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Pontevedra City Hall

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Pontevedra City Hall
Casa Consistorial de Pontevedra
Pontevedra - Casa Consistorial (Ayuntamiento) 1.jpg
General information
TypeCity Hall
LocationPontevedra, Galicia, Spain
Coordinates42°25′55.3″N 8°38′48.8″W / 42.432028°N 8.646889°W / 42.432028; -8.646889Coordinates: 42°25′55.3″N 8°38′48.8″W / 42.432028°N 8.646889°W / 42.432028; -8.646889
Construction started1877
Completed1880
Opening1880
OwnerCity Council of Pontevedra
ManagementCity Council of Pontevedra
Technical details
Floor count2
Design and construction
Architect(s)Alejandro Sesmero
Website
pontevedra.gal

The Pontevedra City Hall in Pontevedra, Spain, is the seat of the city council of this Galician city. It is located at the eastern end of the Alameda de Pontevedra, on the edge of the old town. To the west it opens onto the pedestrian España Square.

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Pontevedra

Pontevedra

Pontevedra is a Spanish city in the north-west of the Iberian Peninsula. It is the capital of both the Comarca (County) and Province of Pontevedra, and of the Rías Baixas in Galicia. It is also the capital of its own municipality which is often considered an extension of the actual city.

City Council of Pontevedra

City Council of Pontevedra

The City Council of Pontevedra is the top-tier administrative and governing body of the municipality of Pontevedra, Spain. The current Mayor of Pontevedra is Miguel Anxo Fernández Lores, in office since 4 July 1999.

Galicia (Spain)

Galicia (Spain)

Galicia is an autonomous community of Spain and historic nationality under Spanish law. Located in the northwest Iberian Peninsula, it includes the provinces of A Coruña, Lugo, Ourense and Pontevedra.

Alameda de Pontevedra

Alameda de Pontevedra

The Alameda del arquitecto Sesmero, popularly known as la Alameda by the Pontevedrians, is an urban park located in the city centre of Pontevedra, Galicia, Spain. Created in 1879, it is the largest green space in the centre of Pontevedra city, together with the Palm Trees Park. The Alameda is located to the west of the old town, close to the old fishermen's quarter of A Moureira.

Old town of Pontevedra

Old town of Pontevedra

The historic centre of Pontevedra (Spain) is the oldest part of the city. It is the second most important old town in Galicia after Santiago de Compostela, and was declared a historic-artistic complex on 23 February 1951.

Plaza de España (Pontevedra)

Plaza de España (Pontevedra)

The Plaza de España is a 19th century pedestrian square located in the city centre of Pontevedra (Spain), on the edge of the old town and the Alameda de Pontevedra.

History

In 1875, the idea of building a new headquarters for the Town Hall was born, located on the land occupied by the Bastida Grande, a bastion of the Pontevedra walls[1] next to the Saint Dominic's gateway, which was also used as the town hall and whose facade opened onto the old town. In 1876 it was decided to demolish the old building and the Pontevedra City Council approved the plans presented by the architect Alejandro Sesmero. During the work, the Town Hall was moved to the Casa del Barón, the palace of the Counts of Maceda.[2]

The foundation stone of the building was laid on 10 October 1877 and the work continued until the last stone was laid on 25 July 1879. The work was completely finished on 3 August 1880[3] and the building was inaugurated on 24 August 1880.[4] The new town hall opened onto the Alameda and the new middle-class neighbourhood created by the demolition of the city walls in 1855. The construction of other large buildings such as the Provincial Council Palace (Pontevedra Provincial Council), also by Sesmero, the Faculty of Fine Arts or the Valle-Inclán High School around the Alameda made this area the great leisure space for the city's bourgeoisie. This work led to the architect being awarded the Cross of the Royal Order of Charles III in 1880.[5]

Rear façade of the town hall
Rear façade of the town hall

In 1944, a half-basement was built to extend the building as well as an imperial staircase overlooking the building's courtyard, slightly raising the ground floor level.[6] · [7]

In 2009, the building was completely renovated, recovering elements of its original architecture.[8] In 2012 and 2013, more extensive renovations were undertaken.[9] The roof has been restored to its original zinc finish.[10] During this renovation work, the original iron skylight of the building, which in 1953 had been hidden behind a Stained glass window with the coat of arms of the province of Pontevedra, was found.

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Bastion

Bastion

A bastion or bulwark is a structure projecting outward from the curtain wall of a fortification, most commonly angular in shape and positioned at the corners of the fort. The fully developed bastion consists of two faces and two flanks, with fire from the flanks being able to protect the curtain wall and the adjacent bastions. Compared with the medieval fortified towers they replaced, bastion fortifications offered a greater degree of passive resistance and more scope for ranged defence in the age of gunpowder artillery. As military architecture, the bastion is one element in the style of fortification dominant from the mid 16th to mid 19th centuries.

