Thursday, 30 May 2013

Posada del Valle Ghosts of Past and Present.

How the hotel looked when we bought it back in 1995!
When a guest arrives at Posada del Valle they often ask about the history of the hotel. It is difficult to know much about the history as this relies on the memory of neighbours, which very often differ according to who is telling it.

The inscription above the side entrance of the hotel
 We know the house is 114 years old as we have the inscription above the side entrance; Leandro Pravia Hevia..... The year it was built 1899 and Dios, Patria y Rey; the motto and cornerstone of Carlism.

As a social and political force, Carlism was one of the main actors in the Spanish civil war and to this end we have been told that during the civil war a local lad was called to cover the inscription with chalk, which we uncovered whilst renovating the house.

Discovering the inscription whilst renovating the house.
We were told that a priest and his brother lived here, the brother gambled and the house had to be sold to pay the debt. Later a Sr. Manzano told us he brought the house and farm with one sole purpose to make money. Apparently the farm had a huge woodland of Walnut trees, these were all cut down and sold, and he recovered his money and sold the farm and house. We have one magnificent survivor outside the dining room window, making its own statement I think.

The hotel with the large walnut tree standing by the dining room
We brought the house and farm from Marino and Angeles; they had cows and cut all the meadows with a scythe (guadaƱa), not an easy job on these slopes. Then the grass was taken up the farm with a horse and cart to the cows. The old original apples were here for cider, they had a large press in the basement of the house, we have heard many a neighbour came to help make the cider, and wandered home merry after the task was completed.

Here we are taking our first cider apple harvest out of the farm with oxen, before we had the cement road down to the hotel built.
The farm is called El Escobio, meaning a narrow pass between two mountains (which it is); hence we chose the hotel name Posada del Valle, Posada meaning Inn and Valle meaning valley. 

The hotel taken from the mounatin in front of it, showing the mountain behind
The church at the bottom of the farm is called Santo Tomas. Near this church there was a headstone dated from the 5th century dedicated to Bovecio from his wife. These people were of Celtic origin and the headstone can now be seen in the archaeological museum in Oviedo.

Drawing of the headstone found near the church at the bottom of the farm
Blog entry written by Joe


Ian Hicken said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ian Hicken said...

Very interesting post Jo.

Unknown said...

Given the difficulties, it is nice to see you gathered a lot of interesting information.

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Hotel Posada del Valle is a small hotel in Asturias Northern Spain surrounded by its own organic farm and where we are passionate about organic farming, food, and sustainable livelihoods. In this Blog those of us who live and work at Hotel Posada del Valle open a door to share with all of you who are interested in what we are doing.