It is a monumental brick building with two stories and a gallery in the attic. Its sober façade is rounded off by spectacular and highly-ornamented wooden eaves, thought to be designed by Esteban de Obray.
The whole building is structured around a square courtyard on two levels, which connect with each other by an imposing staircase. The murals that decorate it are undoubtedly the most striking feature of the palace. Renaissance
paintings from the XVI century
, completely restored and made in a single grey tone. Hence their name:grisallas
. The technique and themes used in them are exceptional
, because there are very few well-conserved mythological ensembles still on display in Spain.
What do we see? Twelve feminine figures of Classical times offering moral advice to the owner of the house. Chaste, warrior-like women and Classical divinities: Venus (beauty), Juno (wealth), Pallas (wisdom), and Eris (discord). Eris seems to allude to the choice of wife that the Marquis of Magallón may have made when he married. The nudity of the bodies of the four goddesses was covered up centuries later, coinciding with the use of the palace as a school by the austere Brothers of the Sacred Heart.
Another memorable feature of this monument in Tudela is that it was home to several cultural gatherings. The role of José María Magallón y Mencos, Marquis of San Adrián
, was very important in this respect. A portrait of him was painted by Goya
in 1804 (now on display in the Museo de Navarra
). A handsome and learned young man, he liked to learn new things and cultivate his thinking along with other erudite dandies
There are centuries of history behind this palace, which the City Council of Tudela
restored in the 1990s. Since then, it has been the seat of the UNED
(Distance Learning University) and is also used for a range of cultural events.