Alameda de Pontevedra

Alameda de Pontevedra

The Alameda del arquitecto Sesmero, popularly known as la Alameda by the Pontevedrians, is an urban park located in the city centre of Pontevedra, Galicia, Spain. Created in 1879, it is the largest green space in the centre of Pontevedra city, together with the Palm Trees Park. The Alameda is located to the west of the old town, close to the old fishermen's quarter of A Moureira.

Valle-Inclán High School

Valle-Inclán High School

The Valle-Inclán High School is a large eclectic and Art Nouveau building located in the city centre of Pontevedra, Spain. It is named after the writer Valle-Inclán who studied and lived in Pontevedra. Today it is the seat of the Valle-Inclán Secondary School and was the first an the only secondary school in the province of Pontevedra from 1845 to 1927.

Bourgeoisie

Bourgeoisie

The bourgeoisie is a sociologically defined social class, equivalent to the middle or upper middle class. They are distinguished from, and traditionally contrasted with, the proletariat by their affluence, and their great cultural and financial capital. They are sometimes divided into a petty, middle, large, upper, and ancient bourgeoisie and collectively designated as "the bourgeoisie".

Order of Charles III

Order of Charles III

The Royal and Distinguished Spanish Order of Charles III, originally Royal and Much Distinguished Order of Charles III was established by the King of Spain Charles III by means of the Royal Decree of 19 September 1771, with the motto Virtuti et mérito. Its objective is to reward people for their actions in benefit to Spain and the Crown.

Zinc

Zinc

Zinc is a chemical element with the symbol Zn and atomic number 30. Zinc is a slightly brittle metal at room temperature and has a shiny-greyish appearance when oxidation is removed. It is the first element in group 12 (IIB) of the periodic table. In some respects, zinc is chemically similar to magnesium: both elements exhibit only one normal oxidation state (+2), and the Zn2+ and Mg2+ ions are of similar size. Zinc is the 24th most abundant element in Earth's crust and has five stable isotopes. The most common zinc ore is sphalerite (zinc blende), a zinc sulfide mineral. The largest workable lodes are in Australia, Asia, and the United States. Zinc is refined by froth flotation of the ore, roasting, and final extraction using electricity (electrowinning).

Skylight

Skylight

A skylight is a light-permitting structure or window, usually made of transparent or translucent glass, that forms all or part of the roof space of a building for daylighting and ventilation purposes.

Stained glass

Stained glass

Stained glass is coloured glass as a material or works created from it. Throughout its thousand-year history, the term has been applied almost exclusively to the windows of churches and other significant religious buildings. Although traditionally made in flat panels and used as windows, the creations of modern stained glass artists also include three-dimensional structures and sculpture. Modern vernacular usage has often extended the term "stained glass" to include domestic lead light and objets d'art created from foil glasswork exemplified in the famous lamps of Louis Comfort Tiffany.

Coat of arms

Coat of arms

A coat of arms is a heraldic visual design on an escutcheon, surcoat, or tabard. The coat of arms on an escutcheon forms the central element of the full heraldic achievement, which in its whole consists of a shield, supporters, a crest, and a motto. A coat of arms is traditionally unique to an individual person, family, state, organization, school or corporation. The term itself of 'coat of arms' describing in modern times just the heraldic design, originates from the description of the entire medieval chainmail 'surcoat' garment used in combat or preparation for the latter.

Province of Pontevedra

Province of Pontevedra

Pontevedra is a province of Spain along the country's Atlantic coast in southwestern Europe. The province forms the southwestern part of the autonomous community of Galicia. It is bordered by the provinces of A Coruña, Lugo, and Ourense, the country of Portugal and the Atlantic Ocean. The official languages of the Pontevedra province are Spanish and Galician. There is a public institution called the Provincial Deputation of Pontevedra, whose head office is in Pontevedra city, that provides direct services to citizens such as technical, financial and technological support to the councils of the 62 municipalities of the province of Pontevedra.

Description

The building belongs to the eclectic style that prevailed at the end of the 19th century with elements and concepts inspired by French architecture. The Town Hall was one of Alejandro Sesmero's first major projects, setting many of the guidelines for what would be his style, an eclecticism with a French flavour, giving the severity required by a public building, while its refined decoration underlines the building's political-administrative significance.

