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I Wonder Why...?

I will be writing about aspects of Spanish history and their traditions. I am a very curious person and have always needed to know "why" they do it, and "how" it came about. So over the years while living in Spain I have made a conscious effort to discover "el porque de las cosas" and I will be sharing them with you. I hope you find it as fascinating as I do.

An English Home on a Spanish Coastline
07 May 2020 @ 18:18


If you have ever been to San Sebastian you may have seen this property overlooking the bay that looks slightly out of place...

Queen Elizabeth II started spending her summers in San Sebastian in the mid twentieth century, when bathing in the Bay of Biscay became fashionable among high society. But the close link between the city and royalty became even closer when, after Queen Maria Christina's husband Alfonso XII died, she moved the Court here during the summer. The royal family's summer visits called for a royal country house, and the Queen commissioned the English architect Selden Wornum to design one. The site chosen was a large estate that overlooked the bay, where the San Sebastián El Antiguo Monastery formerly stood.

Opened in 1893, the Miramar Palace is a proper English-style house, and also includes some neo-Gothic decorative elements. It still has some of the original rooms, such as the White Room, the Music Room, the Wooden Drawing Room, the Petit Salon, the Library and the Royal Dining Room. Currently owned by the city council, summer courses run by the University of the Basque Country are held there, and it is the headquarters of Musikene, the Basque Country Centro Superior de Música (Higher School of Music), which does not prevent it from being the venue for parties during the Film Festival.




Like 0


Jennifer Slater said:
09 May 2020 @ 09:41

The facts are incorrect and should be checked before was not the British queen Elizabeth 2.... It was Spain's Queen Isabella 2 ....

Thomas Oliver said:
09 May 2020 @ 11:20

Thanks for reading but I never mentioned the British Queen - just translated the name, as you did.
She was in fact Reina Isabel II. Sorry for the confusion. I should have noticed the ambiguity in the text. When I have time I will adjust the text to avoid confusion in the future. Thanks

migueldelnorte said:
09 May 2020 @ 13:13

When you adjust the text, you should further change the time period for the visits of Reina Isabel II to the mid 19th century. She was in fact Queen of Spain between 1833 and 1868.
The history of the Miramar palace is very interesting, being confiscated from the Monarchy in the 1930's and later restored to Don Juan de Borbón by Franco before assuming its current role.
It is however no longer the headquarters of Musikene, which since the 2016–2017 academic year, has moved to Plaza Europa, on the San Sebastián university campus. In total contrast to the wonderful old house in your article, it now has one of the most state-of-the-art buildings in the city, which received an award from the Colegio Oficial de Arquitectos Vasco Navarro in 2016.
Thanks for the article which serves as a splendid reminder of the fascinating architectural treasures to be found all over Spain. Hopefully it won't be too long before we can again visit such places in person and not just through articles like this.

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