Cardinal Juan Pardo de Tavera, the 16th-century Toledo archbishop who was a close confident of Emperor Carlos V, was not one to hide his light beneath a bushel. He had this elegant Renaissance palace with beautiful arcaded twin courtyards built in a style far more grandiose than necessary to serve as a hospital for the indigent—but maybe just grandiose enough to serve as a pantheon recalling the greatness of its patron. The building represents the finest mature work of local architect Alonso de Covarrubias, who also designed the Hospital de Santa Cruz, now the Museo de Santa Cruz (below). Cardinal Tavera’s mausoleum, designed by Alonso Berruguete, is within the adjacent church, but the hospital now houses the striking Fundación Medinaceli collections of Spanish paintings from the 15th through 18th centuries. Among them are five works by El Greco, including a portrait of Tavera and versions of The Holy Family and The Baptism of Christ. The building itself is clearly visible in an unfinished state in El Greco’s View and Plan of Toledo in the Museo del Greco (see below). A portrait of Carlos V by Titian dominates the banquet hall.
- Frommer's Staff