PALACES OF AVILÉS
From different periods and styles are the different palaces that you can see in the city. From the medieval palace of Valdecarzana to the baroque style of Camposagrado, Ferrera, City Hall or Llano Ponte or the more modern bourgeois style of Balsera or Maqua. All of them reflect a different moment in the life of the town throughout its history.
In 1998 it was restored and is now the Historical Archive of Avilés where it is preserved, among others, the Fuero de Avilés, which is the oldest known document written in Asturian. On the lower floor there are temporary exhibitions that can be visited.
The Valdecarzana Palace, also known as Casa de las Baragañas, is the oldest surviving civil building in Avilés.
The date of its construction is not entirely clear, but it is estimated that it was built between the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries.
Initially it is thought that it was the house of an important merchant from Aviles, with a first floor where he had his business and an upper floor that served as a home. Later, in the seventeenth century it was acquired by the Valdecarzana family from whom it inherited its name.
Of Gothic style only the south façade remains standing, the one facing la Ferrería street, where on the lower floor there are two access doors to the interior under a pointed arch and on the upper floor there are four twin windows in the form of a gallery divided by a Byzantine column and with a sill decorated with sawtooths.
CITY HALL PALACE
Later, in the 19th century, a tower with the emblematic clock, donated by the Maqua family, was added to the building. During the civil war the building was bombed, seriously damaging the clock, which was finally replaced by the current one.
During its history, Aviles had several locations where the rulers met to make decisions. The first place was in the cemetery next to the church of the Franciscan Fathers in the Plaza de Carlos Lobo.
Later they moved to the Plaza de la Villa, a square now disappeared, which was at the confluence of the Sol and La Fruta streets, to a municipal building that burned in the fire that devastated the town in 1621.
It was then when the construction of the present building was ordered on the outskirts of the wall, south of it, which meant, from the urbanistic point of view, the beginning of a great advance for Avilés. It was inaugurated in 1677.
Designed by the architect Juan de Estrada, it follows the model he designed for the Oviedo City Hall in 1622. The building has two floors, on the lower floor the first floor, protected by the porch, was used for stores that were rented to artisans and merchants of the town. The upper floor was used for municipal activities.
The palace is the jewel in the crown of the historic-artistic heritage of Avila and one of the best examples of Asturian baroque.
Currently the Camposagrado Palace is completely renovated inside, retaining only the central staircase, and houses the headquarters of the Escuela Superior de Arte del Principado de Asturias.
From the medieval nucleus of the Palace of the Wings, the Camposagrado Palace began to grow in the 17th century.
With two very different facades, the northern one facing the estuary, of defensive character and with hardly any ornamentation (facing the sea) and the southern one, the one facing the interior of the town, ornamental and very ornate, designed by the architects Menéndez Camina from Avilés between 1693 and 1696, with a central body and two towers attached to both sides where the coat of arms of its owner Gutierre Bernaldo de Quirós de las Alas y Carreño stands out in the central part.
With this construction the Camposagrado family, one of the most important of Asturias, exposes its power to the citizens. In fact, the marquis buys and demolishes some houses located in front of the palace to give it more visibility (what is now the Plaza de Camposagrado).
It has three floors except at the corner of the confluence of the streets where a square tower gives it an additional height.
At the rear is the Ferrera Park which, after the death of the 10th Marquis of Ferrera, was purchased by the city of Aviles in 1974 from his descendants on the condition that it would be for public use.
Built-up in the 17th century, it is one of the examples of urban planning outside the walls of the Baroque expansion of the city.
It is a building designed by the local architect Bartolomé Velasco commissioned by D. Pedro de León y Menendez de Avilés, maternal grandfather of the first Marquis of Ferrera.
Externally sober, it has a square façade facing two streets where the coats of arms corresponding to the sides of the owner of the palace stand out (both are the same except that the one on the main façade is supported by two lions).
The main entrance preserves the cobblestone pavement that allowed the carriages to pass inside the mansion.
It was one of the main buildings of the town and served for years as the residence of the royal family during their visits to Avilés.
Finally in 1998 the current Marquis sold the palace to an important hotel chain that, after a major renovation process, has transformed it into a first class hotel.
LLANO PONTE PALACE
Of baroque style built in ashlar stone, it is one of the buildings designed by the architect Francisco Menéndez Camina from Aviles following the same scheme that he applied to the town hall building a few years earlier, but with more decoration.
It is currently a Galician steakhouse.
The palace of Llano Ponte, also called Casa de García Pumarino, was built between 1700 and 1706 by order of Rodrigo García Pumarino, from Gozon, upon his arrival from making his fortune in Peru.
Unfortunately, the Indiano could not enjoy the building for long, as he died in 1706 without leaving any descendants, after which the palace was inherited by his nephews who exchanged it with the Llano Ponte family for a house in the Sabugo neighborhood.
With the passing of time its use declined as a home, becoming a school, then a convent and finally a movie theater (Marta and María, inspired by the novel of the same name by Armando Palacio Valdés) from 1949 to 2013.
For its conversion into cinema, the interior of the building (which once had a courtyard, a chapel and a monumental staircase) was completely emptied to house the seats and elements necessary for the projections, so that only the facade of the old palace is preserved.
Of modernist style, it has different heights, with two floors in its main axis and three in the rest plus a tower in its central part of historicist inspiration. Both the interior and the exterior have abundant ornamentation. The interior is preserved in perfect condition, highlighting its monumental staircase in a rectangular courtyard covered with a leaded stained glass window.
It is one of the most striking buildings of all those in Aviles, being an example of the power of the wealthy bourgeoisie of the early twentieth century.
Located in Alvarez Acebal square, at the beginning of Galiana street, it is not known for sure who was the architect who designed it, although the most accepted theory is that it was the work of the Galician architect Antonio Palacios.
It was ordered to be built around 1917 by Victoriano Fernández Balsera, a merchant who made his fortune at the beginning of the 20th century. He also owned the warehouses located in front of the promenade of the estuary. His main business was the import/export of products to and from America.
Originally it had a Versailles-style garden, including a swimming pool, which has not survived to the present day.
The palace was acquired by the City Council of Avilés in 1982 and was declared of cultural interest in 1991. It currently houses the Conservatorio Municipal de Música Julián Orbón.
It is another of the buildings constructed in the Gothic expansion of Avilés commissioned by the first Marquis of San Juan de Nieva in 1855.
This palace house is an almost square construction consisting of three floors structured around an inner courtyard with galleries and where the balconies on the top floor that overhang the street stand out.
The palace was acquired by the city council that rehabilitated it between 1983 and 1997. It was declared an Asset of Cultural Interest in 1991 and has had a last rehabilitation in 2020 and currently houses the headquarters of “Avilés Enseña”, a project for the teaching of Spanish and has a space for entrepreneurship.