Eclectic Style of Art and Architecture at Its Best

posted on 11th Mar 2019 by Deirdre O'Sullivan

I recently visited the beautiful city of Murcia in the South of Spain and took some time to visit a most stunning building of “Real Casino of Murcia”. If you are a bit confused by the name and think it is a place to gamble – like me, you would be very wrong.

Murcia’s resplendent casino first opened as a gentlemen’s club in 1847. Painstakingly restored to its original glory, the building is a fabulous combination of historical design and opulence, providing an evocative glimpse of bygone aristocratic grandeur. Beyond the decorative facade are a dazzling Moorish-style patio; a classic English-style library with 20,000 books; a magnificent ballroom with glittering chandeliers; and a compelling tocador (ladies’ powder room) with a ceiling fresco of cherubs, angels and an alarming winged woman in flames.

There is also the neoclassical patio pompeyano and the classic wood-panelled sala de billar (billiards room). Taken from Lonely Planet.

The main facade is an eclectic style of the architect Mr. Pedro Cerdan Martinez. It has classical and modernist artistic trends. The lobby is a remarkable piece that combines cabinetmaking, marble and plaster in a brilliant way. The door, which has the shape of a horseshoe and is walnut-made, gives access to the Moorish Patio and has an elegant and fine execution. As you enter the Moorish Patio you will notice it is carried out in two heights and is crowned by the huge iron and glass dome at the top of the Casino. There is Arabic text repeated on the walls and it asks the question – “Is nobody greater than God?”

As you move on through the gallery you will notice a library which was carried out in 1916 by the English company Waking Glow. It has 25 lit reading places with individual seats and it houses 20150 catalogued books. There were even some students in there studying while we were there.

The Gallery itself is in fact a closed passage or a private street It constitutes a meeting point and gathering place, as well as a distributor point to the different rooms of the place. It resembles the great rotunda saloon of the Palace hotel in Madrid.

The room opposite the library is call Congresillo and it is an elegant small lounge, and it welcomes some selected groups of Murcia. Today it is used to celebrate different social and cultural events.

There is also a billiards room, a ladies’ dressing room a ballroom antechamber and a ballroom. It is worth taking a guided tour so you can fully enjoy all this wonderful building has to offer. If you ever find yourself in Murcia, take my advice and spend some time in this magnificent place and step back to a time when there was never too much opulence and decoration.