The Palace of The Guzmanes courtyard

© RicardMN Photography

© RicardMN Photography

The Palace of the Guzmanes (Palacio de los Guzmanes) is the current headquarters of the Diputación de León (the provincial government) is one of the most beautiful palaces in the city of Leon, Spain.

Don Juan de Quiñones y Guzmán, bishop of Calahorra, commanded its construction to Rodrigo Gil de Hontañón, the most important architect back then. He had planned the University of Alcalá de Henares and the Palacio Monterrey in Salamanca. The Palacio de los Guzmanes’ construction took place between 1559 and 1572 in the lands where the old city Wall used to stand, and also the place where the family’s older palace was. This was a mudejar building that was knocked down in order to build the new one. The construction work was never finished and the palace deteriorated until i tended up abandoned.

In 1882 it was purchased by the provincial government (Diputación) for its recovery, and since then, a series of reforms have taken place. They concluded with the extension carried out between 1973 and 1976 by the architect Felipe Moreno.

It is a place of delicate elegance from the Renaissance, with flair and structural simplicity. Inside, the extraordinary courtyard leads up the stairs to the administrative offices. At the main entrance, there are two reliefs: one represents Saint Augustine washing Pilgrim Christ’s feet. The other is the Annunciation. Likewise, there’s the sculpture of the aforementioned bishop Juan Quiñones de Guzmán, work by Valentín Yugueros. In the façade there is the mysterious Guzmanes’ coat of arms, a bucket with six snakes getting out.
The building’s base is like a trapezoid, with four towers at the corners and an indoor courtyard with columns and beautiful stained glass windows at the second level. The palace has two parts: balconies in the upper one and barred windows in the lower one. The main façade makes up a third part, which is a gallery of glazed arches between Corinthian pilasters. The building’s floors are vertically connected through a spiral staircase located at the Southeast tower.

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Gardens at the Cordova’s Palace, Granada

© RicardMN Photography

© RicardMN Photography

Gardens at the Cordova’s Palace, Granada, Andalucia, Spain.

Climbing up from Granada via the “Paseo de los Tristes” and then up the “Cuesta de Chapiz”, stands on the right one of the buildings which, as fate would have it, has been moved to this distant corner of the city. This is the Palacio de los Córdova which was once situated in the city centre and now serves as an archive.

At first, the building was in the Descalza’s square and it was moved stone by stone to the Chapiz slope in the 16th century. The main building’s frontal is Renaissance where we can see the family’s coat of arms. Inside, the roofs are incredible, with a wood coffered ceiling and there is a beautiful Gothic atrium.

The palace is surrounded by a large garden with tall cypresses. On the floor of the main avenue we can see the typical Granada paving. Nowadays the building is used as the Municipal Archive of Granada.

A gate gives access a patio or courtyard with typical Granada cobbles. It has a gallery in its North sector and a fountain in the middle. It is surrounded by cypresses. Some brick arches limit the second little square with a lower fountain and mark the the cypresses path which drives us to the main gate. On the right there is a typical Granada orchard and on the lefte two paralel paths: the “romantic path” and the “laurel vault”.

The Palace of Los Córdova was built at Placeta de las Descalzas around 1530 and was finished by 1592. Its owner was Luis Fernández de Córdova, Great Lieutenant of Granada and Governor of the town of Villanueva de la Fuente. It is unknown when the Córdova family sold this building. Francisco de Paula Valladar writes in 1911 that “after being factories, companies, wood warehouses, etc., it is today a property of a company or community which hires it for city warehousing purposes…”. In 1919, after being bought by Ricardo Martín Flores, it was demolished in order to build the Gran Capitán Theatre; however the important historic and artistic features were moved to the “Villa María” estate on the road to Pulianas.

In the 60s, these treasures were going to be transferred to Córdoba. However, Mayor Manuel Sola convinced the Duke of Montellano, married to Hilda Fernández de Córdova, to rebuild the palace giving him 100.000 pesetas in advance. Following the plans of Architect Álvarez de Toledo from Málaga they start the reconstruction of the palace on a state located at the beginning of Cuesta del Chapiz. The construction works began in 1965. In 1983 the Granada City Council bought the Palacio de los Córdova in order to instal there the City Historical Archive, opened to public in August 1984.

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The Bridge Of Mantible

© RicardMN Photography© RicardMN Photography

The Bridge of Mantible (Spanish: Puente Romano de Mantible) is a ruined bridge located near Logroño, Spain. It crosses the Ebro river to connect El Cortijo and Assa.
According to some historians, construction of the bridge began in the first half of the 2nd century, well into Rome’s imperial period. Others suggest that the bridge was built in the 11th century, near the same time in which the Puente La Reina was constructed over the River Arga, and that both were made to join the two most important cities of the Kingdom of Navarre, Nájera and Pamplona.
Neither theory makes clear at what point the bridge became no longer passable, but there are documents that suggest that it had already fully deteriorated by halfway through the 16th century.
The bridge is 164 meters long, 5 meters wide and reaches a maximum height of 30 meters. It was built with seven semicircular arches, only two of which stand relatively intact today. There are only a few remains of the other five arches. The two standing arches serve as an example of the excellent quarry stone used in the bridge.
It was declared Bien de Interés Cultural in 1983.

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