The most romantic and tragic side of Vitoria-Gasteiz's façades - arabaturismo
Today we wander the streets of Vitoria-Gasteiz with a very special viewpoint. A viewpoint full of love, of passion. We are going to find remarkable corners that, many years ago, were witness to stories of love and loss. The passionate romantic meetings and tragic moments behind some of the city's most characteristic palaces.
‘La malquerida’ of San Miguel
Very close to the Plaza de la Virgen Blanca, in Calle Correría, there is a nook next to the door to the Church of San Miguel known as ‘La Malquerida’. Many know its name, but few know its history. To discover it, we have to go back to the year 1520 when Margarita de Saluces y Foix requested asylum after leaving her cruel and conflictive husband, the Count of Salvatierra. Since then it has been known as La Malquerida.
The indiscretion of José Bonaparte
Coming up to Calle Fray Zacarías, there is another of the palaces that hides numerous stories behind its façade, Montehermoso Palace. In this case, it tells us the love story of Joseph Bonaparte, the Napoleon's older brother, who established his Court here in 1808. During the Battle of Vitoria, Bonaparte maintained nights of passion with noble ladies and servants, and finally conquered the wife and maid of the Marquess of Montehermoso.
The patio of good love
A few metres away is the Escoriaza-Esquível Palace, built in the 16th century at the order of Fernán López de Escoriaza and Victoria de Anda y Esquivel. Inside, Escoriaza wanted to make a romantic gesture for his wife depicting love stories on the medallions on the columns in the patio. On the exterior, the busts of the couple still guard the venue, demonstrating their eternal love and affection.
The Casa del Cordón and its tragic history
Let's go into Calle Cuchillería and up to the Casa del Cordón. This building gets its name from the Franciscan stone beading around one of its doors and is also noteworthy for its incredible stellar vault. Very few know the tragedies that the Sánchez de Bilbao family experienced there. One of the most tragic stories was the death of the youngest daughter of Juan Sánchez de Bilbao, who died at the hands of her ruthless husband.
The eternal look of lovers
Beyond the medieval quarter lies the Augustín Zulueta Palace, currently the Fine Arts Museum. In 1912, the couple Elvira Zulueta and Ricardo Augustin built what was, at the time, the best house in the city. The wife, Elvira, lived little more than a year in that mansion. After her death, her husband decided to leave the city, but the palace railings still preserve a reminder of their love with busts of the couple gazing at each other.
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