed himself: "With effect it is a very old big house enriched by all of it with beautiful arabesque works already very damaged, and some doors also have Arab arches, but of these houses there are many in Sevilla without being called of the Moorish king that I do not know what origin he has ".
Traditionally came to know with this name, as well as the garden after the house, now a site: "Orchard of the Arab King". Celestino López Martínez inquired about the origin of this denomination and affirmed that consulting the Padrón of the Parish of Santa Lucía of the XVII and XVIII centuries already appears the denomination of "Casa del Rey Moro", with identical references to the orchard. From here, this author undertakes an exhaustive review of all the "Moorish" kings who lived in Seville in the 12th and 13th centuries, and concludes that the true inhabitant of this house and to whom the name is due is the King de Niebla and the Algarve Don Abenmafor, mid-thirteenth century.
Today, for the preserved architectural remains, we know that the so-called "Casa del Rey Moro" is nothing more than a Mudejar construction, due to its stylistic features and typology at the end of the 15th century. Probably this denomination was given by the vulgar, since from very old, by its Moorish aspect and its curious and orientalizing arches and pillars of the patio. They are therefore stylistic aspects that give rise to date the property at the end of the XV century and the beginning of the XVI. The architect Alfonso Jiménez, director of the works of restoration and rehabilitation of the recently finished building, specifies the dates between 1490 and 1505, taking as reference points the brick factories in clean two-colour and the disappeared plateresque grid.
From very early on, the house had to go from being family property to a tenement house. With certainty we know that in the last century it was a house of neighbours. González de León around 1840 affirmed that "at the present time it is a shop", which is to be understood in the sense that the front bays were the location of some type of commerce and the deepest part of the house, the place of different rooms tenants. Joaquín Guichot made a beautiful and evocative drawing in 1876 of this house and warns in the title that at that time it was converted into a neighbor's house. Logically, this conversion led to a series of changes in the internal partition walls, as well as in the remodeling of the space in the courtyard galleries, as is the case in any similar process of transforming historic buildings into tenements.
Celestino López, later, in the thirties of the twentieth century, points out that at that time the lime covered the ancient walls hiding "the precious arabesque works" and affirms that the house possessed many traditions and evoked curious pages of the history of Seville, although it did not develop none of them in his writing.
Finally at the beginning of the seventies the Directorate General of Fine Arts of the then Ministry of National Education expropriated the building. In 1972, the consolidation and restoration works started by architect Rafael Manzano, which are interrupted. In 1980 the construction of the works was entrusted to the architect Alfonso Jiménez, who began the works from 1982 onwards. With various phases of inactivity, restoration and rehabilitation work was completed at the end of 1990.
The house currently has two facades: the main one facing Sol Street and another, on its left side, which allowed access, in historical times, to the garden of the house and which is currently a small dead end street.
It has a rectangular floor plan and a spatial distribution around a central patio porticoed on three of its sides. The anterior and posterior zones of the building are constituted by two bays, while the lateral ones have only one and smaller width.
The façade, made of whitewashed brick and without decoration, has two doors: a modern one that gives access to a wing dedicated to the exhibition hall and the original of the building. On the first floor there is a balcony, a small bay and a scarce flight of cornice that unfolds throughout the façade and holds the tiles of the roofs until reaching the lookout point, which has recently been built.
The different renovations that the house has undergone make it the patio, which has remained without reforms, the space of greatest interest. It has complete arcades on the ground floor and high on the north and south flanks, and only the high one on its east side. Where these are missing there is a wall in which common openings are opened. The arcades are supported by reddish brick pillars of different sections, being on the ground floor octagonal and with simple bases. The banked arches framed in alfices rest on capitals with parallelepiped shape and cut out at the bottom of the angles. In the high galleries there is a great typology of supports, the arches are reduced and equally framed in alfices. The rest of the patio components belong to the last restoration. In the other rooms the adaptation to new uses has homogenized its appearance. Element to emphasize in the property is the roof of the main hall, a coffered ceiling of braces, of Mudejar style, quite restored, of simple trace, in which only appears decoration of ties in the three suspenders.
From the large wooded garden that it had, at the moment there is still a ferris wheel and part of what was the orchard, which has undergone a process of segregation, but which in part remains.
The building is currently the headquarters of the Blas Infante Foundation.
Fuente: bdi del Patrimonio Inmueble de Andalucía (Junta de Andalucía)