Astorga Gaudí Episcopal Palace

The Episcopal Palace in Astorga is a building by the famous architect Antoni Gaudí. It was built between 1889 and 1913. Designed in the Catalan Modernisme style, it is one of only three buildings by Gaudí outside Catalonia.

The edifice, built in gray granite from El Bierzo, is in a neo-medieval style harmonizing with its location, including the Cathedral in particular. It does, however, also feature some of the elements typical of the later Gaudí, such as the arches of the entrance with buttresses and the chimneys integrated in the side façades. Gaudí had devised a five-meter tall angel to crown the façade, but it was never mounted. The façade has four cylindrical towers and is surrounded by a ditch.

In 1893, after the death of his friend, Bishop Grau, Gaudí resigned over disagreements with the council, halting the construction for several years. The palace was completed between 1907 and 1915 by Ricardo Garcia Guereta. During the Civil War the building served as the local headquarters of the Falange ( the sole legal party of the Francoist dictatorship) in Spain. In 1956 Julià Castelltort, a Catalan, began restoration works to adapt the building as a bishop's residence. Later bishop Marcelo González Martín promoted the conversion to the current role of the palace, a museum of religious art called Museo de los Caminos, dedicated to the Camino de Santiago.

Comments are closed.