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This page has been built with the help of Mr. Alfonso Sánchez Lorenzo, member of the family that presently owns the Palace of Casa-Estrada in Bimenes.

Alfonso has made available the family tree of don Gerónimo de Estrada Fernández de la Rosella, first marquis of Casa-Estrada, as well as the pictures in this page and the history of the Palace.

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Entrance to the Palace grounds

The front of the Palace

The Chapel and the Palace

Inside the Chapel

Tombstone of don Gerónimo, in the Chapel


Historical notes on the Palace of the Marquis of the House of Estrada, at Martimporra (Bimenes)

There is no exact data on the date of the construction of the palace, but it can be said that it dates from the end of the XVII Century, maybe close to the 1700s. The chapel, consecrated to the Virgin of the Road (to Santiago), dates from an earlier time, maybe twenty or thirty years before.

The palace was founded by Juan de Valvidares and his wife, Cecilia Estrada. Both their families were the greatest landowners of the region at the time.

The coat-of-arms that presides over the front of the palace is one of alliance of the surnames of Cecilia Estrada's parents, don Bernardo de Estrada y Nava, of Bimenes, and doña María Fernández de la Rosella, of Langreo. The individual coats of arms are described, from a heraldic point of view, in tha following way:

bulletEstrada: in a field of gold, an Imperial German eagle crowned by sable.
bulletFernández de la Rosella: in a field of azure (blue), five golden disks, in sotuer (X). In this case, the question of the Angulo coat of arms is still pending.

The eagle that dominates the Estrada coat-of-arms is the eagle that represents the German empire. The right of its use was granted, in 1188, to Gonzalo Fernández de Estrada by the Emperor Frederick of Germany, after being present at the marriage ceremonies of Conrad, Frederick's son, with doña Berenguela, daughter of King Alfonso VIII of Castille.

The surname Estrada, of which one of the branches of settled in what is now the Council of Bimenes, has its origin in a locality close to San Vicente de la Barquera, which in those times was part of Asturias, more concretely to what was known as "The Asturias of Santillana" or what is the same, "The mountains of Santillana". The surname as "way" or "road" is probably derived from what was the road par exellence at the time, "The Road to Santiago", one of the main roads travelled by the faithful in their pilgrimage to the tomb of the Apostle Saint James, in Santiago de Compostella, in Galicia.

The word estrada is derived from the latin strata and is in active use, with some evolutive changes, in many languages with latin roots, including Spanish. It is the equivalent of "road" and this equivalency is maintained in the chapel of the Estradas, dedicated to "The Virgin of the Road".

One of doña Cecilia's brothers, don Gerónimo de Estrada Fernández de la Rosella y Nava received a commission from His Majesty King Phillip V of Spain, to perform certain services to the Crown in New Granada, what is now Colombia. At the end of his commission, don Gerónimo was rewarded with the title of Marquis of the House of Estrada, which was granted on the 13 of October, 1704. He married doña Juana de Angulo, natural of Cartagena de Indias and when he returned from overseas he fixed his residence in Cádiz. He continued his life in Andalucía where his descendants still live. However, apparently it was his wish that, upon his death, he be buried in the land of his birth, and following those wishes his remains now rest under the main altar of the Chapel of the Virgin of the Road, beside the palace. In two tombstones that evoque his memory at each side of the altar, one can read the family motto: "This is the House of Estrada / founded on this rocky outcrop / older than Velasco / and to the king I owe nothing".

His son, Diego de Estrada y Angulo, maried in 1712 to María Panés Viganiego, of genovese ascendancy and related to the Marquis of Villapanés, title that was inherited by his great grandson Juan de Dios de Estrada y Villalón, born in 1773. The son of this last one, Juan Antonio de Estrada y González de Sepúlveda, inherited the title of Marquis of Torreblanca of Aljarafe and was named Grandee of Spain (the equivalent of a peer) in 1865.

The palace and the chapel of the Marquis of Casa Estrada at Martimporra, as well as the farms that made up the property, belonged to that Andalusian branch of the family until they were purchased, in 1919, by those who were at the time the administrators of the property, don Arturo Ordóñez Vigil and doña Carmen Redondo Castañón, parents of the present owner and descendants of the family Valvidares - whom, as we have seen, were, along with the Estradas, the founders of the palace. The Estrada, Valvidares and Vigil families were of notable historical importance in the Council of Bimenes.

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