Sesmero inserted a small Parisian palace in the Second Empire style into the city.[11] In fact, as the historian Jesús Ángel Sánchez García discovered, he partially plagiarised the design of the rear façade and interior of a mansion at number 8 of the former Parisian street of Valois-du-Roule (joined to the street of Monceau in 1868) designed by the architects F.-J. Nolau and Convents, adapting it to the required institutional function with the inclusion of the city's coat of arms, the main balcony and the clock at the top.

The building is a balanced ensemble with large Ionic (ground floor) and Corinthian (upper floor) columns that highlight its central part.[12] The entrance door has a semicircular arch decorated with a crown of oak leaves, symbolising strength, and the windows are decorated with the city's coat of arms. The columns that frame the entrance are on a large raised pedestal and are crowned by highly decorated Ionic or Roman Corinthian capitals. Sesmero replaces the acanthus with vegetation (leaves, fruit) hanging from the column. The balustrade at the top contains four Kraters at the corners.

The interior has a central staircase in the Empire style.[13] After the renovation tendered in 2021, the ground floor from which the staircase starts is a hall and an open-plan space. The upper floor, or main floor, consists of a meeting room occupying the entire length of the façade of the Plaza de España, and a room for institutional receptions, an office for the mayor and other auxiliary spaces overlooking the Alhóndiga street, as well as an interior space designed as a waiting room. The semi-basement is used for multi-purpose rooms. The entrance on Alhóndiga Street is also being refurbished as the main entrance to the building.[14]

On the façade of the city hall there is a 16th century inscription from the old town hall on the legend of the Greek archer Teucer, the mythical founder of the town.[15]

FVNDOTE TEVCRO VALIENTE
DE AQVESTE RIO EN LA ORILLA
PARA QUE EN ESPAÑA FVESES
DE VILLAS LA MARAVILLA
DEL ZEBEDEO LA ESPADA
CORONA TU GENTILEZA
VN CASTILLO PVENTE Y MAR
ES TIMBRE DE TV NOBLEZA

Teucer, the valiant, founded you
on the banks of this river,
so that of Spain you may be
the most beautiful city,
the sword of Zebedee
crown your kindness;
a castle, a bridge, the sea
which is your proof of nobility.

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Eclecticism in architecture

Eclecticism in architecture

Eclecticism is a 19th and 20th century architectural style in which a single piece of work incorporates a mixture of elements from previous historical styles to create something that is new and original. In architecture and interior design, these elements may include structural features, furniture, decorative motives, distinct historical ornament, traditional cultural motifs or styles from other countries, with the mixture usually chosen based on its suitability to the project and overall aesthetic value.

French architecture

French architecture

French architecture consists of numerous architectural styles that either originated in France or elsewhere and were developed within the territories of France.

Hôtel particulier

Hôtel particulier

An hôtel particulier is a grand townhouse, comparable to the British townhouse or mansion. Whereas an ordinary maison (house) was built as part of a row, sharing party walls with the houses on either side and directly fronting on a street, an hôtel particulier was often free-standing and, by the 18th century, would always be located entre cour et jardin – between the cour d'honneur and the garden behind. There are hôtels particuliers in many large cities in France.

Coat of arms

Coat of arms

A coat of arms is a heraldic visual design on an escutcheon, surcoat, or tabard. The coat of arms on an escutcheon forms the central element of the full heraldic achievement, which in its whole consists of a shield, supporters, a crest, and a motto. A coat of arms is traditionally unique to an individual person, family, state, organization, school or corporation. The term itself of 'coat of arms' describing in modern times just the heraldic design, originates from the description of the entire medieval chainmail 'surcoat' garment used in combat or preparation for the latter.

Ionic order

Ionic order

The Ionic order is one of the three canonic orders of classical architecture, the other two being the Doric and the Corinthian. There are two lesser orders: the Tuscan, and the rich variant of Corinthian called the composite order. Of the three classical canonic orders, the Corinthian order has the narrowest columns, followed by the Ionic order, with the Doric order having the widest columns.

Corinthian order

Corinthian order

The Corinthian order is the last developed of the three principal classical orders of Ancient Greek architecture and Roman architecture. The other two are the Doric order which was the earliest, followed by the Ionic order. In Ancient Greek architecture, the Corinthian order follows the Ionic in almost all respects other than the capitals of the columns.

Pedestal

Pedestal

A pedestal or plinth is a support at the bottom of a statue, vase, column, or certain altars. Smaller pedestals, especially if round in shape, may be called socles. In civil engineering, it is also called basement. The minimum height of the plinth is usually kept as 45 cm. It transmits loads from superstructure to the substructure and acts as the retaining wall for the filling inside the plinth or raised floor.

