The Cigarral de Menores is one of the twenty historical ‘cigarrales’ that are named in the work of Tirso de Molina, Los Cigarrales of Toledo, published in 1621. Only five of these remain, the Cigarral de Menores being the one that best preserves the nature of these traditional properties in Toledo.
It was acquired in the late sixteenth century by Don Jeronimo de Miranda y Vibero, canon of the Cathedral of Toledo by assignment of Pope Clement VIII, in spite of the fact that four of his relatives had been convicted for being Lutherans and three for being Jewish.
In 1611, he built the small Chapel of St. Jerome at the entrance of the property, which still endures, and soon after he entrusted the architect Juan Bautista Monegro with the construction of the San Julian Convent and the design of its gardens, which in 1619 he donated to the Order of Clérigos Menores of San Francisco Caracciolo (of Neapolitan origin). This religious order had a great reputation for its spirituality, and so it was written that they had formed in Toledo “a coleggio di santi”. They remained in the Cigarral until 1835. Since then, it belonged to various owners such as the liberal politician Manuel Silvela and the blessed Joaquín de la Madrid., until 1921, when Dr. Marañon acquired and restored it.
Gregorio Marañón Posadillo (1887-1960) was one of the most influential personalities of his time, as a doctor, scientist, humanist and historian. In 1931, with Ortega y Gasset and Pérez de Ayala, he founded the “Agrupación al Servicio de la República”. In 1987, celebrating the centenary of his birth, King Juan Carlos I said: “His moral heritage, his scientific magisterium and his civic example, comprise a historical energy that we, contemporary Spaniards, should not ignore”. In the Cigarral he wrote most of his books and met the most prestigious scientific, artistic and political personalities of that time. During the Civil War of 1936, Marañon moved to Paris and lived in exile, whilst the Cigarral suffered bombings and plundering. His daughter Carmen and her husband Alejandro Fernández de Araoz went to restore it so when Marañon returned from exile in 1942, he found it completely reconstructed.
In 1978, when Dolores Moya, widow of Dr. Marañón, passed away, her grandson Gregorio Marañón Bertrán de Lis, acquired the Cigarral from his family. Since then, he has expanded its boundaries, restored the gardens and completed its construction (with the support of his son, the architect Gregorio Marañón Medina). Currently, Gregorio Marañón Bertrán de Lis and Pilar Solis-Beaumont Martínez-Campos, marquises of Marañón, inhabit the Cigarral part of the year and devote great care and dedication to it. Both have also developed an important collection of contemporary sculpture.
Many significant events that have taken place at the Cigarral. The visits of Mme. Curie, Dr. Fleming, and of Presidents Herriot, Azaña and Nixon. The readings by Federico Garcia Lorca of his play “Bodas de Sangre” and by Miguel de Unamuno of “El Cristo de Velázquez”. General de Gaulle stayed over night in 1970. The arrival of the sculpture by Chillida, “Lugar de Asiento”, suspended from a helicopter while the king of Spain was in another helicopter photographing the event, and the installation of a fountain by Cristina Iglesias.
On October 9th, 2007, the Cigarral de Menores was designated monument of cultural interest by the Government.