Ark of the three keys

The Council of Alcalá was formed during the late Middle Ages (XIV-XV centuries), as a local body mainly responsible for the collection of taxes and the administration of justice. Until 1487 it met in the Torre Mocha del Castillo, moving in this year to the surroundings of the church of Santiago.

During the Modern Age (16th-18th centuries), the Council progressively expanded its functions: supply, administration of “own” goods, charity, public instruction, police…

In 1500 the Catholic Monarchs established the obligation for the councils to “create an ark where the privileges and deeds of the Council are kept safe”. Already in 1718 we have the first mention of “deputies key-holders of the archive”, in charge of inventorying and guarding the municipal documentation deposited in the coffer of the Cabildo’s notary’s office.