The Inquisition was an ecclesiastical court that punished faith and heresy crimes. It was created in the catholic King's time and it was there for centuries. In Iniesta an inquisitor lived there and his house was called “La Casa de la Inquisición”. It's located in the Cerrada Street, in its facade the badge of the fear institution remains. There´s evidence that in the 1515, the Inquisition fought against too many Iniesta's neighbours for Judaism, blasphemy crime, etc. These are the legends of “La Casa de la Inquisición” which have been transmitted by generations until our days.
In the past, this building was a convent built in the second half of XVI century as a Franciscan hermitage. Moreover it also was a workers trade union place during the Civil War, a barn and a mushroom storeroom, a cultural centre and today it’s the Archaeological Museum of Iniesta.
This building was built as an only nave, with a rectangular floor. Its walls are made of stalk and mud, and bricks in the main facade. There are two gates, one in the south, the main one, and another in the east side. This one goes directly to an open square.
The Archaeological Museum is in the antique Concepción’s Hermitage, in 1 Convent street. It was built in 1589 and there are lots of archaeological pieces which were found in the old town. They belong to different historical ages: Bronze Age, Iberian Culture and Romanization.
There are three funerary steles from Romanization. On the first one there isn’t any text, on the second there is a Roman inscription and on the third there is a translation.
Among its properties there is an important mosaic made of river stones. It’s the only one in Spain. It’s from V century B.C.. It was used as a ritual and as an ornament of a big grave. It represents the Winged Punic Goddess and a wolf with open jaws. This is a symbolic animal which is the protector of the souls in the Iberian region.
The ancient building of the council has always been a town hall, at least since the 15th century when it was built next to the walls of the ancient medieval castle.
The façade is from the renaissance and keeps the columns and heraldic shields. In the main hall there is a mural in the inside where we can see a royal shield of the Felipe´s the second age and a scene of Crucified Jesus with a city in the background.
It is an old house from 1557. It has two facades of good stone and great proportions.
An old legend of oral tradition is told about this house. In the legend, King Pedro I “the cruel” as he went through Iniesta, fought against his stepbrother Enrique, he lived in this home and ordered a woman from the village to be brought to him in order to spend the night with her.
She refused, but the king abused her and ordered to lock her forever in the cave of the house, ordering that nobody should help her.
Here cries were heard by all the people. And, still today, it is said that on the nights of full moon, she is heard crying with sadness.
The fortified tower of Iniesta is the only rest of the medieval castle, which was on the highest part of the village. It’s from Hispanic Muslim age. At the end of Middle Age the Catholic Kings ordered to dismantle it after defeating the Marquis of Villena, owner of the Castle and Iniesta. In the old yard we can find the current bullring, although in archaeological diggings were found an Iberian storage and a tank of the Roman Age. Today it’s the headquarters of the Tourism office in Iniesta and we can also find on it the local clock.
The most ancient archaeological remains in the area of Iniesta are from the Neolithic and bronze age. In the iberian period, Iniesta was called “Ikalesken” and it had its own money. There are remains of this period, like the necropolis in “Cerro Gil” or the remains of the necropolis at the end of “Barrionuevo” Street. With the romanization, Iniesta was called “Egelasta” but there are no archaeological remains of this period. In the hispanic-muslim period, it was called Yanasta and there is a tower of the old arabic castle, defensive door to access to the fortress of s.XI. The Spanish king Alfonso VII conquered 1186 and promoted the re-population giving privileges.
During the middle ChristianAges, Iniesta went from the hand of royalty to the hands of lords, such as, Don Juan Manuel and the last marquis of Villena. That marquis rebelled against the Catholic King and Queen and the were defeated which caused Iniesta to be independent again in 1476. After that, the queen Isabel I of Castile ordered the walls to be destroyed and the battlements of the castle to be knocked down. From now, Iniesta started living good times and a urbanistic transformation. Thanks to this the town hall was built next to the ancient castle wall, the main square was rebuilt and the church, Franciscan convent, the “Concepción chapel” and “Vadocañas” bridge were built. The centuries 17th and 18the are marked by economic decline and later, by a little recuperation. In this period the hamlets of Iniesta achieve independence becoming new villages such as Minglanilla, Ledaña, Villalpardo, Villarta, Graja de Iniesta, etc. Even in the modern times, in19th century wars marked an important decline of which society unrecovered till 20th century.
The most important Discovery in Iniesta is the Iberian mosaic of Cerro Gil, “Mosaic of Diosa Alada” of Iniesta.
It is a piece made of pebbles of different tones of color showing three different figures. The mosaic was the anteroom of a tomb, where four funeral urns were discovered with grave goods.
Despite the fact that the excavation of Necropolis didn’t start until 1997, the official presentation was in 2005 in the national congress of Iberian archeology. On 19 th May of 2006 it was shown to the inhabitants of Iniesta.
This mosaic is unique from that period and there is nothing similar in our country.
The originality of this mosaic is that in the V Century B.C these kind of mosaic were geometrics. While this one shows three figures, a Wolf, The Diosa Alada, and the third was destroyed but it seems that it was a horse. The mosaic is a part of the exhibition of the museum where it can be seen next to grace goods and the tomb where it was found.