Villabuena de Álava/Eskuernaga
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Villabuena de Álava (Basque: Eskuernaga) is a town and municipality located in the province of Álava, in the autonomous community of Basque Country in northern Spain. It is famous for producing top quality wines; the village has 48 wineries ranging between small family owned to bulk producing ones.
The Village's centre has one of the oldest and most decorated churches in the Basque Country. Nearby is Hotel Viura, a boutique hotel.
It is provided with a 8,5 km surface ² and 33 ' locates to 42nd 05 " of latitude and 1st 39 ' 10 "long West, to 478 meters of the sea level.
Its most population is next to the west in Samaniego, in the north and in the east it borders with Leza, on the west also it’s Navaridas village and on the south El ciego and Baños de Ebro.
Villabuena of Álava/Eskuernaga is provided with excellent communications with the municipalities and next cities, like Laguardia, its regional capital, which is to 8 kilometers, Vitoria, its provincial capital, that is located to 42km and the riojana capital, Logroño, which is to 24 kilometers from it.
Villabuena features long, parallel streets, which follow the contours of the river valley , where the parish church stands. One of the most outstanding aspects of the municipality are the numerous renaissance houses, notable large houses and small palaces with noble fronts of ashlar stone, adorned with good shields and small escutcheons, built between the XVII and XIX centuries.
The Palace of Peciña Samaniego is known as “The house of the Indian”. It is a work of Andrés de Bença, who raised it between 1608 and 1610, by order of Pedro Peciña Samaniego, archdeacon and canon of Santiago de Compostela. This became the residence of some important original Carlists of the locality, like Francisco de Paula Rivas.
It is a building formed by two bodies: a first floor and an apartment on a rectangular plan, added to a tower higher than the rest, which possesses the richest constructive elements.The mentioned tower is accessed through a semicircular arch and in the top part another two semicircular arches form a gallery. In the key of the arch romanist of polychrome Santiago de Compostela exists a relief. In the last plant two vains are opened in semicircular arches, shaping a lodge.
House of the Marqués de Solana
Near this building it is located the Marqués de la Solana, which was basically realized in the XVI century and it was extended in the XVIIIth with two wings. By this way they created two fronts, the main, is more ancient and faced towards the street Santiago, and the second one, is located in the biggest street.
The houses of the biggest street
Going into the biggest Villabuena street we can keep on contemplating the rest of stately houses. One of them consists of 1700 and it is, as the majority, of stone an ashlar. In the front as, in the rest of the large houses of this style, a shield observes cuartelado of ten hearts, a band between two stars, a diminishing moon and some wolves assistants. Also it shows another escutcheon of band crossed by a sword. Walking to scarce meters we can observe another big house that maintains the original elements. Since it is a custom it shows a shield quartered in cross of a bear attacked by a dog next to a tree, a castle of three towers and farm hand touching the horn, a forest and a hunt of wild boar.
The house of the square
The north side of the square near the Tree of Gernika is occupied by a building of the XVIII or XIX century. It has a rectangular with a covering with the style of three waters. It is provided with three plants in chairs and its front is symmetrical. Since in the previous ones it shows two shields, but one of them without historiar, another contains a dog moored to a tree.
The square and the town hall
The Town hall is located in the square where lot of ramps and stairs have been made. It consists of three plants. The last floor and in the front faced towards the square it shows a shield of Castilla León. In the first floor nowadays is located the Botika .
On the other hand we have the square of the Tree of Gernika which is an example. It constitutes one of the most fundamental elements of the municipality. It is the heart of the locality, where a large part of the neighbourhood's social life plays out. It has been transformed in the last years, renewing the image of the town.
Its situation is excellent, just because it is surrendered by the House of Culture, the Botika, the Town hall, the Church, the House of the Tithes and the Hotel Viura, claim of tourists and admirers of the most avant-garde architecture.
The dolmen of the “Montecillo”
The locality keeps surprising the neighbors and tourists, since the end of 2009, a neighbor of Villabuena of Álava, discovered the Dolmen of the “Montecillo”. The tomb of broker of the Hillockis between two vineyards. Other counts with similar characteristics to seven that exist in theRioja Of Alava. It is deformed and semi covered by a morcuero of recent formation. The entryto the broker is secret for a wall that separates both farms. Its situation has favored the goodconservation in which it is.
The parish church is dedicated to the patron saint, San Andreas. Its construction was carried out between 1539 and 1728 in three period, sharing some styles as the gothic and the baroque.
This municipality used to have three chapels: San Roque, Los Santos and Santa Maria de Villabuena. But at present San Roque is in ruins.
The chapel of San Torcuato, dedicated to the patron saint of Villabuena, is placed in the north side of the locality, it is a consolidated building and formed with elegant good. Its construction is rectangular, with walls of masonry, covered in its environment, to half a height, for a dividing line,marking a low part of the wall of major width than the Superior. On its simple cornice the roof settles to four waters, on whose wall headrest places a slender bulrush, with several frames that inscribe the vain one of the bell. Three rosettes crown it and in the center a cross nails.
Santa Maria de Villabuena is provided also with a rectangular form. It is covered with a fanlights vault in the low stretches, while it remains smooth and of bricks in the Superiors. It was restored in 1959, although in origin it was Romanesque from transition to Gothic. Of its epoch they preserve a large window, a beam that was placed supporting the battery of the holy water, a stone frieze under the pedestal of the Virgin and its image, as well as the door of access, of pointe darch. An "Andra Mari" of the XIV century exists: Santa Maria de Villabuena.
Francisco de Paula Rivas was a political Carlist born in the town in 1827. He was a senator for Alava in 1871. Also he was named as a member of the Basque Meeting, created by Manterota in 1870. In 1874 it became to the Presidency of the General Meetings of Alava, which is called “Juntas Maeztu”, which had been summoned by the claimant Carlist. It acted like mediator between the different sections of the Carlism. After the Meetings dissolved, it stopped from its charge and he was named again as a commissioner in court and as a representative of Alava in the Basque-Navarrese meetings.
Clergyman Pedro Peciña Samaniego was archdeacon and canon of Santiago de Compostela. It ordered to construct at the beginning of the XVII Century a palace in its native locality. After some years that building was known as“The House of the Indian”.
Diego Sánchez Samaniego was a local clergyman during the 16th Century. Archdeacon of Santiago de Compostela. It was very related to the civil government and ecclesiastic of the epoch. It earned a big fortune. He wanted to build a chapel dedicated to “ Nuestra Señora del Rosario” in the parish of Villabuena. By this way he arranged it in its testament and, although it is not sure, it seems that he achieved his intention was fulfilled, since its heirs had rights on the chapel of Saint Peter, which caused a suit with the parish
- VILLABUENA DE ÁLAVA/ESKUERNAGA in the Bernardo Estornés Lasa - Auñamendi Encyclopedia (Euskomedia Fundazioa) (Spanish)