Monday, December 11, 2017

Visita G. Manzana

What will be those posters with such unusual numbering ?. Strolling through the center of Madrid, this doubt may arise when you see those old tiles in many old houses.

What does that "Visit G. apple number ..." mean? Exactly what is it and at what time does it correspond?

We see two types of plates, some with the house number and others with an apple number.

We would like to have a detailed history of those plates and invite you to follow it with us:

These old tiles correspond to the General Visit of 1750-1751 that was made for the General Planimetry of Madrid .... what is it?
The "Visita General " (General Visit) was a procedure that consisted in the recognition of the houses of Madrid for the estimation of the payment of the tax of the Regalia (procedure that had already been carried out before in 1610, 1618-19 and 1625-32) .This tax, that in its origin and after the arrival of the Court in Madrid demanded, under certain conditions of the housing, the burden of housing the aristocracy visiting Madrid through the cession of a part of the house (we will talk about it in an entry on the "Houses to the Malice" and how the people managed to avoid it) or through the monetary payment of that tax (which finally ended up being the main form of payment of the tax),
This "Visita General"  of the years 1750-1751 compiled data and, together with the realization of a plan of each block, would constitute the so-called "Planimetria General de Madrid" (General Planimetry of Madrid), which can be considered the most important urban cadastre of the old Spanish Regime, formed by 557 plans of apples and three series of books on house seats (details and measures to apply taxes).

 . Calle San Andrés / San Vicente Ferrer

The date of its realization is not accidental, since 1749 is the year of the arrival of Fernando VI who, together with the Marquis of Ensenada, would carry out a series of reforms of the tax system of Spain (with the project of a Single Contribution).
For this new General Visit, the only relatively reliable map that used to exist for this purpose was used as a base, the famous "Plano de Pedro de Texeira" of 1656, on which each of the blocks was numbered, from number 1: "Hospital General", up to number 557: the "properties of the Prince Pio of Savoy". The block of the Royal Palace and its auxiliary houses were not included in the numbering, as they could not be considered as an apartment house.
For this visit, a team is constituted, with a General Visitor at the head, seven architects and their assistants.
It is already Carlos III who, in 1760 ordered that the numbering imposed by the "Visita General" of 1750-1751 be established in all the blocks and houses of the city by means of tiles. In each block should be placed as many tiles with their number and corners as, and the same with the houses, with their number (the one that corresponded inside the block) on the main portal of the building.
This system, which was the first numbering in the streets of Madrid (with the main purpose of collecting taxes) was maintained until 1838, the year in which the Marqués Viudo de Pontejos established the current street numbering system (although the old system was later temporarily resumed). The system for apples, at the time of orientation, was quite confusing as we can imagine, because there could be two houses on a street with the same number facing each other, but that corresponded to different blocks.

Behaind Plaza Mayor  

As a curiosity, the plans that were made in this "Planimetria General", were given for lost until 1988. It was known of its existence by historical references, which lost their track in the "office of apartments" after being deposited by order of Carlos III in the General Archive of Simancas. Later they found themselves in the "Miscellaneous" Section of the National Historical Archive, where they are suspected of having arrived after the Civil War from the funds of the Treasury Delegation, where they were forgotten. Today, they are in the process of restoration and study (in the Fund Service Contemporaries), is considered the richest repertoire of data on the form and ownership of real estate in Spain prior to the seventeenth century.
As for the plates, although some have been removed from the old building and placed in a later one, in many cases they are an indicator of the age of the buildings.

calle Tabernillas /calle Agua

 visita General  plate

You can see more plates of "Vista General" in :

For more information:
-"Planimetria General de Madrid y Visita General de Casas 1750-1751" Fancisco José Marín Perellón 1989.
-"El plano de Texeira".Mª Isabel Gea Ortigas. Ediciones la Libreria.
-"La Planimetria General como fuente de Estudio". Natalia González Heras. Univ. Complutense,.
-Archivo Histórico Nacional:
Old and new way of ordering houses

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