Posted by: travelrat | August 12, 2011

Palacio de Soñanes

Villacarreido: 27th March 2011.

When I first heard of Villacarreido, the first thing I did, naturally, was a web search. All I turned up as an entry in Wikipedia … in Spanish. I was able to get the gist of what was being said, although Babelfish was no help; I got more from the original than from the Babelfish ‘translation’. And, later, my friend Juan-Carlos was able to help out with a proper translation.

Anyway, the main attraction of the place seemed to be the hotel we were staying in …. the Palacio de Soñanes. It’s a superb bit of baroque architecture, in which the art nouveau and sometimes art deco interior decoration seem to blend seamlessly. It was built around a tower dating from the 15th Century, and the whole thing is supported by a massive stone staircase.

That staircase just beggars verbal description … I compared it with the Madrid Metro, where you have to select your exit carefully, or you can find yourself horribly disoriented for a few minutes.

The palacio was built for a diplomat in the service of King Felipe V, one Don Antonio Diaz de Arco y Perez del Camino (Spanish nobility of that time didn’t have names; they had pedigrees!) and takes its name from its last inhabitant Fernando Fernandez de Velasco y Perez de Soñanes.

It was recently acquired by the consortium which now owns the hotel, and extensively restored; the project co-ordinator was Rafael Calleja and the decoration was by Paco Entrena and painter Roberto Orella.



  1. Hi Keith,
    What an unusual building, but that is definitely it’s charm. These old places have the most gorgeous art work around the outside, that would of taken years to complete, and it looks perfect. It really would of been fantastic when it was first built, because it still looks out of this world.

  2. Stunning building. The detail is so intricate. The Baroque period is one of my favourites!

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