Acanthus (ornament)

Acanthus (ornament)

The acanthus is one of the most common plant forms to make foliage ornament and decoration, and even as the leaf distinguishing the heraldic coronet of a manorial lord from other coronets of royalty or nobility, which use strawberry leaves.

Baluster

Baluster

A baluster is an upright support, often a vertical moulded shaft, square, or lathe-turned form found in stairways, parapets, and other architectural features. In furniture construction it is known as a spindle. Common materials used in its construction are wood, stone, and less frequently metal and ceramic. A group of balusters supporting a handrail, coping, or ornamental detail are known as a balustrade.

Krater

Krater

A krater or crater was a large vase in Ancient Greece, used for the dilution of wine with water.

Empire style

Empire style

The Empire style is an early-nineteenth-century design movement in architecture, furniture, other decorative arts, and the visual arts, representing the second phase of Neoclassicism. It flourished between 1800 and 1815 during the Consulate and the First French Empire periods, although its life span lasted until the late-1820s. From France it spread into much of Europe and the United States.

Teucer

Teucer

In Greek mythology, Teucer, also Teucrus, Teucros or Teucris, was the son of King Telamon of Salamis Island and his second wife Hesione, daughter of King Laomedon of Troy. He fought alongside his half-brother, Ajax, in the Trojan War and is the legendary founder of the city of Salamis on Cyprus. Through his mother, Teucer was the nephew of King Priam of Troy and the cousin of Hector and Paris—all of whom he fought against in the Trojan War.

Gallery

Source: "Pontevedra City Hall", Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, (2022, November 25th), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pontevedra_City_Hall.

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References
  1. ^ "La reforma de la Casa Consistorial comenzará antes de acabar el año". Diario de Pontevedra (in Spanish). 8 September 2021.
  2. ^ "La Casa Consistorial afronta su segunda reforma integral en 129 años de historia". Faro (in Spanish). 29 March 2009.
  3. ^ "La casa consistorial languidece en espera de la segunda fase de su restauración". La Voz de Galicia (in Spanish). 26 August 2018.
  4. ^ "La Casa Consistorial cumple 140 años". Diario de Pontevedra (in Spanish). 17 July 2020.
  5. ^ "Descubren durante la restauración de la Casa Consistorial un lucernario diseñado por Sesmero". Pontevedra Viva (in Spanish). 23 September 2013.
  6. ^ "La lectura de las entrañas de la Casa Consistorial desvela detalles del pasado del edificio". La Voz de Galicia (in Spanish). 8 September 2021.
  7. ^ "La reforma de la antigua casa consistorial se licitará en un mes y estará acabada en el 2022". Pontevedra Viva (in Spanish). 8 September 2021.
  8. ^ "La Casa Consistorial afronta su segunda reforma integral en 129 años de historia". Faro (in Spanish). 29 March 2009.
  9. ^ "Arranca la rehabilitación de la Casa Consistorial de Pontevedra". La Voz de Galicia (in Spanish). 12 May 2013.
  10. ^ "Lores quiere "meterlle o dente" a la Casa Consistorial". Diario de Pontevedra (in Spanish). 17 October 2019.
  11. ^ "Sobre nuestra Casa Consistorial". La Voz de Galicia (in Spanish). 16 October 2011.
  12. ^ "Los 11 edificios que reconoces si eres de Pontevedra". El Español (in Spanish). 28 January 2021.
  13. ^ "Los 11 edificios que reconoces si eres de Pontevedra". El Español (in Spanish). 28 January 2021.
  14. ^ "La casa consistorial recuperará su entrada original por la Rúa Alhóndiga". Pontevedra Viva (in Spanish). 25 February 2021.
  15. ^ "A arquitectura de Pontevedra chega á escola". Diario de Pontevedra (in Galician). 23 September 2021.
Bibliography
  • Fernández Fernández, Xosé, "Casa do Concello de Pontevedra", in Boletín Académico de la ETSA (Escuela Técnica Superior de Arquitectura), No. 15, La Coruña, 1992.
  • Fontoira Surís, Rafael, 2009. "Pontevedra Monumental". Ed. Deputación de Pontevedra. Pontevedra. ISBN 978-84-8457-327-2.
  • Rincón García, Wifredo, 1993. "Ayuntamientos de España". Espasa-Calpe. Madrid. ISBN 978-8423952793.
  • Sánchez García, Jesús Ángel: La recepción de modelos franceses en la Arquitectura ecléctica: Alejandro Rodríguez-Sesmero y el proyecto del Ayuntamiento de Pontevedra (1876). Espacio, tiempo y forma. Serie VII, Historia del arte, ISSN 1130-4715, No 13, 2000, pages 361–400.
See also

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