Yellow House or House of the Tower of Somao.
The exotic parish in the council of Pravia has been awarded by the Princess of Asturias Foundation for the excellent conservation of its historical heritage
It is known as "the pearl of the Cantabrian Sea" for its elegance and its exoticism.
And is not for less.
Located on a hill in the interior of the Pravia council, about 50 km west of Gijón, the charming parish of Somao, with less than 300 inhabitants, is a claim for visitors, who are fascinated by the beauty of its urban center.
Between gentle hills and green meadows, the granaries and breadbaskets give way to colorful buildings that include Indian villas, palaces, a modernist pantheon
and even an "Eiffel Tower", which contrast with the rural environment of this area of the Principality.
Its privileged position also means that from some of its viewpoints you can enjoy the wide views of the rest of the council, in which the rugged Atlantic coast and the mouth of the Nalón river stand out.
Somao has just been awarded
the Exemplary Town of Asturias award by the Princess of Asturias Foundation, a
distinction that is awarded each year to the town, village, population center, landscape space or human group of the Principality that has notably stood out in the defense and conservation of its natural and environmental environment, its historical, cultural or artistic heritage.
Hórreos de Somao.Mampiris.
The origin of the picturesque buildings in Somao dates back to the beginning of the 20th century, when
the countrymen who had emigrated to Cuba returned to their land with their fortunes and their modernist colonial-style palaces were built
, transforming the rural aspect of the town.
The current state of conservation of these buildings of Indian architecture is excellent.
The colorful facades, the viewpoints and the large glass galleries are joined by manicured gardens and rows of hydrangeas, which make the town a true attraction for lovers of good taste, architecture and photography.
In the upper part of the town stands
, a beautiful pink house, with glazed galleries and viewpoints, still inhabited by the descendants of José Menéndez Viñal, the Indian who, upon returning from Cuba in 1880, renovated and expanded the house original of the family with colonial elements.
It was the first of many of these constructions in the town and in its interior furniture, pictures, objects and original documents of the time are still preserved.
The gardens and its granary are part of the beautiful enclave.
After about three minutes walk we reach the impressive
by a giant sequoia.
Built in 1900 by Gabino Álvarez, Menéndez's nephew, this great building stands out for its main façade (facing the sea) with an imposing staircase and its gallery on cast iron columns.
The estate also houses the impressive
one of the most emblematic places in Somao for its marked modernist style and its striking blue dome.
This jewel of funerary architecture from the beginning of the 20th century, with a four-petalled clover-shaped plan, houses stained glass windows in pointed arches, pinnacles and some beautiful sculptures of angels.
On the ground floor is the chapel and in the basement the tombs, where Gabino Álvarez, among others, is buried.
The enclosure also includes
, a beautiful mansion with a square plan with a tower and facade covered with yellow tiles and garnet details.
The manicured gardens and their benches are surrounded by iron bars.
A walk through them is a must to also enjoy the beautiful views of the environment.
Five minutes walking down the street, next to the town's church, we come to another renowned house: the one known as
El Marciel or Chalet de Solís
With a square floor plan, with French influences and pink tile tiling, its eclectic style draws the attention of passers-by.
However, eyes (and cameras) are often diverted a few meters beyond, where the
Casa de la Torre or Yellow House
(1912), called the
of the Indian Somao.
Its height and slenderness and the striking color of its tower make the building can be seen from anywhere on the road as we approach the town.
That is why one of the emblems of the Indian culture in Asturias.
The MarcielJulio Herrera.
The mansions cannot be visited from the inside, so, for the moment, it is only possible to admire them from the outside, although you can walk through some of their gardens.
From the viewpoints
Being located on a hill, the town has in its surroundings several viewpoints to enjoy incredible panoramic views, specifically two.
Almost 3 km away is the
Mirador de Monetagudo
, halfway from the capital of the council, the historic Pravia.
From above you can see the mouth of the Nalón towards the Cantabrian Sea, the towns of San Esteban de Pravia and San Juan de la Arena and La Deva Island.
The viewpoint has interpretive panels, a recreational area equipped with tables and benches and a parking lot in case you go by car.
If you want to access it on foot, it is done by a small climb through a forest path, between pine trees.
Overview of Somao and the council of Pravia.
Mirador de la Peñona
is almost 4 km from Somao (it is recommended to go by car).
It is located at the foothills of La Peñona and also offers wonderful views of the sea and the Cantabrian coast.
It also has a recreational area.
More information and routes in the surroundings at https://praviaturismo.es/
Where to sleep
La Cochera de Somao Rural House.
El Nocedo, 131, Somao.
Tel .: +34 676 654 557. It is a 1900 house, of the Indian typology, totally restored, located in a closed estate of 7,500 square meters.
The accommodation is for 10 people and is rented in its entirety, from 180 euros / night.
Hotel Rey Silo.
Sabino Moutas Park, 2. Pravia.
Tel .: 984 28 00 32. In the historic center of the town of Pravia, 15 km from Somao, this completely remodeled establishment is located in a baroque building from 1726. It has 12 rooms and a spacious and sunny terrace.
Price: from 60 euros.
Where to eat
El Indiano de Somao
El Indiano de Somao
(El Noceo 198, Somao; tel .: +34 985 583 141) is a nice bar with homemade food.
It is also good to have a drink on the terrace and enjoy the surroundings.
Typical Asturian cuisine, pots, stews, cachopo, cabrales sauce, cider ... in
El rincón de Marcelo
(Ramón García Valle, 7, Pravia; Tel .: 985 82 07 60).
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