Saturday, 26 November 2011

Comillas, Spain

One more official for today. This one was a bit of a mystery when it arrived, though, as the sender had forgotten to write the ID on the card, and there was also no stamp on the card and I can't tell whether it fell off or if there even was one on the card in the first place. In any case I'm really glad the card made its way to me as I really like it.


Comillas is a small township and municipality in the northern reaches of Spain, in the autonomous community of Cantabria. The Marquisate of Comillas, a fiefdom of Spanish nobility, holds ceremonial office in the seat of power at a small castle which overlooks the town.

The first Marquis of Comillas was Antonio López y López (died 1883). Founder and owner of the Compañía Transatlántica Española, was born in Comillas in 1817. Antonio López y López was given the title in 1878. The current Marquis of Comillas is Don Alfonso Güell y Martos.

When I first saw this card, I really liked the building in the bottom right corner. It looked sort of familiar, and when I looked at the back of the card, it says the building was designed by Gaudí. I feel really embarrassed to admit this, but I always thought the only buildings designed by him were in Barcelona... ooops.. The building here is called 'El Capricho'. It's a small annex to the Palacio de Sobrellano, for the Baron of Comillas. It was commissioned by Máximo Díaz de Quijano and constructed between 1883 and 1885. Cristòfor Cascante i Colom, Gaudí’s fellow student, directed the construction. In an oriental style, it has an elongated shape, on three levels and a cylindrical tower in the shape of a Persian minaret, faced completely in ceramics. The entrance is set behind four columns supporting depressed arches, with capitals decorated with birds and leaves, similar to those that can be seen at the Casa Vicens. Notable are the main lounge, with its large sash window, and the smoking room with a ceiling consisting of a false Arab-style stucco vault.

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