Great faces of the buildings, ornamented gratings, galleries, patios, balconies, private chapels, wonderful gardens, handicrafts, high ladders, viewpoints, domes… All they are the characteristic elements of ostentatious architecture that keep a singular shape and symmetry which became trendy thanks to all those Spanish men and women immigrants who spent a long time in Latin America. These people opposed to those called “the Latin Americans of rope-soled sandals”, who suffered the misfortune of immigration, finally made big fortunes in the new continent. When at last they backed for good to Spain, they interceded to change the rural aspect of their native towns by building big houses of different floors while showing their richness and fortunes as well as they also tried to make a display of the best of their new social status.
In Colombres, Ribadedeva, the rich Latin Americans change strongly the physical appearance of a rural town into a modern one, with a colourful and exotic architecture. The main urban references of this town are the Town Council, the Baroque Church or the Quinta of Guadalupe all them built around an elliptic square, thanks to the money brought from America.
All of the Latin Americans’ houses of this municipality have a high palm tree as a symbol of a class which left no doubt about the origin of so much money: America. And the towers that since the Asturian Middle Ages are a clear element of distinction, of nobility and of power, were remained here by those Latin Americans to ennoble their latest social ascent. Their inner desire was to show their luxury and richness that got the faces of the buildings full of classic and Baroque references as well as regionalist symbols.
The Latin American architecture route
We can finally divide all these properties into singular and rich palaces and modernist mansions; an unusual mixture which employed the most famous architects of that time who gave shape to these new and sometimes ridiculous elements, building genuine mansions with a proper name. The Latin American architecture is genuine not copied from any other it is a new entity that deserves to be known. In Ribadedeva, one of the councils most famous for this kind of architecture, has proposed to show their inner splendour of them through a route in which we can find more than ten of these representative and beautiful constructions. Today most of them belong to individuals so they are not open to public but, it is widely known that they are well-conserved and still remain the time they were built. Printed papers, silks, curtains, mirrors, old furniture, lamps and elements made of bronze are proofs of their good state.
To have an idea of their indoors, in Colombres , for instance, we can have a visit inside the Quinta of Guadalupe, the Town Council or the Casa of Piedra that today works as the Cultural House and Library.
The whole patrimony of Colombres is one of the most interesting in Latin American architecture and also justified that in one of its mansions, La Quinta of Guadalupe was inaugurated in 1987 the Foundation the Latin American Archives and the Immigration Museum. Inside it, it is shown the historical data and memories and also the creations of the latest immigrants which make a visit very worthwhile. The Quinta of Guadalupe has an ulterior patio and two floors of Arabic style, a clear symbol of the fortunes of D. Iñigo Noriega. Its park is one of the gardens best conserved in Asturias, full of many exotic plants and trees.
From Colombres there is a road to Bustio and another road to Villanueva, crossing this population. To the North there are built modern houses that make a contrast between the opulence and the individualism of the constructions of the Latin Americans. And by the South, towards Villanueva the houses are less high with one floor and whitened, with an Andalusian aspect which contrasts with the vivid colour and variety of the Latin Americans.
Information of interestSome of the more interesting houses.
1 Quinta de Guadalupe
2 Casona de Iñigo Noriega Mendoza
3 Ribadedeva's Town Hall
4 Casa Roja
5 Casa de Piedra y anexa
6 Finca Las Raucas
7 Casa de Los Leones
8 La Solana
9 Casas Gemelas de Florencio Noriega
10 El Cantu
11 Iglesia Parroquial de Santa María
12 Quinta Buenavista
13 Villa Delfina (Bustio)
14 La Quinta de Villanueva (Villanueva)
15 La Palmera (Noriega)
Ribadedeva's Tourism Office
Tno. Y fax: 985 41 23 21