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Route through the palaces of San Sebastian

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We know that the beaches are one of the main attractions of our city, but on this occasion we propose a different plan: a route through the palaces of San Sebastian. Shall we travel together to the 19th century?

The last third of the 19th century was very special for our city. Queen Maria Cristina established her summer residence here and, with her, the entire court moved to our city. Thus, it was during this period that the villas and palaces were built, which still give the city a romantic and stately air.

The route that we propose you to know the palaces of San Sebastian begins very near our singular hotel in the La Concha Bay , and is the origin of the royal summery in our city:

Palacio Miramar

In the middle of La Concha Bay, between La Concha and Ondarreta beaches, you can find the Miramar Palace, built in 1893, at the request of Queen María Cristina, to establish the summer residence of the royal family.

It is an English style palace built on a project by the English architect Ralph Selden Wornum. Although the building is closed to the general public, we suggest you contemplate it while enjoying a walk through its spectacular gardens, designed by master gardener Pierre Ducasse, author, in turn, of other gardens that we will see on this route through the palaces of Donostia.

-An outstanding experience: It is worth sitting down for a while in the gardens to slowly enjoy the wonderful views of La Concha Bay.

Palace of the Provincial Council

Less than 10 minutes walk from our hotel, in the Plaza de Gipuzkoa, we find the Palace of the Provincial Council of Gipuzkoa or Provincial Palace. A Second Empire style palace designed by José de Goicoa, inspired by the Paris Opera.

Designed in 1878, it was inaugurated in 1885, and the same year it suffered a fire. Taking advantage of what was saved from the fire, a new project was carried out, which was completed five years later, in 1890.

Its façade features several busts of famous Gipuzkoans: Urdaneta, Elcano, Oquendo, Lezo and Legazpi. And above them, the coat of arms of the province.
The gardens of this square were designed, like those of the Miramar Palace, by Pierre Ducasse.

An outstanding experience: Walk around the gardens of the Plaza de Gipuzkoa contemplating the main facade of the Palace.

Palace of the Duke of Mandas

Near the City Centre, in the Egia neighbourhood, we find the Cristina Enea Park, considered one of the most interesting historical urban parks in Spain. At the top of it, we find the Palace of the Duke of Mandas, his former residence.

The palace, designed by José Osinalde, was built in 1890, combining features of traditional Basque architecture with the stylistic trends of the time. The meadows, gardens, ponds and paths are the work of Pierre Ducasse, the Royal House’s gardener.

It is currently home to the Cristina Enea Foundation, which works to raise awareness of environmental values and sustainability. It has a gallery with travelling exhibitions that links the main building with a training room, located in the old chapel, and a place for visitors to rest.

-An outstanding experience: Take a walk through Cristina Enea Park and observe the Peacocks near the Palace of the Duke of Mandas.

Aiete Palace

Finally, at the top of the city, a little further away from the centre, we find the park and Palacio de Aiete.

The palace, of neoclassical inspiration, was built on behalf of the Dukes of Bailen in 1878, designed by the French architect Adolfo Ombrecht. Guess who designed the gardens? Indeed, Pierre Ducasse! Gardens that are really worth visiting, with ponds, caves, waterfalls and more than 100 species of trees and plants!

For many years, the Aiete Palace has been the residence of royalty and nobility. It now houses the House of Peace and Human Rights and the Aiete Culture Centre.

-An outstanding experience: Walk around the park and let yourself be delighted by its wide variety of trees and plants. End the walk with a photo session on the stairs of the main facade of the palace.

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