EPISCOPAL PALACE (1889-1893)
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CRITICAL COMMENTARY

In 1886, a fire totally destroyed the residence of Joan Baptista Grau, the Bishop of the diocese of Astorga, in the northwest of Spain. As a result, he commissioned Gaudí a new building.
Gaudí visited the site on several occasions between 1890 and 1893, and modified some parts as they were being built. In 1893, Bishop Grau died and due to some discrepancies between the canons and the Diocesan Board, building was delayed, and finally stopped, which led to Gaudí’s resignation. Ricardo García Guereta finished it in 1907.

The Episcopal Palace is built in a particular Gothic style, and has four levels (half-basement, ground floor, mezzanine, and attics). The ground floor included the vestibule and a central chamber with vaults with pointed arches made of bricks laid flat and with ribbing, which is the predominant type of vault throughout the building. The mezzanine holds the chapel, the throne room, the dining room, the bishop’s private quarters, and several apartments for guests. In the attic are the restrooms and the library.
Outside, the porch of the entry stands out, along with the sober stone walls, the multiple windows, the circular towers, and the cavity that lets light into the basement.
It’s Museo de los Caminos (Museum of Paths) as of 1963.
Item of Cultural Interest since 1969.
Forms a part of the Route of Santiago since 1999.

     
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