The bearer of the first library of the New World

In Tablarredonda Street, stands one of the most beautiful and characteristic palaces of the town of Toro. It’s the Nunciature’s house, a sixteenth-century Renaissance palace that retains almost its original appearance.

It was built by Alonso Manso, a Jewish clergymen with an exquisite education, who became one of Prince Juan’s tutors, son of Ferdinand and Isabella and confidant of the king.

For the evangelization of the New World, the Crown needed men of integrity like him, that’s why he was appointed bishop of Puerto Rico, becoming at the same time the first bishop of the newly discovered America.

A grown man like Alonso could not travel without his books. They accompanied him on his long overseas voyage, amongst 230 volumes were Latin classics as Sallust and Virgil, prayer books, gospels and epistles and the newly enacted Laws of Toro. These books constituted the only existing library in the New World for 25 years.

Over time, both the landowners and the church itself, abused the indigenous population to strengthen their power in the new territories. With so many injustices, Alonso asked for his return to Spain, he was appointed archbishop of Seville, however, he never work in his new position, death caught him on the long voyage.