Decor : The keys to decorating a Galician manor house
At Bezzia we want to share with you the decoration keys of the pazos, Galician ancestral houses built in the countryside converted into the habitual residence of the noble owner who dominated the neighboring lands. Houses built from large stone walls and surrounded by gardens of camellias, rhododendrons and magnolias.
The pazos they gained great importance between the 16th and 19th centuries. Many have been restored to become charming hotels or celebrate weddings. Others, however, remain in private hands and retain their essence. We have looked at both of them to show you the keys to decorating this traditional manor house.
Most of the pazos were built from solid chestnut and oak structures, great stone walls and tile roofs. In its early years these buildings had a defensive character, so it is not unusual to find crenelated towers and loopholes on the ground floor.
The pazos generally had two floors and a loft. It was common for the living room, as well as other rest areas to be located on the upper floors in order to take advantage of natural light and facilitate its heating. For the same purpose, they were arranged on the east and south facades sunshades and glazed galleries, that protected the house from the rain at the same time that they helped to heat the interior spaces thanks to the greenhouse effect.
The furniture reflected the noble character of these homes. It was common to find large wooden tables flanked by upholstered Louis XVI chairs in reddish tones. All of them were also used in the living room, the most opulent room in the house, usually presided over by a large stone fireplace.
Furniture from different periods and backgrounds were combined in this large space whose walls decorated thick floor-to-ceiling curtains and great family portraits. Given the Galician climate, it was also common to place tapestries on the walls and large rugs on the wooden floors.
The bedrooms of this type of Galician house were somewhat more sober, although they were also decorated with large wooden furniture. Highlighted in these cabinets and dressers rich in details and headboards. In the main bedrooms it was also common to find canopy beds. Heavy canopies made from upholstery fabrics that frequently featured brocades.
The evergreen and lush garden was and still is one of the main attractions of this noble Galician house. Camellias, rhododendrons and magnolias, are common species in these outdoor spaces where water also plays a leading role, in the form of pools or natural ponds.
The most amazing gardens of the pazos also contained hedge mazes; today some of them can still be visited. In addition, as one moved away from the house, the ornamental garden gave way to large spaces where fruit trees or vines were cultivated and lush forests governed by oaks and cryptomerias.
And no less striking were the climbing plants that covered part of the exterior walls of this traditional Galician house. Climbing plants such as ivy or virgin vine were combined with vines such as wisteria, thus giving the building color and greatness.
The most popular pazos
Do you want to delve into the history of these constructions? Choose Galicia as next destination on vacation and enjoy these unique fortresses and the beautiful and lush green landscapes that surround them. Some of the most popular are: Pazo de Merced, Pazo do Souto, Pazo De Sedor, Casa Grande de Rosende, Pazo A Freiria, Pazo da Touza, Pazo de Oca, Pazo de Rubianes, Pazo Quinteiro da Cruz, Pazo de Buzaca and the Pazo de Meirás.
You can stay in some of them and arrange visits in others. Don’t you think it’s a fantastic excuse to trace a route through Galicia and make it happen this summer? There is no way to see things with your own eyes.