Casa de La Estanca, Borja

Camino Vardebajil. 50540 Borja (Zaragoza) CURRENT PROTECTION STATUS: Asset of Cultural Interest (ACI)




Casa de la Estanca is located to the north of the town of Borja. It is one of the few examples of public civil Aragonese Mudejar architecture still standing. The building was commissioned by the City Council as a result of the creation of the Estanca reservoir, which expanded the irrigation system for Borja and neighboring towns. It is a free-standing structure comprising a prismatic volume measuring 5.40 meters wide on each side, and the interior is divided into three levels, aligned with the three distinct sections of the façade. This alignment is not seen on Mudejar monuments from the 14th century. The ground floor contains a single room with a staircase leading to the upper levels in one of the corners. The first floor was used as a dwelling and is divided into three spaces: a kitchen and two bedrooms (following the typical layout of vernacular buildings from the 16th century). The upper level consists of a single space with a low ceiling and was used as storage for the reservoir keeper’s tools. The lower level consists of roughly hewn ashlars clad in face brick on the left side. In addition, the ground floor and first floor are covered with an architrave structure, while the second floor features a wood-framed hipped roof.
Alterations were made in the 18th century, such as those rendered in 1771 to lower the roof and build stables adjacent to the rear façade. Mudejar elements are found on all three levels of the building’s exterior façades, the ornamental scheme repeating itself on all four sides of the building. The main façade faces south, where this three-sectioned design can be observed. The middle section features strips of double courses of angled bricks in a stretcher bond arrangement along with a panel of decorative brickwork consisting of a grid of double-angled crosses forming a regular geometric pattern. The upper section has five double round arches in the typical Aragonese arcade fashion. The façade is finished with a strip of angled brick to form the eaves, which must have been higher prior to the work done in 1771. In 1771, the stables were built on the rear façade, and the west façade, which had been damaged, was coated in a layer of brick and mortar. The middle section of the east façade has a flat-arched opening, constructed in response to damage sustained over time, that disrupts the decorative elements. With the arrival of classical elements in the 16th century, we see a decline in this art form. This was prompted by the assimilation of renascent ornamentation, leading to the co-existence of both styles and to the subsequent decline of the Mudejar style.


Restoration, 21st century (2012) In 2012 the Borja city council restored Casa de la Estanca. The work focused on stabilizing the foundations and restoring the façades.
  • The round-arched openings were covered over in the 19th century.
  • There is a small rectangular opening in one of the sides on the second floor, which disrupts the decorative diamond-shaped pattern.
  • The current wood door has replaced another, larger, door.

Projects and interventions

Projects and interventions, and the driving forces behind them, define the history of monumental buildings and how they are perceived. The downloadable file shows the current status of review proceedings in progress, making it possible to gradually update the knowledge about each monumental building.


21st century (2001) The Official Gazette of Aragon (BOA) from October 8, 2001 published Decree 220/2001, of September 18, by the Government of Aragon, declaring the Casa de la Estanca in Borja (Zaragoza) an Asset of Cultural Interest, Monument category.


BORRÁS GUALÍS, G. M , Arte Mudéjar Aragonés, CAMPZAR y Colegio Oficial de Arquitectos Técnicos y Aparejadores de Zaragoza, Zaragoza, 1985, T. II, pp. 101 LOMBA, SERRANO, C., Borja, Arquitectura civil, siglos XVI-XVII, Centro de Estudios Borjanos, IFC, Col. Monografías CESBOR, Borja, 1982.


Casa de La Estanca

Camino Vardebajil. 50540, Borja (Zaragoza)

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