Route of the Palaces
We take a stroll through several architectural and cultural jewels that have witnessed the last centuries of history in the Ribera del Duero region, and we hope they will continue to do so for many more centuries.
We pause at these palaces in our region that are well worth a visit:
- Palacio de los Avellaneda (Alcubilla de Avellaneda)
- Palacio de los Avellaneda (Peñaranda de Duero) BIC
- Palacio de Don Andrés de la Cuesta (Hontoria de Valdearados)
- Palacio de los Serrano (Sotillo de la Ribera) BIC
- Palacio de Ventosilla (Gumiel de Mercado)
- Palacio de los Guzmán y Santoyo (Guzmán) BIC
- Palacio de los Zúñiga (Curiel de Duero) BIC
We begin our tour at the Avellaneda Palace in Alcubilla de Avellaneda. This stately home, built around 1575 by the favourite of King Felipe II, Don Lope de Avellaneda y Delgadillo, at which point the town adopted the surname "Avellaneda", passed down to illustrious descendants of the nobility until it was sold to the villagers in 1928 by the Marquesa de Tavira. The palace suffered rapid deterioration until restoration work began in 1989, leading to its reopening as a restaurant in June 2019.
We continue our route to Peñaranda de Duero to visit the Palace of the Counts of Miranda or Avellaneda, located in the Plaza Mayor. Built in the early 16th century by mandate of the third Count of Miranda, Don Francisco de Zúñiga y Avellaneda, to Francisco de Colonia, the palace is undoubtedly one of the jewels of Spanish Plateresque architecture. It is a magnificent ensemble highlighted by its double-arched courtyard, beautifully decorated rooms such as the Hall of Ambassadors, and its Gothic, Mudéjar, and Renaissance plasterwork and coffered ceilings.
In Hontoria de Valdearados, we find the Bishop's Palace or Casa de la Villa, which serves as the Town Hall, a magnificent stone building. It was commissioned to be built by the Bishop of León, Don Andrés de la Cuesta, a native of the town, who later ceded it to the municipality.
Our next destination is Sotillo de la Ribera, where the Serrano Palace is located. This neoclassical building from the 18th century was built by order of the canon rector of the University of Santiago, Don Juan Antonio Serrano Mañero, and belonged to this noble family until it was acquired by the Town Hall in the late 20th century. The building has been renovated internally and currently serves as a cozy rural house. Its facade is protected by National Heritage due to its structure and heraldic shields. It is popularly known as the "Casa Grande".
The Ventosilla Palace, now a Royal Inn, is located on the largest estate in northern Spain, Real Sitio de la Ventosilla, belonging to Gumiel de Mercado, a unique and privileged historical environment. In the palace, commissioned to be built by the first Duke of Lerma and minister of King Felipe III, Don Francisco Gómez Sandoval y Rojas, kings and nobles would stay when they came to hunt. The King brought part of the court to this 17th-century Herrerian-style palace, which retains its original exterior architecture. Among its guests, we can mention Lope de Vega and Rubens. Subsequently, it also hosted Felipe IV and Felipe V.
We now continue to Guzmán, where we find the Guzmán and Santoyo Palace. Cristóbal Guzmán y Santoyo (1578 - 1656), born in Guzmán, had a close relationship with the monarchy and was deeply concerned about his hometown. This prelate rebuilt the Guzmán Palace around 1640, whose origin was the manor houses of the Guzmán and Santoyo families, which were very close to each other. The central nucleus of the building is preceded by a body of classical corner towers. The interior houses a large underground cellar covered with a magnificent barrel vault. The palace remained part of the family possessions of the Guzmán Santoyo until the early 18th century.
Our itinerary ends in Curiel de Duero, in the Valle del Cuco, where the Zúñiga Palace is located, a fortified palace that belonged to the Zúñiga family, is in a rectangular layout with corner towers. It had a central patio with octagonal columns, but the interior is currently in ruins. The main entrance is pointed arch with voussoirs made of ashlar stones. The palace was known as the "Palacio de Justicia Mayor" (Greater Court Palace), as it served as the seat of justice for the Community of Villa y Tierra de Curiel until 1812.