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Palace of the Marquis of San Adrián



Palace of the Marquis of San Adrián - Patio de luces
icono pie de fotoPatio de luces
Palace of the Marquis of San Adrián - Escalera palacio
icono pie de fotoEscalera palacio
Palace of the Marquis of San Adrián - Pinturas murales
icono pie de fotoPinturas murales


Patio de luces
In calle Magallón stands the most monumental noble house of Tudela. Designed according to the construction models of the Ebro valley in the XVI century, it is the masterpiece of Renaissance civil architecture in Navarre.

It was home to distinguished families such as the Magallóns, hence the name of the street and the title of 'Marquises of San Adrián' by which it is known. The rooms that once played host to famous travellers are now the classrooms of the National Distance Learning University (UNED).

Apart from its sober brick façade, the building stands out for its courtyard/well and a spectacular wooden eaves. The most striking feature of the building, however, are its Renaissance frescos that line the old staircase that leads to the noble floor of the palace. These are very original murals representing deities from Classical times together with Greek-Roman heroines.

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.


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