The Archives

The General Archives of the Indes is now in a building that used to be the Merchants Guild for Seville and America. The building stands (to show its importance) between the old palace and the cathedral. On an aside, the pillars around the cathedral that are chained together indicate that church law applies inside the chains. The merchants put pillars and chains around their building as well – for merchant law.

To highlight that you are entering the real deal, you will meet something like three security people and a metal detector – on the way in. Upstairs there are one each for each vantage point in the archives – do not attempt to take a photo. Downstairs it’s ok. Now is a somewhat back to front way – what is the “Archives”? It houses all documents that relate to Spain and its interaction with the Americas – from the start to the start of the last century. The documents are sometimes beautiful (some are always on display) but all seem to be actual working papers – so they are in spanish, not latin. The maps and illustrations are of interest to everyone. Would you like to see the original drawn line of Agreement? Everything to the west was to be for Portugal – the east, Spain. Thats where Brazil got its language from. All beautifully done – sometimes illustrated with the writers House coat of arms, scroll work, etc. The shelf uprights are of carved Cuban Mahogany and the shelves themselves are of Cedar – done by a sculptor. The downstairs shelves are of the same shape but of more robust metal. The also have some artifacts of the conquest and just after.

Worth a visit if anyone is passing. I saw three other people. It is also (of course) temp and humidity controlled.

The only picture that needs some explaining (as I see it, feel free to ask) was the artifact picture I will put here. The heads are stirrups and the spur spikes are some 5 inches long.

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